I am here at my desk on Friday night of Labor Day weekend. We didn’t go to the farm (in southwest Virginia) because we thought we were getting a hurricane in our coastal Virginia town, and of course, if there’s a hurricane coming you have a choice. Either stay home to watch the water rise in the yard, and put buckets under the leaks that are inevitable with 100 mph winds and a 90-year-old house, or if it’s really bad, leave. Well, since it wasn’t predicted to be that bad, we stayed home, buckets at the ready. Not that I’m disappointed exactly, but now there is no Earl (the hurricane that didn’t show), nor am I hiking trails on the Blue Ridge, having a FUN FAMILY ADVENTURE looking for waterfalls. I’m in my home office updating this page and pondering a different kind of journey, my newest, boldest, and most unexpected enterprise: HOMESCHOOLING my dd9 (homeschool lingo for dear daughter 9 years old).
To get ready I have read, and read, and read! Ruth Beechick’s You CAN Teach Your Child Successfully, (Really? Whew!) Susan Wise Bauman’s The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home, (Which if followed, will insure my child is better educated by the time she enters 9th grade, than I am with my BS from JMU.) Cathy Duffy’s 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum, (I thank God for Cathy Duffy.) Cynthia Tobias’ The Way They Learn, (So that’s why my son…) Debra Bell’s Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling, (the author of which assures me that I can’t blow it any worse than the public/private schools systems) and finally Homeschooling 101 by Mark and Christine Field (who remind me that God is with me, and that nothing is impossible with God, which is the best news so far!).
To prepare the “school room, ” I have rearranged furniture. I have purchased a new rug, with a really thick, cushy, rug pad! I have installed a Solar Tube for some natural light. I have set up a queue on Netflix 400 titles long. (Okay, they are not ALL for homeschooling!) I have reorganized bookshelves to make room for our wonderful Sonlight curriculum books. I have added two additional book shelves for my instructor guides and Homeschool Prep books (Thanks Dad!) I have set up notebooks for Science, History, Language Arts and the Commonwealth of Virginia. I have purchased multi-colored index cards for Latin for Children. I have purchased pink office chairs, well, yes, one for DD9 and one for me too, because they are really cute and roll really well! I have printed out and organized instructor guides and schedules for Horizon Math, and Apologia Zoology, Latin for Children, Rosetta Stone Spanish! I have sent my Notice of Intent to my city. I have broken into a cold sweat. I have reviewed the first two weeks of Sonlight Instructor Guide for History and Language Arts (which includes Spelling, Vocabulary, Grammar, and Creative Writing). I have had a pit in my stomach for a week. I have subscribed to and been reviewing daily several forums, blogs, and yahoo groups. I have experienced shortness of breath (okay, not really). I have joined a Christian Homeschool support group, and set up for extracurricular activities at a Christian Homeschool Co-op. I’ve woken up in the middle of the night, (really!) two nights in a row, for no discernible reason…right.
It is at this point that I’m reminded that God calls us to places we can’t comfortably navigate on our own, to challenges for which we are not completely prepared, and to form community with people that we don’t know – all in order that we might fall on His grace, His providence, His goodness. I’m at that place now.
I’m excited, but a tad worried. I’m confident, but still aware of my vulnerabilities. I’m nervous and uncomfortable meeting new people. But somehow, now that I’ve acknowledged my fear, and expressed my need of Him, I’m completely at peace, for He, Himself is my Peace. In my weakness, He will make me strong.
The LORD is my strength, and my song. Bless the LORD, O my soul!