This week our homeschooling 'forms' came in the mail and brought our need to make a decision concerning this year's schooling to my attention. We have been faced with the logical reasoning of many well meaning and loving family members and friends more then once in the last year and a half of liver disease.
"Wouldn't it make more sense to put the children in school and save your energies for getting well, taking care of yourself, and being an energetic Mommy when they get home from school each day?"
It does make sense on many levels, and I can't argue it logically. It is actually quite tempting at times! Think of all the sewing I could get done!
Our children were born with the sin nature, as we all were; they are strong willed, stubborn and highly distractable. There are days when I do think "Why am I putting myself through this?". I also wonder if I am getting to everything I should be because of my decreased energy level.
The only thing that I can say for certain is that we felt called to home school our children before we even had children - called by God! Since we have prayerfully taken each year as it came and not heard from the Lord that we should stop, we have continued on.
With this in mind, we have been exploring our options and praying for direction and guidance for months.
When I sat down this morning to read my Bible, my day had already 'gotten off on the wrong foot'. Since the kids were occupied making their beds, sorting their laundry and generally making each other crazy, I thought I'd take time to read a bit.
I am reading through Romans again because I have forgotten far more of the book's life changing truth than I have remembered! I have been praying for consistency as I am constantly getting off course. I read and re-read this mornings passage since the giggling minstrels of bedmaking and laundry sorting were quite the distraction.
When I prayed, I reminded God that the deadline for filing my homeschooling intent forms would come really quickly and I asked Him to guide our path.
As the banshees ran though my quiet time area for the THIRD time, I added,
"Oh Father, You know how distracted I am and how little quiet I enjoy. I am so dense these days, I feel like I am in a sort of fog of physical distress. You're going to have to speak up if I am going to hear Your voice. Please, please, please, make it abundantly clear to me."
This afternoon I took The Storyteller to Mrs. Wonderful, his speech therapist for his weekly appointment. She has been teaching in the public and private schools for 43 years and has had numerous private clients as well, including our Storyteller. She is amazing - we are blessed to have her, and she has helped our boy so very much.
Today, she was an answer to prayer!
As we were leaving after a very productive appointment, the children went ahead to the van, and another private client's family drove in. Mrs. Wonderful introduced me to the other mom. She had not seen our children but asked if our son was Downs, since her son is. When I replied, "No, he is just very very active and easily distracted. Mrs. Wonderful is helping him with a stutter."
This is when Mrs. Wonderful 'shocked' me.
She said, "Heather homeschools her children and so she and her husband sought out private help for their son since he would have received it in public school." After the other mom nodded her agreement, Mrs. Wonderful continued, "And thank God you do homeschool - I would just hate to see him in a traditional school setting - he would be in all kinds of special needs programs, labelled, held back, and they would be pressuring you to put him on drugs so he didn't talk the ears of his teacher, or teach the class himself! He thrives on the one on one. I would hate to see how quickly they would rob him of his wonderful sparkle. I just love that boy! And I don't think your sweet daughter would be the unspoiled girl she is either - I am shocked at what girls her age say to one another - they are so mean to one another"
I said, "I feel so blessed to be able to homeschool, since I am sure if the Storyteller were in private or public school, I would be getting calls from the principle and spending my nights trying to teach him what he didn't take in during the day because he was too distracted! I'd hate to deal with the attitudes they both would bring home from school. We have enough home grown 'bad attitude'!
She agreed with me but quickly clapped her hand over her mouth and said,"I shouldn't have said that at all - I work for the school! Well, I guess I am just working at the parochial school now, but still! I have never encouraged homeschooling, and I have had many clients who were homeschoolers!"
She had to go and start her session, but as I walked to the car, I realized that my Heavenly Father was making it abundantly clear ...
Now, I just can't wait to see how He will confirm His calling, and make the path straight so that we can do this, liver disease and all.
Note: In re-reading this today I realized that I sound terribly negative about the children, and I just wanted to clarify. Our children are wonderful blessings from God - they are full of life, creative, imaginative, cheerful, enthusiastic, passionate and wanting to be more like Jesus everyday. They bless our hearts with their simple faith and the love which they both freely express. I was merely pointing out the faults in their characters that cause most difficulty when home schooling. We are confident that one day God will use their strong wills to accomplish great things for Him, and that the stubborn trait we see today will blossom into a tenacity that will keep them striving on when life is a series of trials.