Thursday, August 6, 2009


I have been in Greeley with Steve the last few days. While he works during the day I have taken the time to pray and search for what our new school year will "look" like. You would think that after 14 years of homeschooling, I would always know what to do. However, I have learned that life really does eb and flow. There are seasons and it is so much better if I work within those seasons of our lives. Seasons of sickness, new babies, sorrows, celebrations, money worries, and fun times with our families are just a few that I have seen in years past. So instead of fighting to "make it all work" the way I had it planned, I pray and adjust. This is scary because sometimes it feels that I am not meeting certain goals and I wonder if I am doing what I need to do. It is so comforting to "check off" the boxes as they are accomplished. It' s safe and reassuring that we are reaching our goals. But there are some words that I have learned to really look at and define...OUR GOALS, OUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS, WHAT I HAVE PLANNED...
Besides seasons there are also the personalities and God-gifts of each child. When we first began to school Kalyn, I really struggled because she just could not seem to learn. Finally we suspected something else and went to specialist who helped us learn to work with dislexia and other things that made it hard for Kalyn. At age 16 she loves to learn; however, I still must work to teach her in a way that is different from what I do with the other children. But really, as each child's personality and God-gifts begins to show I like to "teach to" the strength and work with the weaknesses. I want to honor "who" the LORD made my children and with His leading hand, direct them in the life and educational goals that HE has for them.
The LORD has really used our home education as one means to teach ME to let go of MY expectations, plans and goals. There is still apart of me that worries at times about "doing it right or well". But then the LORD shows me that usually at those times I am looking at the worlds standards or definition of "education".
This summer I have gone between feeling calm about the next year and feeling frustrated because I didn't know what it looks like. This year will be different...Kalyn-10th grade ...need to define and challenge her a little more; Caresse-6th grade...time to step it up for her and she is able!; Kiana, Landon and do I pull the 3 of them together with each other and with Caresse some (because, there is only such much of me or of the day); 4 others under 5 (praying for that 5th little sweetie to be home soon!)...being their mother and beginning to introduce early learning...
I only use "grades" as a starting point for where the children are and what learning tools I want to look into. I don't "start" school formally till age 7, though there is alot of unplanned learning before that time. Here in Colorado, we have to test them every other year and this helps me know where we are academically. However, I can tell you that good scores are not my goal. My children's hearts are. And I find that if I honor who God has made them to be and "teach" to their strengths and interests and use their weaknesses as training in self discipline that a nice balance happens in our learning.
I titled this post ALWAYS because, if I will just listen and trust, the LORD ALWAYS shows me what to do for a new school year. He faithfully provides what we need and no year ever looks like the last one. I do "plan" for our year and have certain curriculums and books that we use.
Sonlight has been a foundation in our school since I began to teach Jace 14 years ago. I love the Charlotte Mason ideas and those ideas are also a foundation for us. In the past when it was best, I have used My Father's World and liked it. I usually take pieces from these and other things that I feel will work best for our year.
My time in Greeley has been good and I feel like I know "how" we will begin our new year. I am excited about using some ideas from Simply Charlotte Mason. Their SCM Curriculum Guide was very helpful to me and I am excited about using the Matthew through Acts & Ancient Rome study. I will use this study for all this children, including Kalyn and Caresse and then Kalyn and Caresse will move on their own studies apart from the younger ones.
So I feel more ready now; yet always prayerfully watchful of what the LORD may change along the way.


  1. Thank you for sharing this post. Blessings to you and your new school year.

  2. I too thank Him for guidance and direction as I train and teach my Treasures.
    We have continued school through the summer and are really enjoying the season we are in right now with our learning.

  3. Thank you for sharing your amazing wisdom, and your precious heart, my friend. You are such a treasure.

    Can't wait to see you soon :)

  4. Sweet one, thank you for posting this and filling me with such encouragement! As we transition back to the US, a whole new world of homeschooling resources awaits me. On the mission field, I have created my own things for the last 5 years. Sonlight is one that I am praying about using. It is a bit expensive, is it worth it (even on a missonary's budget)? Oh I do hope to glean from your experiences as I keep raising my warriors to shine for HIm.

    Sarah Dawn

  5. Love, love, love it! The Lord has taught me so much, and as a pioneer homeschooling mama, I have much to learn. But one thing I know, godly character, heart issues and discipline rank number one on my list as a MUST! Love you. So glad you had this time to seek and find.

  6. Great post! If there's one thing I've finally learned through several years of homeschooling (ok, I've actually learned a lot!) it's to think outside the box. I had traditional type school so ingrained in my head for the first couple of years and when I finally broke away from that...I felt such freedom! It is truly a joy to teach each child as THEY need to be taught.

    And thanks for all the great links...I'm going to check out a couple that I hadn't heard of.

  7. I loved reading your thoughts on homeschooling and allowing the Lord to dictate your schedule and materials. YES, each child is so different and has different ways of learning and this came as such a surprise to me. I didn't think that I would need to teach the same material in different ways to my 3 boys. I too love Charlotte Mason's style of teaching and have been pouring over her materials this last year or so. A very exciting time in our lives indeed!

  8. Shoni - you are so precious!

    You are doing a great job because you are focusing first on Him - taking over their hearts and building them up strong in His truth!

    Thanks for sharing your heart and wisdom with us!

    I know exactly how you are feeling - because I just shared the same emotions on two of our blogs!
    Lots of love and prayers as you transition from summer to school!

  9. I had been wondering about how I could possibly fit everything into our homeschooling this year. I thought that I would have to drop the time that I have started with each child, individually reading a book together that will help them grow spiritually. But, the Lord let me know that this was THE MOST IMPORTANT THING that I could do with my children. Math and spelling can wait at times. Their hearts cannot. Blessings to you as you homeschool your beautiful children.

  10. Great Post! It is so good to be reminded of this! I started school early this year to allow for the adoption of our two boys with the addition of a baby in January. This means we can take a lot of time off and be extremely flexible!

    Blessings on your adoption!


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