Sunday, January 24, 2010

Homeschooling monkeys and prayer

As you may know, I am homeschooling Jillian and James this year. There are many reasons why I am doing this, the most important two being that I felt very strongly that I needed to and James was not learning well in a school environment. It has been going well, and been a fun, positive experience for us all. James has more than caught up to where he needs to be and has gained more confidence in his abilities and become a better self starter (he still needs some encouragement, but it's better than when we began). We recently learned that Donald will be deployed to Afghanistan for 6-7mos. beginning in the fall. After weighing the pros and cons (I mean, how important is my sanity, really?), I've come to the conclusion that I can not successfully homeschool and single parent my children and take care of the house, yard/garden (2+ acres) and anything else that comes up. So the kids will be returning to school next year (and the twins will begin Kindergarten). I'm really torn about this...homeschooling has opened up so many wonderful opportunities for us, and I have been very blessed to get to spend so much quality time with my children this year, but I feel good about the decision. I'm grateful we have been able to do homeschooling, even if it is only for a year. Will we return to it in the future? I don't know....I don't think it would be wise to continue vacillating btwn home and public school in conjunction with Donald's deployment schedule. I don't need to plan that far ahead.

In other kids have always been good climbers, but I've recently learned that none of them are acrophobes, though, for their own safety, I wish they were.

This pic was taken Sat. If you look closely you'll see Hannah in red and blue clothes and Claire in pink. Claire was near Hannah when I first saw them, but by the time I grabbed the camera she was on her way down.
This pic was taken Friday. I went outside to check on the kids and found them on the arbor.
And here's one of Jillian last week at the beach at dusk. They love climbing on driftwood, and pretty much anything else they can find.

At church today we had a great lesson on prayer. Wanted to share some of the things that really struck me. In Alma 37:6 it says "but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass, and small means, in many instances, doth confound the wise." Prayer is definitely one of those small simple things, even my 4 yr old can say a heart felt prayer, yet look at the marvelous things that are brought about through prayer. The first vision is just one example. A 14 yr. old boy is struggling to know which church to join. He goes into a grove of trees and offers up a simple, heartfelt prayer that lead to the restoration of Jesus Christ's church upon the earth. I find it interesting that often our lack of faith is the only thing limiting God's hand in our lives. He wants to bless us and is able to bless us beyond measure, but we must first ask and we seem to forget that he is all powerful. We don't ask b/c we don't have faith in His ability to respond. There was a story by Elder Packer that I loved, "One Saturday, I was to drive to the airport for a flight to a stake conference in California. But the cow was expecting a calf and in trouble. The calf was born, but the cow could not get up. We called the veterinarian, who soon came. He said the cow had swallowed a wire and would not live through the day.

I copied the telephone number of the animal by-products company so my wife could call them to come and get the cow as soon as she died.

Before I left, we had our family prayer. Our little boy said our prayer. After he had asked Heavenly Father to “bless Daddy in his travels and bless us all,” he then started an earnest plea. He said, “Heavenly Father, please bless Bossy cow so that she will get to be all right.”

In California, I told of the incident and said, “He must learn that we do not get everything we pray for just that easily.”

There was a lesson to be learned, but it was I who learned it, not my son. When I returned Sunday night, Bossy had “got to be all right.”

This process is not reserved for the prophets alone. The gift of the Holy Ghost operates equally with men, women, and even little children. It is within this wondrous gift and power that the spiritual remedy to any problem can be found."


Trina said...

Thank you for sharing your experience with the homeschooling decision. I can't imagine how you do it all now, let alone once Donald leaves. Having them in school should help. Hopefully it will get to be Coupeville!

It makes me feel so good to know that you got something from the lesson today - wasn't that story from Elder Packer wonderful?? Thank you! And thank you for sharing your experience about South Carolina. What a great example of how He answers our prayers, sometimes even before we can utter them. Love it!

Poston Kingdom said...

I totally understand the feeling of being torn between homeschool and public! I kept Bailey home for 1st grade and half of 2nd. It was so bittersweet when she went back last year. I loved having all my kids home, learning right along with her, being able to taylor the lessons into our lives and our lives into the lessons but when you feel it's right to send them back what can you do but send them? Bailey is LOVING public school and I love knowing that, should things ever become unacceptable in that realm, I am confident in my abilities to do it myself since I already have! Good luck!

Jen said...

I'm sorry to hear that you have to plan for Donald to leave again. That is wonderful that homeschooling worked out so well for you.

Wendy and Rick said...

When are you gonna post pictures of the baptism??

Tracie said...

You've been in my thoughts a lot lately. Deployment, yuck. I'd be like you trying to figure out how to manage the pre-deployment stuff "happily." Once I know change is coming I just want to jump in, whatever it is and get it going!

I toy w/ the homeschooling idea and love people like you who go with the flow, taking you and the kids needs under consideration, following the Spirit. I have an inkling that I may join the ranks at some point when a need arises, especially as the living abroad adventure may continue. I love that we just have options nowadays! I KNOW you're a fabulous teacher - that's where I struggle. I'm a learner, not so much a teacher :)

Love you!!!