A sparrow when I'm broken, and eagle when I fly.....

Welcome to my world. I am an ordinary wife and mom who has been extraordinarily blessed by an amazing husband and house full of beautiful children. My prayer is that you will be somehow blessed by our family's story. It is a tale of God's grace and forgiveness...His loving kindness and patience with us His children as we strive & struggle everyday to bless His name with our lives

Saturday, August 30, 2008

confessions of a die hard homeschooler

A week ago we made a life altering decision. Our camping trip to Jubilee Lake was cut short due to heavy rain storms up in the mountains. We were all sad (and wet) at our washed up vacation. It turned out for the good as we wound up having a very busy weekend at home. Friday morning I nervously approached Mike to share with him my fears about homeschooling the kids this year.

1)I still believe with every fiber of my being that home educating our children is the very best and most ideal choice for them.
2)The last few years have been rough on a lot of things with Jonathan’s illness and death. I was away from home in hospitals with Jonathan so very much and that alone affected the homeschooling.
3)I had thought we would be doing a lot of catching up with school stuff this summer. But we haven’t. Mostly it has been catching up with relationship stuff. My “littles” have needed a lot of mommy time to feel loved and safe. My teens as well have needed some good one on one times of just having fun, shopping, and talking.
4)I had really thought that by now in this crazy grief process stuff….that I would be better. Not so fragile. Not so emotional and needy. I am needy in that I need MORE of everything to function. More sleep. More quiet time with the Lord. More long walks in solitude with my Savior. MORE GOD in every waking second. Living in and through the great sadness learning how to be without Jonathan seems to suck way more energy than I ever imagined. I get less done than ever before. The kid’s needs are met. Mikes needs are mostly met. But there is nothing left of me for homeschooling right now.
5)I was nervous to talk to Mike about my fear that homeschooling the kids wasn’t going to work this year. In reality Mike was relieved when I told him. He felt the same way I did but was hesitant to hurt me. Yes, I would have been felt like an even bigger failure if Mike had told me first; that he thought I wasn’t up to homeschooling this year. Somehow it was better for my self esteem that I was the one to bring it up.

So, instead of spending a long weekend at the Lake, I ran around town enrolling kids in school and “back-to-school” shopping. The kids are all excited and had a good first week of school. I have been adjusting this week to the whole idea. Tamar MyHao is in Kindergarden. Maggie, Josiah and Berhanu in 1st grade. Miriam and Anna in 2nd grade. Meseret in 5th grade. Tigist in 9th at High School. Yasab is still homeschooled in 8th grade. Michael in 11th at Running Start at the college. Solomon will be starting West Side Preschool three mornings a week!

Mike says I am not a failure. He reminds me we always have said that we will be open every year to whatever is the very best thing for each and every child. This is the best thing now for the whole family. I am so thankful the awesome moms and dads I know who raise wonderful Christian children IN public school. It helps me to see your example! It helps me to know this will be okay.

We are heading out the door to Goldendale, be back in a couple days!

Love, Julee

17 comments:

Linda up north said...

Oh you are in no way a failure... And I hope you grieve as long as you need to. When my mom died (so not as huge as your child) my bones ached for months. My husband says a cloud hung over our family for over a year. Death is the last enemy to overcome. It is so hard to face on this side of the grave.
Praise God for His care for us and especially your son! May He comfort you and strengthen as you adjust to life, waiting to see your boy again.

Jenn said...

Julee, So glad that you are able to change things around during this time. Still praying!!

Beverly said...

It is so good that you are open to doing what's best for your kids. Believe me, it was hard in many ways for me to put my two youngest in public school instead the private Christian school their older brothers attended. But financially and academically it's what had to be. They were both in special ed--receiving the services they needed. Their care is intense and I've been doing alot of it alone. They have thrived on the routine and extra help they receive. With that help my youngest in now in a mainstream class all day and doing wonderful. So we always have to do what's best for our children. Right now I'm having a hard time because I just got back from taking my 18 year old to Trinity Western University in Langley, BC, plus I just passed the one year anniversary of my mom's death. So do what you must do and grieve as long as you need to grieve. God is good and is always there for us. Take care.

June Berger said...

