July 15, 2011

If I can homeschool, ANYONE can.

Godiva makes the list

It has been a while since I sat down to do a homeschooling post. I'm a homeschool mama first and foremost, but the passion has not been eclipsing the chaos for so. very. long. I'm not sure how long it takes YOU guys to come out of the "baby daze" - but with 3 pregnancies in the past 4 years for me, I've been in survival mode around here. [Yes, we had a miscarriage before the Viking, then my 2 year old, and my 5 month old.] Survival mode is the enemy of homeschool progress the same way my upstairs game-room couch is.

I've been feeling the sparks lately, though! The... er... Ye olde embers of educational ecstasy are returning. And that's a reallly good thing. [I misspelled that on purpose.]

Here are some hints that we are on the right track:

1. We've been doing a lot more than "just the basics" lately. I was telling someone on twitter that I need to change the tagline of this blog to "I suck at homeschooling so you don't have to." And I still might... but at least our determination to stick it out through the tough times promises to allow God the room to wow us with a miracle of success. [And that would be a wow - considering our last couple of years. But I know HE is big enough. Praise be!]

2. I have book cases in my garage. Three of them! This was a blessing inside of a blessing - brought about by my wonderful in-laws that love me and my kids very much. [Wouldn't trade them for the world.] These book cases are going in my dining room - which needed a huge dose of character. There's nothing in there but a table and an ugly light fixture. [And an art easel that is used much less frequently than it should be.] Over the past few months we have painted some coffee and cream colors on the walls and our book cases will be the white 'showcase' of our room - a design delight and a homeschool mom's dream come true. #homeschoolersLOVEbookcases

What do book cases have to do with making us better homeschoolers, you ask? Why, I'd love to tell you...

These book cases promise to do the following:
- give us a place to keep our school work - that has doors to accomodate daddy who hates homeschool mess.
- give me a spot for my cook books - since I have limited cabinet and counter space in the kitchen.
- give me a place to put all the National Geographic mags that have been on my bedroom floor for 4 years.
- give me a buffet spot to place dessert or food when we have company over.
- help us get the books that have no home more room on other book cases in our house - thinning out our space needs.
- make the room look great and the house look more homey and custom designed for our needs.
- give me a spot to showcase favorite things (not just favorite books).
- enable us to do school in the dining room without having to carry heavy loads downstairs from the 'school room'/gameroom.
- keep the kids away from the couch so they can sit at a table and get work done efficiently!
- enable us to all sit together - so mama can spread out and be available to help the kids stay focused.
- hold all our supplies so we won't have to get up and hunt for things all over the house.
- enable us to be downstairs so I don't have to worry about babies tumbling down the staircase.
- allow us to work in a room that doesn't have a TV set - but the half wall will still allow me to see in to the living room where the babies might watch Sesame Street.
- put us closer to the kitchen so we can snack to keep our energy up - and I can cook while still helping the kids stay on task.

Productivity, thou name art "Book Case". I can't wait to get them finished this weekend and loaded next week!

My kids have really missed the rigor of our pre-baby schedule. They have told me so lately... as we have been doing more school. They both have asked me about doing more - which means that all three of us are desiring to return to a more robust routine... and you know how it is pulling teeth, right? I am praying that there won't be any more pulling teeth... because pulling teeth and baby interruptions are two ingredients for failure in homeschooling when they are mixed together. With all of us on the same page and a desire to move forward - thank you Jesus - I think we'll be having a much better school year in 2011-2012. Last year (which we are still finishing), I wondered if it would be our last. It has been heavy on my heart for a long time now... and my prayer journal sounds like a broken record.

"Please God, help us get back in to a better homeschool groove - let all of us be blessed with good health so there are fewer urgent interruptions - please help the children to want to participate and learn - show us how to work around the distractions you place in our life with these sweet babies - help our attitudes to be right - multiply our meager efforts and return our passion - help us to be victorious as we seek to honor you with our children's education and hearts."

Have you ever heard the phrase: P.U.S.H. ? Push means Pray Until Something Happens. It was something I learned about in junior high youth camps as a kid. I guess it was subliminally what I've been doing for the past couple of years with our homeschooling experience. I talked a lot about our major setbacks in my post "Bad Homeschool Year... Blessings".

I know that God sometimes answers prayers instantly - like he did when he healed my daughter's legs/hip/back pain, but sometimes he makes you wait a long while as he molds you on the potter's wheel. I'm feeling a lot smoother these days -- and I'm really glad I allowed him to continue His work by staying on the wheel even when I could see no form taking place.

