Thursday, May 3, 2012

Homeschooling when it's HARD

When Jonathan went to Heaven on January 24th, we had just started school again from Christmas break. We had also just joined a charter school that I was really excited about.  In the days and weeks after his death all I could think was that I will not be able to stay in the school and make it through the rest of this year. When it came time for our appointment with the teacher one month later, I called and told her I did not think I could stay in the school. She was very sweet and gracious and encouraged me to go ahead with the meeting and make my mind up after that. Well I am so glad I stuck with it. Knowing she is coming to check our work has kept me accountable in a time I really did not want to do anything.

One of the first blogs I found was Raising Arrows. She has a free mp3 about homeschooling in crisis, I was so blessed to listen to her encouragement, which was basically do not beat yourself up!  Be gentle with yourself, the Lord will fill in the gaps. (I highly recommend listing to this, even if you do not home school you will be blessed). So that is what I have tried to do. When I am having a really sad/bad day I just rest in knowing that tomorrow will be better and we can make up work then. 

Well another really hard aspect of this year is Jadon being behind in reading. My son Jimmy had a really complicated time learning to read, and it was difficult on all of us. For Jesse reading came easy and quickly. To watch Jadon struggle is so frustrating to me. My Charter school teacher thought some fresh curriculum would be a good idea. We have always used Abecka and it is really wonderful. However I was just pushing Jadon through the motions, he was not really comprehending it. So we put the 1st grade Abeka reading away until we master some more basic reading skills. 

The new items we got ....Alpha phonics, lots of flash cards for sight words, A sight word journal, Bob books, some fun learning games, very silly sentences and sight word bingo. He also loves reading eggs, online. We do not have video games at our house so it is like a computer video game for reading. Well Jadon has really had some reading breakthrough, I know he is not caught up completely but now he really likes reading. Bob books are so encouraging and build so much confidence in his reading ability. Little Jimmy is now an outstanding reader and always has a book in his hands. I am so thankful for that testimony because I know that Jadon will "get it" eventually. He is always looking at books, making up stories, and pretending to read to his sister.

There are defiantly aspect's of homeschooling that are hard, especially in a trial. However, for us, the benefit's far out weighs the hard times. One amazing example is last year when my Father-in-love was really sick with cancer we were able to go over and spend the night whenever we wanted. We would just take our books along. My kids were so thankful for all that "PAPA" time, and it was possible because we home schooled.

Today is the National Day of Prayer, please remember to Pray for our country! We will be on the front steps of City Hall at 7am to pray with other Pastor's and leader's in our community.

Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” 
~Psalm 50:14-15 


Jennifer Ross said...

My friend Jackie, homeschools her children too. Through the years, I have talked to her a lot about it. It is so much work, but well worth it. High five to you for all of the work!!

I did come across your article in my Above Rubies magazine. It was so nice to see you and your family in it!!

ccc said...

It's funny--but, just last night I was lamenting about being a bit "behind" in my home schooling. I know it's because of everything I have gone through in the last 2 yrs. We are not lagging much, but it seems like I am trying to constantly "catch up" with where I feel we should be. But, the kids are learning and school is getting done, and it IS hard--just like you said.
My kids have always loved the Bob Books too!

Deanna said...

Tesha!! I LOVE homeschooling!!
The year 2011 was so harsh in our household. I was so very pleased when the Lord opened the door to a wonderful, wonderful Chirsitian private school for our daughter. I'm so thankful God's provision!!!

Now that I am recovered from a surgery that had a long recovery time, and also a hard hit of depression. We are ready to get back at it!

.. we are totally looking forward to homeschooling again!!!
for both the children, I used Alpha Phonics! so good! I can't get rid of it... I want to save it for my grandchildren!!
My daughter read all the Bob Books too -so good for early reading material!

I surely miss those early years, they are precious days:)

ANd now, I'll look forward to the great things ahead as we plug along with homeschooling.

It's so good to hear that you are persevering in this time of heart ache.

The Charter school seems such a blessing to give you just the right amount of encouragement, and accountabilty to press forward:)

There are 'things' in which we must keep-up. But, the things that are not as important (maybe like a dirty kitchen) that's okay to leave undone if you know your heart and mind truly need to lie down for an earlier rest that day.

I hope you are able to easily find those times of quiet rest, taking your heart, soul, mind, and body to rest in stillness before your Heavenly Father. *Keep bringing your heart ache & sorrow to the Lord over and over -no matter how many times -for, He's given to you the freedom of time, for healing. His love for you is everlasting, never running dry.

Love, Deanna

Gina @ Gigi Marie Photography said...

How great that you were able to find Raising Arrows- I follow her on twitter. There are so many things about homeschooling that can be difficult but like you said- the benefits outweigh those things a million times.

Christine said...

Praise God for Amy's encouragement (Raising Arrows). I am praying for more and more good days, though I know it is a slow process. You are blessing so many through this trial.

I am remembering to pray each day for you. I am so sorry for your broken heart, Tesha.

I caused a lot of trouble when I changed my feed. My blog is not updating for anyone. However you were following it, you will have to do it again to get any updates.

Piece-of-Cake Parent said...

Hey Tesha,
There is a Saturday program through both the Redondo and Hermosa Beach Libraries called PAWS for reading. Children read to volunteer dogs and improve their confidence.Kids of all reading abilities love it and the program has helped readers in other academic realms by proxy. The idea is that "reading to dogs is more calming than reading to people".
My daugher won second place in her school's science fair where she proved this program works by measuring the blood pressure before and after readers read!

