Monday, 11 January 2010

One Thousand Gifts.

St Francis Church of England Primary School last wednesday.

It's been a funny old week gone by.  Last week has been one of the coldest and snowiest I have ever known in this country.  After having the children home for 2 weeks holiday over Christmas and new year they all went back last Tuesday.  Then the snow came, my 12 year old did not return to school for the rest of the week (It is at the top of a hill!), my 8 and 10 year olds had a half day on Weds and were in for the full day on Friday.  This obviously gave us all a few challenges - I was selfishly yearning for some time to myself.  The younger children were extreemly put out knowing the eldest was home while they were at school.

It all got me thinking a lot about Home Education.  Having several friends who home educate, I have always wondered if it were something that I should be doing.  I most certainly agree with all the reasons that they do it and do not agree with opponents of home education on any of the reasons they give for it not being appropriate.  So surely if you can see that there are only advantages to do it - I should do it!  However there is one big obstacle in the way that was most definately born out to me this week - I am just toooooo selfish.  I love having time to myself doing things without the children.  I sometimes even pray that I could be 'called' to do it, but then I have experiences like last week which seem to just make it seem an impossible dream.  I did attempt to do a few 'formal' bits with the eldest (12), she is very dyslexic, probably has attention deficit disorder and a reading/writing age of around 8 years.  I found the whole process just so difficult and certainly think my attempts to build her up soon come crashing down with one wrong word from me.

So this week I am going to try and focus on my children without the guilt of feeling as though I should be home educating them and see if I can build them up and improve their self confidence through daily 'normal' interactions with them.  I'll let you know how I get on next week!

21. The prompt arrival of an angel of an engineer to fix our central heating on the coldest day ever!22. Children getting up and ready for school without me moaning at them.
23. Schools which support my children and let me indulge my own selfishness with time alone.
24. The clickety clack of my knitting needles.
25. Parents prepared to come and help me nurture my marriage.
26. The wise words of Richard Foster in his book on Prayer.
27. Discovering we have a new couple joining our Parish from a similar church background to myself and a heart to see change.
28. For the person who has offered to help with my job while I am not there.
29. For quiet conversations on the street.
30. A yearning for reconciliation which is growing in my heart.
31. The generosity of friends with their time and gifts.
32. A thaw of the icy roads and pavements which is taking place as I write today.
33. The loss of my pride, enabling me to use a walking stick which means I am walking more and better.
34. Cuddles from my 10 year old.
35. Acceptance of consequences from my 12 year old.
36. The steadfast friendship of a best friend for my 8 year old.
37. My little night time reading torch which helps me to while away awake hours of the night without disturbing my sleeping husband.
38. Pictures discovered that were hidden away and now hang on my walls.
39. The comfort and warmth from home cooked meals.
40. The freedom from colds which the whole family have been enjoying so far this winter.

holy experience


  1. Homeschooling works wonderfully ... *for us.* But it definitely has its ups and downs, its pluses and minuses, and is not for everyone. Be grateful that this week showed you that God has not called you to home educate your children. They are in wonderful schools, and that's where God wants them, so abandon that guilt and enjoy your alone time each day.

    We did not have the advantage of good or even acceptable schools when we started our homeschooling adventure. The public school had drug deals going down at the front gates and looked more like a prison than a school. (This was when we lived in inner-city San Diego.) The private schools nearby were Catholic and not solid academically. So, with my teaching background, home education was really our only choice.

    When we moved up to our small town, our middle son attended the public school here for two years, and my older two a private Christian school for one year, but by then we were hooked on the homeschooling lifestyle which worked much easier with my RA than a school schedule did. So we went back to homeschooling and haven't looked back. I dream of having alone time -- time to myself -- but I suppose I'll get it when they're all grown. :)

    Richard Foster is one of my favorite writers -- I have Prayer but have only read snippets from it; it's in my stack of books "to be read."

    And I've been using a cane for years -- one with four prongs for balance. So we can share the joys (insert ironic smile here) of walking with sticks together. :)

    Loved reading your list, dear Jane! I'm wearing your lovely bracelet as I type this; in fact, I wear it almost every day. :)

  2. Thank you for your lovely comments Susanne, they spur me on so much, love from your cane buddy!

  3. I admire anyone who homeschools. I know I couldn't do it with my 4. Teaching is a wonderful experience but give me 30+ children who belong to someone else anyday.
    If you do want any help with your eldest I am more than happy to sit with her, just let me know.
    Happy that you are finding the good in some of the more difficult challenges you are facing.