Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Breath of Fresh Air in the Form of a Book

I had to go to get my 3 hour glucose test today. Oh, how I hate doing that. But it did give me the opportunity to read uninterrupted for 3.5 hours--something that could never happen at home, so perhaps I should be thankful for the opportunity.
Last year, my sweet friend Kathy sent me a box of books for my encouragement. They were all homeschool books that I have desperately needed the advice from. But in the last several months my ability to sit down and read has not been there--busyness, pregnancy sickness, moving, son's surgeries and appointments--life!--has taken over. I decided this morning to take a book called "The Joyful Homeschooler" to the hospital with me. I am so glad I did! Mary Hood is both realistic and humorous. The book affirmed what I already believed and challenged me to think differently--or at least entertain another opinion. It was very encouraging, but also gave me insight into the fact that when I lack joy it is MY problem. Even if I had perfectly behaved children and a husband that anticipated my every need before I even voiced them, I could still be unhappy if my joy is not there. Now, don't get me wrong, I am not miserable in any way, shape or form, but I have been very discouraged. Discouraged that my goal of having everything perfectly organized and cleaned in our new house by the time we had been here a month, the date of which happened to fall on the day our son went in for surgery. Needless to say, the house is still not totally settled. I have been discouraged with homeschooling because there just doesn't seem to be enough time to get it all done. But this book assured me that "getting it all done" is a desire that comes from wanting to conform to the world's standards of education (which, let's be honest, are not working too well). I've never thought of myself as a conformist, but I am competitive, so all it takes is for my child to not be the same as a schooled child and I automatically question if something needs to be changed. One thing that will stick with me from this book is that nowhere will you see in the Bible where God instituted "school". It's man's idea, therefore, I am not beholden to it (past the required laws, of course). What a freeing thought! My responsibilities are to bring my children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, not in the ways and opinions of the world. So while, yes, I do want my children to get a good education and to be successful, I am freed by the thought that the Lord will be pleased with what I have done if the kids know and love Him.
I have been so rambly lately, but it's probably because I've been so introspective. In short, I recommend the book "The Joyful Homeschooler". It was what I needed to read today!


Heather said...

WOW that sounds like a GREAT book!!!

Cherishing My Days said...

it was, heather!

Sandra said...

Oh my homeschool discouragement....that is another thing that I'm all too familiar with lately. I feel like you, like there's not enough time to get it all done. Two 4th/5th graders that need to be kept in check because their minds wander away from their tasks soooo easily, a K5 that is desperately wanting to do school all by herself and does need the the 1 on 1, and an almost 4yo that thinks she's a 3rd grader! Sometmes I can totally fill up a whole day doing nothing more than worksheets :( I know that's not a bad thing, but a little better organization may help....and I know it would help if I could totally sever the thoughts related to all traditional school. That's the hard part for me. I may just have to add that book title to my shopping list. It may be just what I need! :)

I also saw your comment about not being able to post on my site....hmmm - who knows what blogger is thinking! sometimes it can be crazy!

Erin said...

Thanks for the review, Stephanie! I'll have to check it out, I think trying to "do it all" is a common homeschool mom problem, along with the discouragement that can come when we just can't do it all.

I've got an award for you over on my blog... stop by and pick it up! :-)

Manda said...

I so know what you mean about wanting to have the new house perfectly cleaned and organized in a month! (We'll have been here a month on Tuesday, and while all the major projects are done for now, there are lots of little things on my to-do list!) Thanks for the encouragement. :)