So here I am this year - lookin' much more like a vessel that can hold water. Waiting to be filled.



Are you just stopping by for the first time at my blog? I've been blogging about homeschooling since 2005. My kids were tiny back then and I have kept a running log of our school years and a lot of great info in my Homeschool Series post. I also have a Big List of Resources and a Nature Journal Resource section. I talk about WHY I HOMESCHOOL and give a little history about myself at my Testimony and my About Page, also. Finally, this list of links would be incomplete unless I led you to the Chick-Fil-A story -- so you could see a little of my adult A.D.D. personality in action.

Trust me - If I can homeschool, anyone can.

Thanks for stopping by! I'd love it if you joined my Google Friends, bookmarked my site, signed up for the site via RSS or email, and left a comment! Homeschool moms need all the virtual friends they can get!


H-Mama said...

don't you just love it when someone says, 'oh, i could never homeschool'... #sarcasm

shelves. it's survival to a homeschooler. a must have. ;)

your #1 made me *giggle*.

yea for sparks!

Anonymous said...

You inspire me!!! Hope you don't mind, I may copy your poem, print it
off and READ IT DAILY. I really needed to hear this.
Love ya!

amber @ classichousewife said...


I need me some good ones, too. I have one. One. It's not enough! I need a massive, ikea-like, across the whole wall system. And I know you KNOW that when I say "need" I mean "NEED" and not "want." ;0)

Love it!

Glad to see the sparks flying again!

Gwen T said...

Love that tagline, Heather. You should trademark that one :)

Interestingly enough, the same things people say about why they couldn't homeschool are the same things people say about why they couldn't have more than 1-2 children. They comment on how patient I must be (ha), organized I am (another big ha) and how I have it all together (a really big HA!).

(8 kids in 14 years somehow makes people think I'm the epitome of organizational skills....)

It truly is by the grace of my almighty God that I wake up every morning and say "God I need your strength and grace to get through this day!" Because w/o Him I'm completely lousy at everything I do. Without Him - it doesn't matter how many kids we have or how we school our kids, we need Him to live a life that brings Him glory!

Thanks for another great post!!!

Rachel E. said...

Yes, I agree, number one is pretty good. I think we all think we do though, right?

I agree that having babies can through things for a loop. But, you eventually get back into the routine.

As for shelves, I prefer to be really organized, so having shelves would be wonderful. I need more. But, don't have the room for them.

Shannon Wallace said...

Hooray! I am so glad to hear that your daughter's pain is gone! That's a huge blessing, because I remember in one of our email converstions that it was taking it's tole on the both of you. I'm glad to hear the energy to homeschool (and creativity and fun) has returned! Hugs!!

Kari said...

I'm just starting out this fall with out first year of pre-homeschool. My son is two and I want to start instilling the ideas and schedule now of doing some learning time each day before we decide to have another little one to distract us. I'm excited and look forward to reading more about you last five years doing this and hoping to get some great ideas!

Jamerrill @ Holy Spirit-led Homeschooling said...

Oooooo, shelves. Me. Love. Shelves! We got ours out of the trash, lol, but they do the job :) I love all of your "old school" links from back in the 2005 days...man, long time!

Dawn @ 5 Kids and a Dog said...

Heather I LOVE the bookcase! Can't wait to see actual pictures of it, all filled up! Our dining room is aobut 18 inches wider than our dining room table is, so a book case in here would entail pulling chairs up to the shelves to eat, because we'd have to remove the table to get it in. ;)
I can totally relate to the distractions and setbacks, though we don't have a little one any more it's still been one of those years. Here's to new determination!

Sharla said...

I am a prime example of the "if I can homeschool anyone can"! I could relate to much of your post. I am trying really hard to get back on track with homeschooling and have recently been motivated to actually plan out our homeschooling for the fall and try to be the type of homeschool mom that I can feel proud to be instead of the kind that is always feeling guilty!

P.S. A homeschooler can never have too many bookcases!

Linda said...

We don't have a dining room in this house, but in the one we hope to move to in a year (the family farm) we do, and hope the dining room will serve dual purpose of eating and schooling. Our homeschool curriculum is online (thank God for Time4Learning!) but we have more books than a family of three could possibly need. Hurray for shelves!!! If I had a choice every room would be floor to ceiling book shelves. Would love to see pictures when you get it all installed!



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