Saturday, September 1, 2012

School Adventures Part 3

To say I was anxious to see TJ Thursday afternoon would be an understatement.  I was dying!   I had gotten a call from TJ at 11:30am, but didn't hear it ring.  He didn't sound happy, so I knew he had at least had a tough morning.

When the kids came piling out of the classroom, TJ walked past me, faking a smile, and quickly blurted, "Let's go to the car...now."

The teacher said he had been very anxious a couple of times during the day, but calmed himself down just fine.  I didn't get the chance to visit with her beyond that.

TJ instantly let us know he had no desire to go back ever again.  He liked the other kids.  He loved music class and social studies.  He hated the food, which he had been excited about when he first saw the menu, and just about everything else.  He said, more than anything, he wanted to be home with us.

That evening, TJ helped Ken install a ceiling fan in Ken's office.  They talked about public school, homeschool, and the expectations we have for TJ this year.  After talking about it, Ken and I both agreed that public school was not the answer for TJ.

Much of my struggle with TJ and frankly, all three of my older kids, is following through with discipline and routine.  There are some behavior and character issues that need to be addressed and chiseled.  Those issues are parenting issues that won't be solved by sending one or all of them to public school.   Whether TJ is in Scouts, co-op, Sunday school, or just with neighborhood friends, he excels.  He's a leader.  Adults pull me aside to tell me how well-behaved he is, how sweet he is to other kids, or how helpful he is.  At times, I don't know whether to laugh with pride or cry of shame, because he can be downright rotten at home!  He tests me and pushes me to my limits.  I figured putting him under the instruction of another teacher might solve the problem, but that was not the answer.

I still don't have all the answers.  I've spent much of the past two days preparing to pull in the reigns, batten down the hatches, and put together a solid plan for the kids this year.  The burden is on me, as their mom and teacher, to do the tough work that I expect them to do in return.   I'm trusting God that this will be a good year for all three kids and their schooling.  We'll hopefully be joining a co-op soon, getting involved with homeschool soccer and park days, and feeling like we have "started school."  The adventure continues!

3 comments:

  1. Oh, Sarah, thank you so much for sharing this! It is very encouraging to me. I have to confess I've had the "am I doing the right thing" question hanging over my head...our temp. apt. is right across the street from the DoD elementary school. We're stuck here in a little place with no school materials (they should arrive with our express shipment in a couple weeks?), and we're going insane here. I got paperwork to register the kids to at least do the extracurriculars--art, music, PE, and host nation class--but I had no peace about it. Plus, we will likely live off base, with at least a 1/2 hour drive to get here. WHY would I tie myself down to that daily drive?!

    You hit the nail on the head...the burden is on ME, as the kids' mom and teacher, to do the tough work. Last year was a survival year for our family, as it was for yours...whether Arden (or TJ!) can write beautifully or not is not the issue! Whether our children love God with all their hearts and are growing steadily in their walk with Him...THAT is why we homeschool. Academics are an aside. The fear of the Lord really IS the beginning of knowledge (we're at least trying to make our way through Proverbs!). We are shaping ourselves AND our families and preparing for eternity.

    Be encouraged, even as you encourage so many others!! Love ya, sister!!

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  2. Sarah, I hear your pain. I wonder if you would be willing to really take some time to read Charlotte Mason's volume 6? I really believe it will give you vision, plans and direction. IT is FREE online, print it so you can highlight the heck out of it and share the highlights with Ken.http://amblesideonline.org/CM/toc.html On the top right corner of the link, you will see "Modern English Paraphrase". I recommend it for you. It is like the NIV vs. KJV. CM's original writing is wonderful, but I would compare it to KJV in that it takes a little more time to read and think through. Also, you CAN order hard copy of the book in the modern translation here: http://www.lulu.com/shop/leslie-noelani-laurio/towards-a-philosophy-of-education-in-modern-english-volume-6-of-charlotte-masons-series/paperback/product-2356268.html;jsessionid=47602C7E73DD51BF0E7266F9B35D8B75

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  3. Sarah,
    I so enjoy following your family's story ~ you have all had so many HUGE changes over the last 14 months. Isn't it amazing that God put such a peace over you re: sending the littles to school? It just shows confirmation that the school they are in is exactly where they are supposed to be at least right now. Praise God! And perhaps God worked on TJ's heart to show him that he is supposed to be schooling at home with you... maybe all he needed was a day at public school. I still pray for you and your family and I will continue to pray as your school year starts... that with God's grace and strength you are able to lead and teach your kids at home and provide that structure and discipline you are aiming for.
    You are an amazing mom and an inspiration, Sarah!
    (((hugs))),
    chris in colorado

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