Julee, I think you are a brave, Godly, honest, loving mother. You obviously have your children's best interests at heart. We have the same philosophy of doing what is best for each child each year. We had our oldest three in public school (before Christ, mostly). Our oldest of our youngest three started in preschool, K, and 1st grade and half way through 1st we pulled him out and have been homeschooling him since. Now we have Jonathan (DS) 2 1/2 and will have Anah 11 with DS. I will homeschool them UNLESS the Lord shows us that they should be in school. There is an awesome school in our area for children with special needs, my niece goes there. We are open to what God tells us to do with each child each year. That is what we are to do, listen to God. Each child/family is unique and we must do what is best for each. I have no doubt that you and Mike made the best decision for your family at this time. I pray your grief lessens and your heart heals. I can't imagine your pain. Christ's love, peace and healing to you my dear sister in Christ.

June

Thankfulmom said...

Julee,

As a fellow homeschooler, I want to tell you that it is okay to do what you need to do for this season of your life. There have been so many times when I have considered putting my children in school. I hope your children have a wonderful year and that the Lord brings hope and healing to you and your family. He is the Father of GRACE - we don't have to be perfect to serve Him.

Many blessings from your sister in Christ,

Lisa

Michelle Riggs said...

I am so glad that you are open to change in this season of your life. God's plans are always best. I know that if in the future it is God's will for your to homeschool again, you will gladly do it.

From our short time dealing with Abby's leukemia, I understand better how hard your son's illness must have been for you.

I will be praying for you as you heal. I have no words that will help with that kind of grief, but you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Thank you for praying for Abby.

Owlhaven said...

So glad you're blogging!

Mary

Jillian and Crew said...

Thanks for sharing and letting us other homeschool mom's know we aren't alone in self-doubt or needing to try something different when the time comes...
Thanks for being so candid about grief...

Summer Chris and Kai said...

Hi Julee,
I love your blog (it likes like a professional one!!) , and your family is so beautiful! I hope you don't mind if I add you to my blog list?
Thanks

Carolyn T said...

Julee.......SUCCESS comes in many forms....it is all up to HIM....We get ourselves caught up in so much idealism (especially when we home school)...To everything there is a season......PRAISE GOD that you have recognized your needs for this season and time.......You are an AMAZING and STRONG woman of God, Julee, an example to many........God will use this time to quench your soul and refresh you like never before!!
Care

this is us said...

excited to see your blog Julee! I am praying that this "new" kind of year brings lots of joy to you all!!!!

:)

- Jennifer

Melinda said...

I can't even begin to understand everything you have been through this past year. I am struggeling to homeschool 4 kids that are completely healthy, so the fact that you did homeschool and have for so long is amazing. I think we all have to evaluate our situation year by year and decide what is the best for our family's. God's grace is suffeciant and He will take care of your kids while they are at school. I will be praying for your continued healing and for your kids as they adjust to their new school.

Diane Larson said...

Julee,
I am blown away by the way your family has been stretched. We have 2 bio and are in the process of adopting one from Ethiopia. Healthy as far as we know. This is stretching us and our family. I am anxious to see what God has in store for us. I am so sorry about your dear son.

We have struggled with school decisions, as have most Christian parents. Our daughter is in public school for the first time this year, in seventh grade. We have had good experiences thus far with public school (our high school son loves the academic challenges!)

May God continue to bless you and your family!
Diane
www.larsonquest.blogspot.com

This Journey of Mine said...

Hi - I followed your link from Bring the Rain. Wow - you and your family sound amazing. I love the fact that you love the Lord with all your heart but also in action!

And btw - way to go on choosing school this year over homeschooling. I homeschool my little boys - but I have discovered that God tells us what to do each year with them. And it is okay if he chooses to have someone else be their teachers. It's not a lack on our end. So, I imagine it was a huge gulp for you. But better to be obedient to the Lord and do it then to try to muster strength and do something out of His will!

Looking forward to reading more!

Michelle Riggs said...

Just want you to know that I am praying for you.

How are you doing?

Karin said...

Julee, this post made such an impact on me. I was struggling with the idea of homeschooling this year and God used your post to make the decision to put my kids in school this year. It was really hard, but God confirmed over and over that this is what He wanted me to do. Thank you for being transparent.

Barbara. said...

Julee - you are so brave! I am a die-hard homeschooler, too - stayed home for eight years with my kids. Then I realized that the whole point of homeschooling is for everyone's needs to be met in the best way possible. Good job taking care of yourself - your children will learn so much from seeing you paying attention to your own needs as well as theirs. May you all thrive - in grief and joy - this year! Thanks for sharing your story.
-Barbara
www.breadandhoney-barbara.blogspot.com