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first day of school, homeschool

We started with such high hopes and giddy excitement! He did too!

My first official day as a homeschooler ended with a massive headache, lots of chocolate covered banana chips and a phone call to my mother and Mema Kathy that might have included the phrase,

“Public school doesn’t start until Wednesday.  It’s not too late!”

Oh. dear.

Turns out, all 3 of my kids (including the 6-year-old) are teething and/or getting over a virus. Therefore, the excessive whining and fussing was understandable.  Annoying, but understandable.  And Diet Coke fixes many ills.

Day 2, however, ended with my son in my lap, tears in both of our eyes and frustration beating our heads and tearing our hearts.  Over the word melt.

Somehow that silly /t/ at the end kept coming out of his mouth a /k/ and then since he knew that wasn’t right, he tried milk. 5 times.  Then somehow a super fun game to practice word ending blends disintegrated into, well, the aforementioned mess.

And sitting in the kitchen with my arms around my son, I very deeply realized a few things.

1. Kathy was very right: as a former public school teacher, I am going to have a harder time teaching my own son.  I know how to push a class of students to achieve and I know how to teach curriculum to a class of 6th graders. But that means jack.  Eight years down the tubes, folks, because we are starting over.  Ok, I am starting over. And now I’m excited because I thought I knew what I was doing.  Since it’s clear I don’t, this qualifies as a new adventure.  And my Poppie taught me that I like a challenge in an adventure;)

2. Even the very young are susceptible to the insidious lies of the enemy.  Sprout kept saying, “It’s just too, too hard!  I just can’t!” What he was thinking: “I must be dumb because I am not getting this.  And if I’m dumb that means I will never get it. And oh, please! Someone tell me I’m wrong!  I really want to be wrong on this one! I want to be smart and I want to understand this!”

3. My desire for perfection will kill my son’s love of learning.  enough said:(

4. My rear on that kitchen floor, erasing the lies on my son’s heart, was the single most valuable thing I accomplished today.

I just looked up the word melt because sometimes you only think you know a word.

melt: verb. 1. become liquified by heat 2. melt something, esp. a metal article, so that the material it is made of can be used again 3. become more tender or loving

Obviously, we (the Sprout and I) are being heated in a furnace.  Maybe only to “become more tender or loving.” (See def #3). But I happen to know that the One who places people into burning furnaces is

#1-in the fire with them. And

#2-always has a purpose for which He is working.  It is usually something of great beauty.

Strangely at peace and needing another Diet Coke,


PS-Just in case you didn’t notice that Jesus is working on my perfection issue, I’ll point out to you that I misspelled “be” in the Sprout’s first day sign.  It will forever annoy me and yet make me laugh because it really is ok;)