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Royalty, Wife, Mummy, friend, teacher, student & fitness blogger

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parenting inside the funnel

Why worry… God totally has this !!

Who woulda thought, but man oh man, it’s complicated making decisions in regards to your children’s schooling pathway.  As you al know, I homeschool my 3 treasures, but it’s more accurate to say that they do Distance Education.  We are ‘homeschooling’ this particular semester due to changes at the school we were enrolled with, but this was always going to be a temporary arrangement until I found the best DE fit for my children.  I thought I had found it when I was told of a new College opening only 2 suburbs away, but further investigation proved that maybe it wasn’t.  Nothing against their curriculum or activities on offer, (that, in fact, was awesome) but I’ve been finding that my children are getting rather bored with their ACE paces.  While they probably would have reasonably happily continued with their paces throughout their schooling, I don’t believe I’m being a responsible parent to just continue with something they’ll toretate, but should find something that they will actually LOVE. (well, ok, at least really like.)

DH has also shown some concern over this year and last with the kids not doing a huge amount of computer work, with their curriculum being almost 100% paperwork etc.  This is always been a little bit of a concern for us as it doesn’t entirely prepare them for university where they will predominantly work on computer, transferring files, uploading /downloading files, making spreadsheets, scanning in & emailing images, getting files from one digital device to another etc etc.  As well as future workplace proceedures possibly involving all of the above and maybe more.  The on-line DE will much more thoroughly prepare them for the future.

SCHOOL-Textbooks

So, as a result, everyone is very happy with the decision to go with on-line DE as of first semester 2016.  Well, Master 10 won’t be so happy, as he has a further year of paces before he can go onto on-line curriculum as a grade 7er in 2017.

It has certainly been an interesting journey if I look back on the kids starting school, until now.  It seemed like it was going to be such a seamless pathway.  In lots of ways it was while they were at ‘mainstream’ school, but I guess with Miss 14 getting into the high school subjects, it makes things a bit more challenging.  Decisions needs to be made etc so as to have the BEST pathway mapped out for her to reach her desired goal.  And with Master 13 only two years behind her in school, these decisions aren’t far away for him either.

While the ACE paces hold a lot of great content, and revise a lot of important topics often, they are proving to be a little boring for the kids at the end of this second year.  Now, having said that, I don’t want to knock ACE as a curriculum as I really do think it is a sound resource, but I think it just comes down to different kids suiting different styles of learning, etc.  It is a real blessing to have been able to have these 2yrs with all 3 kids at home on the ACE paces and I don’t regret this pathway.

God has truly been so faithful to us through this time. One of those ‘memories’ came up on FB last week. It was a memory of the school holidays ending 5 yrs ago and I was saying that I would miss the kids when they returned to school, and then jokingly said “Maybe I should homeschool them”…. followed by a comment that went something like this “Nah, I care too much for my sanity to do that. LOL”  Very funny to read back on when you see how the journey mapped out later.  Is my Sanity in place??  Probably not at times (LOL), but I know that I’ve followed God’s leading throughout.

student-using-computer

With all this in mind, it makes me pretty excited to see what God has in store for us in the future.  Even when something has seemed confusing or illogical, we’ve always been able to look back and see that it was the best path for us as a family…. proving that God’s totally got this !!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

I can’t blog about this without once again mentioning the great Godly friendships that I have in my life, both homeschooling Mums, mainstream school Mums, and also educators.  I know that God has placed these people in my life to confirm leading from Him.  (& when needed, correct me of misunderstood leading.).  It’s also beyond beneficial to have friends going through the same decisions and being able to discuss things with them, bouncing ideas off one another etc.  I am also so grateful for the help we’ve had from seasoned homeschool parents who’s children are through and now into university, or even completely through uni and now in the workforce.  It’s been of great encouragement to have these seasoned HS parents to speak to as it really highlights how much diversity can be in a child’s schooling pathway.  For example, I have some friends who have solely schooled with ACE from Prep to 12 and now their children are either in Uni or successful in the workforce, others did part HS (with ACE or other great curriculum) and part on-campus schooling.  (This seems to be more prevalent in the southern states… it doesn’t seem to happen so much up here… although that could be changing.)

Also, there are many situations where children are HS’d up to grade 10 and then they go to a good day school for senior. I just love the diversity and that we as parents can really take control of our children’s education and make sure they are learning in a way that is best for them as a whole person !!

There are certain elements of our homeschooling lives that I won’t change with the transfer over to this new DE plan.  The most obvious being normal household chores and responsibilities (Some might be saying “Well, why would you think of changing these anyway?” but I’m mentioning it because some of these are within the school day, so I’m just making the point that these will continue around the on-line schooling set-up.).  The 2nd being our Character training.  I’ll still have the kids work on a particular character trait and corresponding scripture verse for a period of time that I will determine as suitable.  Also, excursions separate to those of the school we’ll be enrolled with.  I will continue to attend other homeschool excursions, as well as organise excursions with other homeschoolers.

So now to dive into the on-line diagnostic testing !!  Woot Woot !!  Fun times ahead !

Blessings Peeps !!  xox

 

I will Carry you !!

Good morning Peeps !!