Allison said...

What a blessed group of kids you have to have you as their momma! We finished up school today and I'm so glad! We made it through our first year of home school. I'm enjoying home school myself!

twisteddomesticgoddess said...

This year has not been our best year homeschooling simply because of living circumstances. We have plugged through though and i am getting back on my feet...of course just in time that baby will be here in just a couple of months...BUT that is part of homeschooling.

When my best friends husband died we stopped everything we were doing and I told my kids we were focusing the rest of the summer(because we school year long) on learning how to take care of those in crisis and in need. It was a beautiful summer full of tears,sadness,compassion,and growing for all of us,

twisteddomesticgoddess said...

This year has not been our best year homeschooling simply because of living circumstances. We have plugged through though and i am getting back on my feet...of course just in time that baby will be here in just a couple of months...BUT that is part of homeschooling.

When my best friends husband died we stopped everything we were doing and I told my kids we were focusing the rest of the summer(because we school year long) on learning how to take care of those in crisis and in need. It was a beautiful summer full of tears,sadness,compassion,and growing for all of us,

Denise said...

Bless you for home schooling your children, they will truly reap what you are sowing my friend.

Elizabeth said...

Good for you for keeping it up!

Trennia said...

I homeschooled for two years,I sometimes wish I could have continued,but life had another turn for us.My daughter, Julie struggled with reading.I homeschooled her 1st and 2nd grade by 3rd grade we couldn't do it anymore do to some life changes.I remember taking her to school and them debating over starting her in 1st grade or 2nd grade! I was like what?They informed me that she had not been in school only for "K" and she needed to learn! I said,What? Wait a minute I homeschooled her!!! They then wanted to test her reading and math skills.She was on 3rd grade level math,but reading was middle of 2nd grade and wouldn't you know they made her repeat 2nd grade! They went on to figure out she needed speech,(side note I told them she needed speech) and it would increase her reading skills,which by Christmas she was reading on middle of 3rd grade level yep and they would not move her up like they had told us they would! Now she is 11 years old in
4th grade (due to her odo being one day after deadline it set her back 2 years...ugh) anyways she is doing 6th grade math and reading yet they can not skip her a grade! Then my son...they couldn't get him to read and was going to retain him next year I was like oh, no your not!
It took me 23 days to get him reading and they had over 3 months,so my homeschool skills kicked in and...WHAM....he is going to first grade this year! Keep up the great work!!! Your doing just fine my friend! Oh, and here is a site my son loves also PBS kids has phonics too!I hope this helps! My son is 5 years old in "K" and I don't know their age differences for sure,but I hope this helps your boy as it has mine :)

Kathy said...

You are doing a great job homeschooling, Tesha. I like the resources you shared...I'm going to write down a few of these to help Rob and Allie.

brigette said...

I admire you for home schooling. What a great thing to have between you and your kiddos. You are doing a great job!

Lori said...

God met your need before you needed it through the charter thankful you've been able to encourage your struggling reader and yourself. The Bob books are wonderful.
Keep up the God work.

Kallie said...

You are such a blessing to your kiddos and all those that you surround! You are doing so much for your children! God sure does know when we need him most!

momstheword said...

Sometimes it helps to have that accountability. When my dad died, we took a week off of school.

And even when we started up again, my heart wasn't really in it. But it was good for me, I think. Sometimes it helps to have a little routine and normalcy to your day.

My youngest didn't take to reading like his brother did. But he eventually learned, lol! He loved his Explode The Code books, and that helped with some of the words, etc.

Looking back, I think he really wasn't ready for 1st grade. He just had a hard time settling down. If I had it to do over, I probably would have not started a 1st grade curriculum until the next year.

But both he and his brother are now in college with A's so I guess I didn't mess up too badly, lol!

Annmarie Pipa said...

well, I wrote a post about birth control pills having negative consequences...and my 13 yr old said , "what do you mean, negative? they taught us in health class how good the pill it makes girls skin so pretty" 13...that is reason enough to homeschool!!

Ashley said...

You sound like an amazing mother. I have always wanted to home school but was intimidated. You sound like a wonderful teacher. Thank you for sharing that mp3.

I am so glad that I have found your blog. ((hugs))

Anonymous said...

Tesha - You've decided to take the hard road because you know it is the best way - hang in there, it works! I'm so glad too that you've chosen Alpha Phonics.
I love using the Alpha-Phonics Reading program for my three children. My eleven year old twins are now both avid readers, even though they each learned to read at different ages. My five year old son is now learning to read through Alpha-Phonics and is doing well. I know it will serve you well!

Vanderhoof Family said...

I too lost a baby to miscarriage. No one wanted to even acknowledge the life that I carried for those weeks. I privately celebrate the day I learned of Robin Lee being with me. Then remember that little one the day the Lord decided to take this precious gift to be with him instead of with me. That was over 8 years ago. You do eventually move on. I will pray for you as you heal from this loss.

Anonymous said...

Found you thru the homeschool hop!

Praying for peace for you! I have experience several losses!

Have peace knowing you will see your precious blessing again soon!

Look forward to connecting with you!


Susan Godfrey said...

Thank you so much for sharing this with Back to School Monday Homeschooling link-up party! Having had 2 stillborn sons, I know what you mean. It's so hard to move on and take care of the ones you have when all you want to do is curl up into a ball and cry. Thank you for this post, it is so helpful to people in similar situations.


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