30
Apr

Decisions, decisions

We are in the midst of our annual two day homeschool convention. 

I so look forward to going every year.  It’s so affirming to literally walk amongst a large group of like minded families.  The kids have their own mini, Christ centered educational camp.  The youth have workshops and receive hands on teaching from a number of the keynote speakers from the adult conference.  And Stephen and I have a chance to share a tea and puruse great books, seek out direction for our  next year and take stock of how the past year has gone. 

This year has been challenging in a new way though.  Last year I remember being curious as to where the kids would be at, particularly our newest addition.  What would she know already?  What would her interest bent be?  What is her learning style?  How quickly would her language be at a level that we could move beyond the basics to all the fun projects, etc. 

And here we are.  One year later and still many questions. 

I shouldn’t be surprised about this.  Each year brings new questions regarding the next year’s direction.  In many ways I enjoy the discoveries we make and the ways that we tweak their learning paths.  But, yet again, I am reminded that my family is not the “norm”.  Is there a norm?  You know, I never thought so, but somehow the reactions from others suggests to me that there must be.

Each vendor booth at the curriculum market makes me think this when they begin searching for details about our kids in order to begin to narrow down what they might be able to sell us offer us for the benefit of all of our children’s educational goals. 

They begin by asking our children’s ages and genders.  This is followed by questions to gain an understanding of what they have studied prior to this.  Sometime soon after this we find it necessary to divulge just enough about our kids that they begin to visualize the specific needs of each of our four and then they begin to either:

a. Scratch their heads.

b. Look at us in disbelief.

OR

c. Begin to convince us that no matter the wide variations in our children’s learning needs and backgrounds, theirs is the o.n.l.y. curriculum that will not only gain our children entrance into an elite university of their choice, but do it while allowing me to have time to catch up on my housekeeping, pursue a degree of my own and gain back all the blonde hairs I’ve been trading for grey as of late. 

Anyway, we seem to pose a bit of a problem to others.  We don’t fit into a neat and tidy little curricula box. 

And I like that about us.

I think it is what makes our family just that – our family. 

Over the years it used to stress me out a lot more than it has today and I am really thankful that He’s brought me out of that dark and weary land of curricula chasing and into a new era of realizing that He knows what my kids need and box or no box, I’m the woman He’s chosen to use in their lives to bring them into closer awareness of their part in His – story. 

Did I mention that I think I have the best job I could ever imagine myself doing?

(This is not the job I dreamed of, but He knew better.  Anyway, that’s a post for another day.)

So, tonight I pore over catalogues, click through the review sites, fill in my spreadsheets and pray and ask for wisdom.  He knows my kids intimately.   After all, I am only a tool in my Potter’s hands.

Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.  Isaiah 64:8 (NIV)

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In another answer to a prayer I prayed many years ago, we were able to meet with the Independent Graduation Counselor from our school of registration.  In our province it is widely expected that students will enroll in the publically funded distance learning programs, as a home edcuated, Ministry of Education supervised student.  The family will receive a portion of the funds allotted to that student and by completing the required provincial outcomes, that student will receive a highschool diploma.  It is assumed that a teen will need the diploma to enter a program of further study at a college or university. 

However…

After meeting with the Grad Counselor, we have been told that by collecting samples of the work that our kids complete along the way, the school will approve that an appropriate level of work has been maintained (an informal rather than formal evaluation).  The school in turn will create a completion transcript for the student and recommend to the admissions counselor that the student be given entrance into the college or university.  The only requirement for entrance beyond the transcript?  An English placement exam that is designed for English Language Learners and for which there are numerous online samples and ministry supplied preparation materials.

He directed our steps in this when so many of our peers have gone the mainstream route.  We have been going on faith that God would be faithful as we headed down the unknown path.  And today He showed us His faithfulness in the flesh. 

I’m so thankful.

Comments

  1. Leslie says:

    I LOVE this post. Yep, we don’t fit in a box-type curriculum either. And I can’t wait for our convention in a couple of weeks. :)

  2. Ah, I’m going through the same thing right now. I have some beginners, one with certain needs, and a high schooler. It is making my head spin…so many decisions. I pray the Lord gives you and me clear guidance with our children.

  3. So what HAVE you been using so far? Researching too much gives me such a headache :-)) I’m only a part-time homeschool Mom, but even that leaves me baffled most of the time *sigh*
    Barb

  4. I’m working on getting some homeschooling posts together. Just trying to plough through the final days of this school year. Promise I’ll get to it soon!

  5. Thanks Cheri. It’s complex, but I know He has our kids’ best at heart. You have a head start on me – I’ll have to pick your brain too.

  6. Love your creative hs ideas, Leslie. It’s been fun to follow along with your Totschool ideas.

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