Besides freak out and be overwhelmed, I mean. ;) On what I did today. I feel the need to confess how completely freaked out I've been over homeschooling my four boys. Not that I'm scared to do it, but the amount of work it requires to get started is astounding. To make matters worse, I'm not using a boxed set of curriculum for the year. I'm doing one thing for math for all of them, the younger two are doing A Beka language, health and history, I'm going with a totally different kind of science, a different history...you get my drift.
It's very confusing and overwhelming to think about. (AND, I've got a high schooler! His year counts...colleges will be looking at his grades, and I feel like I'll have somebody breathing down my neck.) Basically, I've got this list of mandatory subjects (math; language, literature, reading and spelling; social studies/history and geography; science; health and Bible) that they need and I'm picking and choosing curriculum for different kids. I'm customizing their year for their individual styles. And I'm trying to not break the bank, because do you know how expensive all this stuff is???
It is. Rest assured.
So today my sweet friend Andrea was on my brain. Just this morning, she had asked me to pray for something, maybe that's why she was on my brain. As I'm praying for God to help me not be overwhelmed with putting together a plan for our year, I feel like the Lord placed on my heart to call my sweet friend. (I plan on starting partly tomorrow and we'll start full-on next week...and there are a few things I still need to order. I've placed on myself a deadline of tomorrow to order what I need. Hence the freak-out session.) After even just a few moments of being on the phone with her, I felt an amazing sense of peace wash over me. She assured me that (one) I can do this, (two) that it's not as hard as I'm thinking it will be, (three) she told me what to use or stay away from (her son is a senior), and (four) she is loaning me some stuff!
Y'all. I am so blessed to have friends like this...God knew, in the grand scheme of things last year, that I would need this friend, and He brought me to Renewed Moms and placed me in sweet Andrea's small group, and then made sure that we had this kindred spirit thing going on. He also knew last year, that even at that time my older boys were at the middle school, that this time this year, I would be homeschooling them and that I would REALLY need this group of moms. He knew that I would have that freak-out session on this morning, and He knew that He would use Andrea to be a blessing in my life. (Let me clarify~she's already been a blessing in my life multiple times in the year that I've known her, today's the only one I'm writing about.)
He knew all this. So the first part of my day, before lunch, was spent talking to her via either text or actual phone conversation. Three phone conversations, to be frank. After we talked and I got this planning thing started, He used a very inconvenient (or so I thought) thing to make me focus on my day. (I won't go into what He actually used, my husband would be mad at me if I did!) Just know that He used this thing to force me to be at home and to focus on planning out our year.
Because of this that I mentioned, after I fed Jonah and Noah lunch (Graham and Drew went to work with Todd today), I decided to go through all the homeschool stuff. I took a look at what we already had (It just so turns out that we have tons already!), compared that with the list of (a few) books I need to buy, and I put together a two week lesson plan to get us started. The funny thing about me doing this lesson plan is that I did it with Drew in mind. I started to just do one week, but Drew loves to work ahead, and I am making it my goal to stay ahead of him all year. He loves order and timeliness. He is SO my child.
I don't write this to say how great I am. If you had heard me talk to my friend on the phone this morning, you would have been witness to my near panic attack state of mind. You would also know that these feelings of being overwhelmed have kept me up on MANY nights throughout the last few weeks, and have caused tremendous stress, which has in turn, made me have health issues. I write this so that you know I can do these things not in my own strength, but in the strength of the Lord. I've been praying about these things, but it's just in the past week that I've begun to ask my friends to pray for me. I shared with my small group at Renewed Mom's last week, and just last night I shared this with the ladies meeting in my home for our Monday night Bible study.
By starting to share my need with others, God was showing me that I needed to release this issue I have of needing to be in control. I know that He knows all my struggles and I know that He will give me guidance and direction, but still I struggled. I don't know what made today my breaking point, but for obvious reasons, I am so glad that today was the day that I decided I could no longer do it on my own. Once I started to get a game plan, the rest of my day was smooth sailing. It took hours and lots of weeding through, but I went through our homeschool shelf. I took a picture, and it doesn't look like I did all that much, or that we have lots and lots, but trust me when I say that I did and we do!
I made piles of books to give back to the friends who loaned them to me, I've got some piles of stuff that I'm hanging onto for Jonah and Noah that I'm not using this year, and I've got piles to take to my homeschool group on Thursday. The rest of it all was reorganized and re-situated and new shelves were assigned to kids. On the top of the shelf are science experiment kits for us to go through together and supplemental books to reinforce that they're learning what they should be learning, plus a couple of globes and some Bible curriculum.
I'll stop writing and just show you.
Poor Drew. You can't really see his shelf, which is on the bottom. On his shelves are all his books, his notebook and his pre-algebra manipulatives. I hung some maps for us~a map of the United States, a map of the continents and a map of all the oceans. The ocean map is hanging by magnets from the back of the front door. (Yes, we are running out of room and I have no official "school room", so I'm putting it any and everywhere that I can.)
One thing I did not do was make a good dinner. We ate dinner, and it was good, but still. I made quesadillas for everyone, with each person picking out the goodies to put inside them. Overall, it was a wonderful, productive day. And once again, I have to boast in my Jesus. If you don't know Him, I challenge you to start to get know Him. Pray. Read His word. Develop a relationship with Him~He longs for you to do these things!
He is good, y'all. I can't say it enough. Love to all.
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