Wednesday, May 25, 2011

After School

I saw a young man last night who will be graduating next year. When I asked him what he will be doing after he graduates he said that he didn't know.

This is a very fine young man, yet his answer concerns me. I remember hearing such answers from my own high school friends many years ago. Having set my own goals when I was in elementary school, I've never understood the I-don't-know-mentality.

I have a son who is entering 9th grade in the fall. Before I know it, he will be graduating. When someone asks him what he will be doing, I hope he will have an answer.

My son has goals and dreams. I am more determined than ever to find the best ways of guiding him in reaching those goals. He wants to be a missionary to Germany and has a desire to learn the language. I guess I better find a good program for him to do that. Oh, I know he may change his mind, but whatever he learns now will only benefit him in his future.

I also realize that my son needs to learn a trade or develop a marketable skill in order to earn decent money while he attends Bible Institute and prepares for his own family. I fear too many homeschoolers are following worthy goals while neglecting the training needed to attain those goals. My question is what skill ought my son learn? He needs to do something he has a knack for. He his a huge Civil War & American history buff. We are currently praying about him becoming a summer intern at the Manasses Battlefield when he turns 16. However, today I am thinking he should begin doing something in that area now - maybe volunteer at a local living history museum. Increasing his history knowledge and natural people skills may help him financially in the future while he strives to achieve his lifetime goal.

Just some thoughts. Do your children have a post-graduation plan? Are they doing things now to help that happen? Are you guiding and supporting them? The goal of homeschooling is not graduation. It is the means to get our children to be godly and productive adults able to fulfill the task to which God calls them.

- Vicki

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Be Real

I just found out recently that someone was intimidated by me.  ME!!  I never thought of myself as intimidating.  Intimidated, yes, but not intimidating.  When I asked this woman why she felt that way, her answer was because I seem to "always have it together."

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*Ahem...*

Now that I have control of myself, let me graciously say....NOT!!!!!!!

It is amazing how we can get an idea of how someone really is when we only see them about 3 hours a week.  The woman who mentioned her intimidation now lives out of state and we, obviously, no longer attend the same church.  When she did, she only saw me Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights.  She saw me smiling, dressed with clean and matching clothes.  She saw me laughing with my friends and sitting with my family; our arms around each other, holding hands, or holding a little one on my lap.  I guess I may have look pretty put together.

What this woman didn't see - what most people do not see - is the hurrying around the house before church.  She doesn't see the Wednesday night dinner dishes still piled on the shelf as I didn't plan far enough ahead to get everything cleaned up before running out the door.  She doesn't see the times where kids have to rummage through the DIRTY laundry sack to find a pair of matching socks to wear!  She doesn't hear me raising my voice at my children to "get with the program!!"  She doesn't see the tears I sometimes shed on the way to church in desires of having it together like so-and-so.

Should I walk into church looking as disheveled as I feel?  I don't believe so.  For testimony's sake, I put a smile on my face.  However, I sometimes think this does more of a dis-service to my sisters in Christ than it does bless them.  Those who know me well know that I struggle.  Yet, they don't even know the extent.  My pride keeps me from sharing too much.

I recently read one of the best books ever written for moms.  Todd Wilson's "Lies Homeschool Moms Believe" is directed toward homeschool moms, but I think all moms struggle with some of these lies.  I won't reiterate his entire book.  I will highly recommend you find a copy and read it (it only took me about 4 hours).   One of his main points was that by us moms acting like we have it all together we are often a discouragement to other moms.  We all know at least one person who looks like they can do it all with no stress and we compare ourselves to her.  When we're standing in the midst of our home looking at our dirty counters, listening to our children arguing, seeing the books piled on the kitchen table, we think about that person.  We beat ourselves up with the thoughts that "so-and-so never goes through this.  She is so organized.  She would never allow her home or family get out of control like I do!"

Finding out that someone actually thought that I was one of those moms who seemed to have it together really confirms my beliefs that even those "perfect" moms are intimidated and wish they could be more like someone else.   You've heard it said thousands of times before, but believe it this time - NONE OF US IS PERFECT!!!

By merely taking the time to talk with various moms, I find out that even the most "put together" struggles with fears, intimidations, anger, stress, etc.  There is a formula to help us from being intimidated by one another - take time to talk and be real with one another.

I apologize to anyone if I have ever appeared to have it so together as to be intimidating.  It is only by the grace of God that I am even able to put one foot in front of the other some days.  Just ask my husband.  For the bitter truth, ask my kids.  But, I don't think my pride could stand that kind of honesty!


*NOTE:  I recommend a video interview with Todd & Debbie Wilson over at Home Educating Family Publishing. *

Monday, May 16, 2011

Last week

This is our last week of school! As you can see, we are doing whatever it takes to get everyone through!

Guess I'm out of the running for "Homeschool Mother of the Year"!



- Vicki

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Yesterday was Mother's Day. At our church, We spend time honoring the moms by opening a couple of mics for people to stand up and let everyone know how much their mom means to them. The lines of people are huge and it is a time filled with love, smiles, laughter, and tears.

Three of my children opted to honor me in front of the church. One of them, however, exploited the realities of my mothering when it was her turn.

"Thanks for homeschooling us even though you tell us about 100 times a year that you're going to send us to school. Happy Mother's Day. I love you!"

Yeah - in front of 500 people. Me, the head of our church's homeschool co-op.

I had to laugh, though. And, I did feel better when a couple of parents came up to me afterward and say "You say that, too?"

I love my kids - even when they're blatantly honest!!!

Monday, May 2, 2011