Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Homeschooling Mom Still Learning the Hard Way

God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing. ~C. S. Lewis

I am trying to work out what has been frustrating me the most about homeschooling. I thought mostly it is the time that it takes my daughter to do it, but...is it that or something else?

On Tuesday, she worked through just one of her make-up algebra assignments and it took two hours, with a significant number of the graphs done wrong, so another 20 minutes to correct them.

The Princess finished an incomplete grammar lesson on sentence diagramming with adjective clauses that I estimated would take her 20 to 30 minutes but it took twice that with good reason though, as she was looking things up to remember how to do them. I have yet to check over the work, but I am hopeful as in sentence sparsing and diagramming she tends to do very well. I remember how much she used to hate doing it and now she actually likes it, I think because it has become easy for her. It has done what was so important for it to do, which was to fine tune her grammar skills in her writings.

The Princess also worked on vocabulary which also took twice as long as I thought it should.

So, if everything takes twice as long as I think it should how will I ever fit in science? There is history, Latin, Greek, civics, and probably some others I am not recalling at the moment. Oh, and with two practice times at the piano each day totaling 75 minutes.

I seriously need a new schedule plan! Actually, I do not really have one yet because I had to see and be realistic about how long it takes my daughter to complete her lessons. It just seems impossible to me at this point. Do I stick to times allotted as is done in classrooms or do we complete an entire lesson each day and rotate subjects accordingly? We have done it both ways at different times and I can only say that I still have not found what works best. I used to have my daughter break up math into two sessions, one after piano practice in the morning and the other after piano in the afternoon. it seemed to help her get her math assignment for the day done faster, but now she is determined to do in all in one sitting.

My daughter thinks she should be completely done with her lessons by 4:00 and we take an hour for lunch, which can change. She is supposed to be practicing piano at 8:00 in the morning, but that does not always happen.

Much, much prayer needed. I mean, there is the world's standards for education of the masses, and there is God's desires for this one, His daughter, my child. I feel like sometimes I am trying to do what the world expects, having all the right subjects and such, and tossing God's plan aside if it does not fit, instead of the other way around. Not only does this cause anxiety for me, but obviously it is for my daughter as well, as I have seen since the beginning of this school year.

This picture of the classical model is on point for illustrating my problem, I think. If I have all the right stuff without God's truth shining on it, the tree of education will not thrive. Though I may have His truth in our education, I am clouding His radiance on that tree, filtering it to the point that it has become sickly, because I did not stay open to hearing His Spirit and following His desires in the education process itself.

This morning in the first few moments of waking when my mind is quiet, before I have begun planning my day or even making one simple decision based on my own thoughts like getting out of the bed, God slipped in this thought: two Analytical Grammar assignments a week. Still without a full functioning mind, I thought: Yeah, that would work so well. Do you know what I did then? I began to awake up and I began to think of how I wanted to finish that course this year and how two assignments a week would not meet that goal...and then I began thinking in reality, on the best of weeks she has done four, which is ideal and what I would prefer, but our average is probably between two and three...and then I started thinking of squeezing in at least half more of a lesson per week...and then I thought, if God is telling me two a week, then that is what is going to work the best and who am I to argue with my Lord.

After the disaster of the first few months, I am so unsure of homeschooling this year. Why have I not been not taking those cues from my Lord on her entire education? Why let Him shine only where I have allowed it? He is right here wanting to guide me in this, obviously! Had I sought His guidance about the Home Learning Center for this year in the spring, my daughter would not have been enrolled and all that happened from September to November would not have been. Yet, I still have not learned; I want to plan it all out and then as an afterthought I will pray for God to bless it, because I am doing it the way I think it best—of course, I know how wrong that is, but still that is what I want to do. It is so wrong to think I know better about educating my child than God does!

So, now I am going to have a little sit and talk with my Lord. We are going to talk about every subject, whether or not to use a prepared curriculum and how to use each, how long to spend on each for the day or the week or the month. That will be for the general plan, but I need to get back to working with Him at the beginning of each day. My expectations have to change to be reliant and willing to serve my Lord, Whom I love, as He educates His child, my daughter.

My Lord, forgive my arrogant disobedience. I has cost my family, my daughter mostly. It has made me fearful and unsure, which is good because it makes me want to rely on You more, as I always should be.

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.