Monday, October 29, 2007

For my friend Shandy, or, When Homeschooling Fails

So, you want real, huh? Okay, how's this: I am a big family, Christian, homeschooling failure.

Now, before you giggle and shake your head and think I'm "down on myself," let's consider the evidence:

*Are all my children walking with the Lord? No.
*Are my children obedient? No. Some are more than others, but for the most obedient among them it's just lip service with bad attitude acted out in private.
*Are our days filled with learning adventures? No. Most days we barely get the minimum of chores done, and perhaps a little reading on the side. But it's not me reading aloud, it's them reading to themselves. Math? Sure, I'll take a look at what they've done and help them over a learning "hump" if they have one. Science? Look! Is that a cardinal? Science...check.
*Do we have daily devotions? No. You read that right, NO. Not every day. Not even most days.
*I haven't baked bread in months. Middle child will make it in the bread machine if she has to.
*Do we eat dinner together? No. Well, we are usually in the same house, but not even the same room, and most of the time the TV is on for the adults while the kids eat at the table.
*I've even had to give up my favorite saying, "Lord willing, none of these children will ever darken the door of a public school," since my next-to-oldest student decided I was not qualified to teach him anything and rejected my authority outright. Gee, here I thought that because the teachers want him in honors classes that that was proof I was doing okay. But no, son informs me, he is naturally genius and my teaching only held him back from becoming all he could have been.

Oh. Sorry 'bout that, chief.

My life looks nothing like the families in The Old Schoolhouse or The Teaching Home magazine. I've tried so hard to be that family, but through a combination of laziness, depression, circumstances, pain and sheer exhaustion, failed miserably. I can get up at 6AM and make breakfast about three days in a row before I crash and sleep in till 9. I can stay up till 11 with hubby watching the gunk on TV (99% of which I would really do better without) for about four nights before I crash and fall asleep in my chair at 7. And I can cook good, healthy, balanced meals for about six days in a row before I'm ready to eat McDonalds three times in a row just to avoid the injury factor.

I'm a hardhearted, selfish person who hates to admit to being wrong (and I am, a LOT) and has to have things done her way.

Honest enough for you?

But, there's hope for me.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

And some days that's all I have to hang onto.

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