Thursday, April 4, 2013

Homeschooling fun and frustration

One good thing about homeschooling is the flexibility in scheduling and the ability to turn anything into a field trip and learning experience.

A couple weeks ago Brian's Uncle and Aunt came to visit a friend in Tampa.  We were blessed to get to spend a few days with them during their stay...and a bit spoiled!  Lots of firsts for our Meisi!

They took us to the zoo
to Ft. Desoto - which is pretty cool

After checking out the cannons that have never been fired we went to the beach next to them - Meisi's FIRST beach experience - she LOVED it!!  Aili tried to learn to surf and her sweet brother held onto her fearful she would be pulled out to sea.

We did see a Pelican eat a fish and dolphins swimming - see educational! :) 


Then they took us to dinner at our favorite restaurant here (Fred's).  Their friend brought their dog they are training to be a seeing eye dog!  Now that was educational! Although, I think she got petted a bit more than what was supposed to be allowed! :) 

That week was a lot of firsts for going out with Meisi.  We went to the library and to MOSI (Museum of Science and Industry), to a science class at Alafia Park and Legoland!  We got loads of hands on learning!  Which is great because that is my learning style - "I need to see it to believe it" kinda gal!

Our oldest, Aili, had been homeschooled in Kindergarten.  She went to public school then a public charter school after that until January of this year (3rd grade).  We pulled she and Ian out for many reasons...which I should've written down....because since our exciting field trip week (we did still do math and writing those days) has been HARD.  Oh my HAARRRDDD!!!! 

Some things to know about me...
I don't cook (at least not well)
I don't sew (although I'd love to learn)
I'm not crafty (although pinterest has made me desire to be)
I am not a good housekeeper either (my house is in dire need of a fairy godmother)

My extroverted self is lacking the energy gained from being with others
My serving heart feels empty from not serving others
I miss Group Bible Study - but none exists for me with Homeschooled kids and can't leave Meisi in child care yet...

This is all pretty new to me... I have only been a stay at home mom for around a year...before this I worked outside the home since we've been married (nearly 15 years).

So...trying to stay at home, homeschooling one very strong willed, gifted child and another hyper, loud little boy with a newly adopted 2 year old in a terribly messy house eating meals even Meisi refused...

ahhhhh..... I want to scream, "Calgon take me away!"
but I'm too tired to run the bath and have no Calgon anyway (do they even sell it anymore?)...

One thing to note here is how AMAZING our church family is... we were TOTALLY spoiled with 3 ENTIRE weeks (every single day) of meals when we got home... Thank you so much Debbie for setting this up for us!  Thank you to all the ladies who made us and brought us such wonderful meals!  Meisi licked the plates opposed to saying no to my cooking :(

My hubby keeps telling folks who marvel at how easy Meisi has been for us that "God will not give you more than you can handle." 

OH. MY. WORD... could not be more true...

This week was so bad with trying to get the older two to do their school work that I visited a private Christian school today...

and nearly choked...
or  vomited
when they told me it would cost $1000 per MONTH - YIKES!!  That is our house payment! 

THEN she asked how well Ian (Kindergarten) was reading and when I said, very little, just "Bob" type books...
She said, "Well, all our K kids read at first grade level so he'd need remedial classes next year, but we could do that."

Can you see me nearly crying...

THEN she says, "And your daughter will need to provide a writing sample like a short story." 
Aili (3rd) looks up at me and says, "Uh-oh."  Writing is both of our weakest subjects... Very little writing required for a PharmD...poor handwriting is ok too. :) 

Now, I am not trying to get a pity party nor do I want comments that lead to fights over the best way to educate your kids... I am so thankful we have the choice to choose what path we think is best for our child at the moment...  I'm just sharing that while our adoption journey has been AMAZING - our everyday isn't always as chipper. :)

Truly... I almost walked back to the public school today and asked if I could re enroll them at 2:00 (school is out at 2:15)... I think 15 minutes would've given me a little sanity...

My homeschooling friends have been supportive - I've tried -
changing schedules
letting Aili make her own schedule
taking breaks
skipping school altogether for the day
adding/removing curriculum...

So change in behavior or attitude.... defiance, disrespect, complaining, jealousy over who gets to sit next to Meisi, or help Meisi or hold Meisi, whining

As much as I want to send them to someone else to learn this, I know it is my job as parent to teach them these things (they struggled with same issues when in school)...  Ah of the many reasons we decided to pull them out....  Yet, I fear I've failed somehow... What did I not teach them about living, loving and forgiving?? 

My dear hubby told me he didn't think I had failed.. I just hadn't given it enough time in the midst of all our change... I guess I can't go sign them up for school tomorrow. ;(  Just kidding...kinda

Tonight - this was the verse that was on the bottom of someones email...

"Be strong and courageous!  Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you.  He will neither fail you or abandon you." Deut. 31:6

Strong and Courageous is what I need...
I feel so weak right now
Afraid?  Absolutely!
Panic??  Lord, help me!!
He will PERSONALLY go ahead of you
He will neither fail you or abandon you...

Thank you Lord for giving me what I need for this moment. :)

One thing I can say is that I believe Brian is right about God not giving us more than we can handle evident by Him giving us our sweet Meisi who has been such a joy from day one. She is such a ray of sunshine on these dark, gloomy days. When the older two are fussing, complaining.... She just hugs me, smiles and kisses me. Which melts my heart and makes the sun shine brighter.  Sometimes she even stops their issues by loving on them and smiling... What a blessing! Amazing how God is using HER to change US!

Love is a VERB - hmmm....may be our language arts topic tomorrow. :)

Praying, seeking Him and thankful tomorrow is a new day - I will rejoice and be glad! 


  1. Not only were you a gift to Meisi, but she is obviously a gift to you. I know it's hard right now. I'm praying that you can get into a groove that works for all of you. You know I'm here. Just call me.

  2. Although I'm Jewish we used Sonlight for a while, just minus the missionary books - I loved it! Worth checking out! You can teach them together....

    1. Penny - thank you! We used Sonlight when Aili was in K and LOVED It!! I have just been afraid it is too much reading with the age difference and having 2 going on 3... Still get the reader list though and check those out from the library.

  3. Hang in there! We're not doing "real" homeschooling yet, but we definitely have rough days around here, too. Talking with a friend who has four teenage and pre-teen kids (all of whom are WONDERFUL), I was encouraged when she encouraged me to stay the course, that we can't expect our efforts at discipline and teaching always to have immediate effects. Sometimes we may not see them right away, but we are still called to follow God and His ways and love our kids well and pray that He works in their hearts and that we are able to see the effects of consistency. I'll be praying for you!

    1. Thank you for your prayers!! I can feel them!! This week has been SOO much better!!!! Thank you for the encouragement and prayers!

  4. prayers friend! and if you think of it, i could use some too. altho' we are not homeschooling, i still struggle with feeling like i have taught them everything i could/should. i think it's just a mom thing. i just keep asking Jesus to cover my mistakes. He alone is faithful and will get us through. not just get us through, but get us through victoriously! (i'm really giving myself a pep talk here.) lol

    1. hahah you are so funny and sweet my friend! :) God is so good and showing me glimpses - this week has been better!! I can always use a pep talk though - we need to start a mommy pep talk blog for those days.... lol