Tuesday, March 6, 2018

My Son is Five (Why I Am So Thankful For Time)


Our Boy

At 8.19pm on the 2nd March, 2013 our son, Josiah, was born into this world. Pudgy, wiggly, and beautiful - he's been a joy right from the start. "He's an old soul," my midwife told me, cradling him in her arms, his little blue/black eyes staring back at her. I loved him deeply. 

He was the child we would not have had if we had not lost our two previous pregnancies. He was such an answer to prayer after many heart-longing pleadings. His name was the direct result of a very vivid dream I had, totally changing the name we had thought we had chosen.

He thrust me into the depths of motherhood full on and all the sacrifices it requires in those early days: sleep deprivation, confusion, desparate midnight-hour Googling to find the answer to a million pressing problems. Despite being waist-deep in pits of anxiety, I fiercely fought through it to give him what he needed.

Warrior. Tender-hearted. Competitive. Funny. Goofy. Gentle. Clever. He's our first born boy and he just turned five. 

How We Could Be Living

Five! It is amazing how quickly the years have passed. The saying really is true that the days are long, but the years are short.

And this is what I really want to share with you today, something that has been on my heart these last few weeks, something that I really am thankful to the Lord for...
I am so grateful for time. That is one of the key blessings of homeschooling children.
According to our culture's status quo, now that Josiah is five, that's it - he  doesn't need to be at home anymore. He's "old enough" to start becoming independent from family life and parental care. Parents matter, of course, but it's time that there are other people having more influence on his mind, his heart, his will.

If we had not been led to homeschool our children, that's it. Our time with him - and his time to just be a kid - done. A mother said to me today, "It feels so unnatural to send my kid away for six hours a day" (she isn't homeschooling...yet). Over twenty-five hours a week away from home. School children spend more of their waking hours with their peers and their teachers.

I sit here and feel really sad. Somehow, that just doesn't seem logical. Or a good idea. Or right.

What We Have Instead

I'm so thankful, therefore, that these school days for our son are not in a separate life that we, as his parents, have little part in. I'm so thankful that I'm with him as he learns to read, as he discovers something new that he is so interested in, as we explore the world - together.

Since five is little and really does not require all that much "school", we really only spend 45mins - 1 hour on our learning each morning. Then, the rest of the day, we are free to continue doing life together that we have been doing since he (and his little sister) have been born.


Do You Want That Too?

So I just really want to encourage you if you have been considering homeschooling but haven't quite taken the plunge...

I am so new to this and there are definitely sacrifices to make (though, in some ways, they don't feel much like sacrifices at all) - but the joy, the blessing, the gift, and the wonder of giving your child breathing space to be the unique person God has made them to be, and to be there with them, it's an incredible honour and privilige.

And, from mothers who have gone before me, whom I have spoken to or have read from, they all say this one thing: they have never, ever regretted keeping their kids at home. Homeschooling has it's hard moments, but it is just so worth it. There is so much freedom in this lifestyle.

We're free to go to the beach at 1pm and play in the early Autumn water.

We're free to play Lego for two hours, following instructions to make a robot.

We're free to follow whatever interests him right now (World War II and the Titanic) and find different ways to expand his interest further.

We're free to follow rabbit holes.

We're free to just chill on the couch, read books, play with a friend, or watch Magic School Bus.

Freedom and time. 

The best possible combination for learning, growing, and maturing. And as a mother, what other priority could I have as I steward these children?

2 comments:

  1. I'm on the back side of homeschooling all 4 of my kids. my 3rd graduates high school this May and my baby is on his heels and will be done in 2020. None of them have spent one day in the public or private school systems. Homeschooling isn't the easy way and we certainly had challenges along the way, but when my first born graduated and I looked back over her schooling years i realized, it was 100% worth it b/c I realized that I had not missed any of her growing up years, and then multiply that by 4, and I'm all the more convinced. Oh sure, they did co-ops and sports teams and lots of youth trips with church, camping and all that stuff, but I was a part of it all. I helped them through their struggles and cheered their triumphs and so glad that I didn't send them away to let someone else to watch them grow up. It was hard, happy, difficult, joyous, grueling, and glorious. I wouldn't change a thing. So keep it up and don't let anyone tell you that you are not the best person -designed by God- to teach your children! Bless you as you begin your journey!

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    1. Karen, thank you! Thank you for paving the way for the new generation of homeschooling mothers! It is such a legacy! x

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