When I started homeschooling our first child, Jacob Gabriel or Coby, I wanted to quit right away. I knew that it's not going to be that easy but I thought I could handle it well. But I was wrong. I knew my husband and I prayed about this but how come it's sooo hard! But as Jesus said, "If you want to follow me, you must carry your cross". I am not saying homeschool is a burden, no it's not. But I believe what the Lord is saying here is that if you really want to follow what He is telling you to do, then you must be willing to face the challenges, the frustrations and the pain needed for you to develop a Christ-like character.
So we completed first grade last year. And we decided to continue again this year for Grade Two. The frustrations were there in the first quarters but slowly, God has been revealing a lot about myself. I knew that God's main reason to put me in this situation is to change me and mold me to the person He wants me to be. Once I realized that I am not doing this to please myself, God has opened my heart to see a lot of things. One major breakthrough I got is that my son's intellectual level is not equal to me. He is only 7 years old so why would I expect him to comprehend things the way a 37-year-old would? I need to lower my expectations. I need to be patient and find out easier ways for him to learn and enjoy the lessons.
Since I am a stay-at-home/homeschool-/24-7-on-call mom, there were times I feel tired being around the kids all the time. There were times when I just want to run away and come back when the kids are all grown up. Since our eldest son is 7 and the youngest is 4, you could just imagine how I spend my day. Setting up the table when they want to paint, cutting fruits for them, making milk and juice, act as a referee and judge too... pretty much what stay-at-home moms do. I would always say to friends whose kids are grown up, I wish my kids were grown up too. And they would counter me saying, Oh you will surely miss them when they're grown up. They wouldn't want to be with you anymore. But I want that even for just a day. Just to be by myself and spend some me-time.
One night, I told them that Mama needs to have a break too. This especially applies to my eldest because he would always talk to me about anything. He would explain to me how stuff work, he would share what he read, he would just talk and talk and sometimes while I am resting or reading a book, I could not focus because of his constant need of attention. So after freaking out that afternoon because of mom-stress, I talked to them about the importance of Mama having time for herself. Coby understood.
Since then Coby would remind me that I need to have a break. He would also tell his sister not to bother me when I am reading or having my break. I attribute this to the benefit of homeschooling. Our relationship has been more open because of our constant togetherness. Our kids can talk about anything and ask anything and I am praying that this would continue until they are grown up. Now, they would understand that Mama needs to go out sometimes and spend time with her friends and do not keep me from doing that. In fact, they act excited when I go out and just happy that I will be out to have a break... or maybe they can do whatever they want when I'm gone hmmm (thinking thinking)
Recently, showing affection to Mama has become a competition for them, well not really a contest as in contest but every time Coby does something nice for me, the younger one, Jianne would try to copy or outdo Kuya. My son writes sweet love letters and I always hug him after reading all his letters. But soon after the hugging ends, Jianne would show me her letter too but only she can read it. Last night, though not yet officially homeschooled, Jianne was able to spell Papa and Mama correctly on her own while she was trying to write us a letter.
Daily surprises from the kids encourage me to continue doing what I am supposed to do and that is to bring them up in the knowledge, fear and love of God. So far, because of God's grace alone, I am able to see the fruits of the the decision to homeschool. Coby is always excited, well not all the time though, to study. He would always connect the things around him to God. Like what he shared to me yesterday, he said that God created lakes so that people and animals can drink fresh water when they are travelling. You never learn this from school and I did not even taught him this. But because of his exposure to God and His word in all the lessons it has allowed him to see that we are all here because of God.
There are a lot of other things to be thankful for. But mostly I am thankful that the Lord is in our family's life because if we would only do the parenting, I know our kids would have hated us... I really hope they don't!
I am grateful for the opportunity to be a parent. Grateful for the opportunity to mold a child the way God wants and offer them back to Him. In spite of my inadequacies, failures and shortcomings as a person, God chose me to be a Mom and an undeserving of such a wonderful gifts.