So, I am nearly finished reading Angie Smith’s ‘I will Carry You’.  Now, I knew of this story quite some time ago as I am a big Selah fan (hymns ROCK) (Angie’s husband Todd is the lead singer) so had heard of this after it happening etc.  I had watched a few interviews with Todd & Angie but had simply never gotten around to ordering and then reading the book.

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I cannot even tell you how blessed I have been by reading this book, and on so many levels too.  The interesting thing though is that I don’t identify with Angie when it comes to the loss of a child, as I have never experienced it.. not even with a close family member as Angie’s family did with Todd’s sister losing her son Luke to SIDS only a month after their Audrey went to be with The Lord.  I have been blessed in other areas… my parenting, my walk with The Lord, my relationship with my husband and so much more.

You could easily, as I did, assume that you know what you’re going to get out of this book before you even read it.  The loss of a child, experiencing God’s peace in their terrible situation, and coming out the other side a stronger person experiencing a closer relationship with God.  Yes, that all happens… but OH MY GOODNESS so much more !!!

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I did cry a lot when reading this book.. like a LOT !!!!  Like a really really LOT !  The Mother’s heart is soft and tender towards her children and the idea of having something so terrible happen to them is beyond comprehension for most people.  I mean, we could certainly try and put ourselves in Angie’s position as she takes us through each and every experience in her book (More crying), but what can easily overwhelm me is that reading about it, imagining it, feeling her pain through reading the words on the page, would not even come close to the pain you would feel to actually experience that type of loss yourself.

Now, THAT right there is where I can stumble.  I have to work VERY hard to not fall into fear at this point.  As I said, I’ve never lost a child, not even to miscarriage etc.  I did experience great sadness and guilt when finding out my boys were blind and had a difficult road ahead, but nothing was ever life threatening and when you get right down to it, it’s been a great outcome overall.  I don’t know why but I decided to torture myself last night by searching up a few YouTube tributes to babies lost in ways similar to Audrey.  They are, to say the very lease, heartbreaking.  I mean, seriously, the idea of holding you dead baby in your arms….  TORTURE !!!

It would have to test your faith.  I did love that Angie was so honest in her book.  She told us that she screamed at God in those times, she begged him to ‘re-think’ His plan, she got angry with Him… and don’t we all do that at times.  What is so fantastic though is that God is ok with that, as long as we take all that to HIM !!  He KNOWS Angie’s pain, He gave  His only son, He watched Him suffer, He watched Him tortured and treated in ways no human should ever be treated.  It hurt Him so much to see what was being done to His son.  Imagine what it would have taken for Him to not intervene when we all know He could have.  Jesus was so humble in His attitude in EVERY situation.  It blows me away to meditate on just how much he endured for US.  When we can focus on the blessings we have as a result of His sacrifice… a no-barrier relationship with God, the friend we have in The Holy Spirit, the protection we have in being armed with warfare tools, and the peace we have though Jesus Christ, as well as so much more.

I did particularly love a point in the book that spoke to parenting and how we need to gauge when our children are old/mature enough for certain knowledge.  Angie experienced this many times with 5yr old twins and a 2.5yr old.  How much info can they take in to their tender hearts?  What is ok for them to see?  A wonderful excerpt from Corrie Ten Boom’s ‘The Hiding Place’ was included.

“And so seated next to my father in the train compartment, I suddenly asked, “Father, what is sexsin?”
He turned to look at me, as he always did when answering a question, but to my surprise he said nothing. At last he stood up, lifted his traveling case off the floor and set it on the floor.
Will you carry it off the train, Corrie?” he said.
I stood up and tugged at it. It was crammed with the watches and spare parts he had purchased that morning.
It’s too heavy,” I said.
Yes,” he said, “and it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It’s the same way, Corrie, with knowledge. Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger, you can bear it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you.”

What is also very relevant here is the ‘Parenting inside the funnel’ teaching found in the Growing Kids God’s Way course by the Growing Families ministry .  DH & I have parented based on this diagram since doing the course in 2007.  I strongly believe that this is one BIG problem area in the world today.  An issue my children have been up against basically there whole lives is having friends who are allowed to watch/play things that DH & I believed at the time was beyond our children’s maturity level.  Even now when my children go to the movies with friends or have a movie night, more often than not, the choices are beyond what we would see as suitable for our children’s eyes, ears & heart.

If you aren’t aware of the Parenting within the funnel diagram, here it is.

Boundaries Lead-Article

We have found that this method works really well.  It’s not just about what they are ‘allowed’ to do either, it’s about what we as parents should expect of them.  We simply cannot expect the same level of maturity in a situation from our 10yr old as we do from our 14yr old.

Getting back to the book..  Angie went on to write a song for Audrey which was recorded by Selah.  I highly recommend you searching it up on YouTube and having a listen.  It’s simply beautiful.   The book itself was only $17.99 from The Book Depository.  I always find their stock range fantastic, as well as the prices themselves and the shipping is always FREE !!  Shipping time is always fab too.  I always have it in under a week.

As always… I feel I could type on for so much longer on this topic…  I think there may need to be a ‘part B’ of this blog when I actually finish the book later tonight.

Blessings Peeps !!  xox

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