Thursday, April 29, 2010

Coming Together

Our family participates in a homeschooling co op specifically for Tapestry of Grace. We are currently finishing up Year 3 Unit 4. It has been a year of blessings and challenges with the curriculum and the co op. As a co op we have areas that need to be tweaked to get back on track, such as clear expectations and accountability for everyone and a renewal of commitment. We just had our first Mom meeting to begin planning for our Year 4. We took a look back at the year and what we accomplished and how to move forward stronger.

There are some challenges to being part of a co op. One such challenge is getting our school work accomplished in four days rather than five days so that we can attend co op. Part of that challenge is deciding what to cover for the week and what not to cover because the curriculum is so rich. Another challenge is staying disciplined. Discipline keeps us moving through the study, on task and even includes making the effort to arrive on time for co op. I believe God placed me in this co op to help me stay on task and to create accountability in our homeschooling. Then of course there are challenges to working with many different families, but all with like minds. We mesh a diverse group of personalities together and through God's grace it all comes together like a beautiful dance.

With all of the challenges co op brings, for our family,the benefits far surpass them. Co op enables us all to stay on task, pulling us along sometimes kicking and screaming, but we are out of the early American history era and still moving forward!. Co op provides invaluable fellowship with other families and for me, moms who "get" me and understand what it is that we are trying to do for our families. Crafts abound for the younger ones in co op which is a good thing since one time I hot glued myself to a light switch cover! I know very well that all of the glitter,glue, clay and paint would not come out often at our house. I am thankful that craft time and all the planning that comes with it, is a part of our co op.

We also have Unit Celebrations that just would not be the same done with just our family. We have had a Square Dance and potluck supper, gone on a field trip to see a Civil War reenactment, experienced a South American Fiesta complete with a guest speaker who is a missionary in Brazil, and will soon be traveling back in time to Ellis Island during the time of the great immigration to America.

All in all, co op is a wonderful coming together of like minded families to extend the richness of the Tapestry of Grace curriculum. We are grateful to be traveling through this curriculum with these unique families. It is truly a blessing to come together once a week, even though the effort to do so is tremendous, the reward is amazing.

Lampstand Press - Christian, classical homeschool curriculum for the whole family.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I Surrender All....

"If my life is surrendered to God, all is well. Let me not grab it back, as though it were in peril in His hand but would be safer in mine!"
Elisabeth Elliot

Thanking God for the peace and surrender that He has allowed me as we finish up our ninth home school year. I am at perfect peace concerning decisions that we will be making in the very near future for dear son's next steps in furthering his education. He is beginning his high school years...and I am trusting God with it all. I love this quote from Elisabeth Elliot, one of my favorite Christian writers and speakers. I am constantly reminding myself to not take back what I have surrendered to God. I know it is not safer in my hands and that He knows what is best.

Over the last 2 weeks I have been in prayer about our oldest and whether or not he should go out for high school after being home schooled the first nine years of his educational career. I am continuing to pray and sit back and watch as God works in my heart and in my son's heart as well,and in our family. Oh, so much I am the richer for it and the surrender of every little thing about it to Him. Instead of pushing my will on my son, God is working His plans out in His time. Instead of nagging and arguing and crying, I have surrendered it to God. Thank you God for your faithfulness and thank you for whatever the end results will be concerning the high school years. In the end, the question of where my son will spend the next four years in school is not important, but how we get to the answer is. Thank you God that at least this time, I followed the call to surrender it all to you, after I began to take it upon myself to "fix things." Now, I can see the long term working of it all and my heart swells at your mercy and your provision. Thank you for growing my faith and the faith of my dear son.

Now if I can remember to surrender everything all of the time...that is the real question and I hope that I can remember how God has met me here and now.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Homeschooling Quandary

"Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding,If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, And find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:3-6

I am praying over a homeschooling quandary. I am sure that many, many homeschoolers go through this very exact situation, asking this question. I know this because I am hearing it all around me right now. Do I continue to homeschool all the way through high school? My oldest is a rising 9th grader and we are confronting this question head on in our home right now. I have made a mental list of all the pros and cons. We have had many, many discussions. My husband and I have prayed and continue to pray over the answer to this question.

One thing I know for certain, whatever our final decision it will not be one that is made without much agonizing and prayer. I am twisted up inside thinking about the next four years and how they will effect my son in his life long journey. I am not worried academically about how to provide for him. We are so blessed to live in NC and the opportunities available are so abundant. I know it will be challenging to continue through high school. I also know that God is up to the challenge! Either way the questions are much greater than, can I homeschool through high school?

So we will continue to seek God's wisdom. I know that the answers will come and that they will be the exact right ones for our son and for our family. It is just getting there that is the struggle, right? Once again I find myself in the waiting room.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

Some of us think at times that we could cry, "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" There are seasons when the brightness of our Father's smile is eclipsed by clouds and darkness; but let us remember that God never does really forsake us. It is only a seeming forsaking with us, but in Christ's case it was a real forsaking. We grieve at a little withdrawal of our Father's love; but the real turning away of God's face from His Son, who shall calculate how deep the agony which it caused Him? In our case, our cry is often dictated by unbelief: in His case, it was the utterance of a dreadful fact, for God had really turned away from Him for a season. O thou poor, distressed soul, who once lived in the sunshine of God's face, but art now in darkness, remember that He has not really forsaken thee. God in the clouds is as much our God as when He shines forth in all the lustre of His grace; but since even the thought that He has forsaken us gives us agony, what must the woe of the Saviour have been when He exclaimed, "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?"

Charles Haddon Spurgeon
The Spurgeon Archive

I loved this quote about the agony that Christ suffered on the cross on Good Friday. Puts everything else in my life into perspective when I think of all that He did for me and the pain He suffered as His Father turned His face away...thank you Jesus.