Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What I'm NOT Looking for in a Homeschooling Titus 2 Woman

My two oldest girls are in their third week of homeschooling.  They are in second grade and kindergarten.  I do have a four-year-old, but I don't count K4 because I just don't think it necessary that school begin formally at so young an age.  She already recognizes her letters and numbers, so I'm working on all the letter sounds and including her in social studies and science activities with her older siblings as appropriate.

It has been a really fun three weeks!  I expected it to eventually go smoothly, but I thought school would begin with some bumps.  Praise God for His goodness to our family!  The biggest challenge is coming up with extra activities to fill the time because one is flying through her language arts curriculum and the other is flying through her math curriculum.  The oldest broke her arm the weekend before school began, so she hasn't been able to begin handwriting or do any real physical activity safely.  I expect that'll help to fill the necessary 4.5 hrs required each day by our state's law. 

I joined a large local homeschool group because I wanted my kids to have a chance to meet other kids outside of their church and so I might be able to meet some other parents further along in their homeschool journeys.  It seems to be a great group, serving five counties, with a Christian orientation (though it would've been fine with me if it were secular), and with plenty of opportunities to get together.  There's a meeting once a month for parents to hear speakers, a monthly roller skating event for the kids, field trips, science fair, and several groups and clubs that meet.  There's even a football team, new this year!  How awesome is that?

Tonight is the first meeting for parents, and I am so eager to meet others in the same position as me!  I do have a Titus 2 homeschooling mom in my life, but she lives on the other side of the state!  She's my dear friend and family member, Nicole.  She has been so encouraging, but I know she wants me to meet some folks nearby.

While I'm keeping my eyes open for a local Titus 2 homeschooling mom, I can't describe exactly what I'm looking for (other than what's listed in verses 3-5), but I do know what I'm NOT looking for:

A know-it-all.  The decision to homeschool was not a decision my husband and I made lightly, but that was only the first decision (to begin).  Once someone decides to homeschool, there's curriculum to consider, subjects to include or not to include, educational methods to employ - the list goes on and on.  Maybe it's because I'm eclectic in my methods, but I want someone who understands that each family and each child is different, and acknowledges that I will do what is best for the ones I teach. 

A big spender.  On that same vein, I don't want someone that goes overboard and has the most "pinworthy" school room and has spent thousands on curriculum.  Let's keep it real.  One of the reasons we decided to homeschool is because it's more economical than public school.  I need someone more willing to put her heart and effort into homeschooling than her checkbook.

Neither someone too structured nor someone too flexible.  I need someone who can help me roll with the punches because I tend to lean toward major routine and schedules.  I also don't want someone who really unschools.  That gives me the heeby-jeebies.  I want to know that I'm leading my kids, not them leading me.

I'm looking forward to tonight, and I'm praying that soon I'll know that Titus 2 homeschooling mom God has for me! 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Change is Inevitable

Last week, my husband and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary!  We couldn't believe how time has flown by so quickly.  While taking a week-long break from our kids, thanks to the generosity of one of their aunts and their Granna, we reflected on the changes in our lives since we said "I do". 

Gulf Shores, Alabama (which we took by storm celebrating our anniversary)

We are very different from those star-eyed young'uns we were ten years ago.  We've had some knocks that have grown us more Christ-like.  More time out of our parents' nests has made us do things "our way" (though there was nothing wrong with the way either set did life).  Essentially, we became who we are - Clint and Lauren.

Sadly, "he's/she's not the same person I married" is something we might hear from folks deciding to divorce.  It is heartbreaking to think that rather than growing together in marriage, many grow apart.  Change will happen, whether we want it to or not, so it is in our best interest (and in the interest of the little people who depend on us) to cultivate growing together.

I mentioned this last year, but I've learned it bears repeating.  Get away together!  Overnight.  Once a year.  If possible.  Make it possible!

Embrace and encourage each other's interests.  I now watch Nascar - who'd have thunk that ten years ago!  My husband helps keep my flower beds mostly free of weeds, and he cheers for me when I run, and he receives his just reward.

Be realistic, and learn to love the physical changes that come with time.  I actually really like the mature look my husband is beginning to have - maybe it's because I haven't watched Magic Mike or soap operas throughout our marriage.  Encourage your husbands to have realistic expectations of beauty after multiple children by remaining physically available to him so he might not struggle so much with lust or possibly pornography.

"This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh." -Genesis 2:24

The one flesh relationship God created can still be just as beautiful in your marriage as it was in the beginning.  I'm happy for the changes in my marriage and pray the same for yours!