Homeschool Journal :: Can I invite you in to a place that is far from perfect?

Homeschooling is for us, but not for everyone. Homeschooling is a calling, and not everyone is called to it. Just like not everyone is called to pastor a church. But, we still are called to preach the Gospel and we still are called to stand as gatekeepers and watchmen to our children’s hearts and souls. We all have different assignments of how to go about it.


I’ve had it on my heart, as of late, to let you in this huge part of my life. I always think, “God has me homeschool — not for my kids — but for me.” God has used this refining tool, probably more than any other. Homeschooling was not as much my choosing as it has been a calling. Now, it is a passion. A way of life. I see it more than academia. I see it as taking strategic battle ground in this fight for our children’s souls. God has the plan already laid out before us, and we are to discover it and walk in it. Part of that plan for us is homeschooling.


Here is a short intro to our Homeschool life.

I’ve been homeschooling for 10 years, and still feel I am new at it at times.

I am all over the board. I have a 2 year old toddler, and a Senior in high school this year.  I have a struggling reader, and a determined pre-teen beauty. Sometimes all I can do is laugh at all I have to remember and know. It’s crazy.

I have had cows, milking goats and chickens. At one time in our life, I believe we had 11 pets living inside the house. Now we have 1 snake and 1 hermit crab in the house. We also have 2 horses, but they stay outside.

My 2 oldest have gone to preschool and private school. I took them out and brought them home.

I went to public school.

I never thought I would homeschool again, once I quit for 3 years in the middle. I felt sorry for those who did.

I have learned simple is better after I tried almost every curriculum there is.

I feel like I am just hitting my stride, maybe. So newbies, it will take time to navigate your way through. No need to hurry.

I am not the best homeschooling mama there is. There are some real super stars out there. I am not one of them.

I’ve struggled. I still do at times.


If I haven’t scared you off, and if you wouldn’t mind, can I invite you in to a place that is far from perfect, but where there is lots of grace? Where there should be a sign that says, “Pardon our dust” because we are always a work in progress — deeply in the process.


In this Homeschool Journal…


You probably will not find very creative ideas in this place. Pinterest is a gold mine for those, and most of those stay beautifully pinned on my boards.


Here you will find a heart of a mama that has been broken for her family. A mama who desire is to have her children live differently than she did. One who is fully invested in her roll, yet still shakes her head in wonder, “Am I really doing the best thing for my children?”


Along the way I will share how I have had the gentle leading of Abba Father. The One who whispers quiet in the middle of the storm, “Yes. You are right where you belong. Just remember the “why” of what you are doing.”


I will answer the “why “ in this place. Why do I do this? Not knowing the answer would have caused me to quit and run away more times than I care to share.


In time, the passions that I have burning in my heart for the fight for my children’s souls will be scribed, and what our answer to the call of homeschooling has to do with those.


I will share a bit about my favorite curriculum and resources. I will tell about some things that have worked for us, and some things that have not.


I will tell you how my personal mission statement below, relates to this area of my life and raising my children.


Living to draw out potential,

ignite passion and

foster growth in myself and others

for the glory of God.


Here, you will find pictures. Hopefully some good ones. Here is one that depicts how I feel a quarter way through the morning, most homeschool days. It’s my eldest beauty — Senior in high school. I took it today. It’s so completely perfect and makes me smile big.  :)

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  • http://www.startdreaming.blogspot Dee @ Start Dreaming

    Homeschooling is a hard choice and I often feel the same way you do in your post. The picture of a mom sacked out on the stack of papers is so real around here! Hahaha! At this moment right now I feel behind and overwhelmed as I am just starting to layout our year. Yes… I have a goal to start in two weeks and I just received the remaining portions of our curriculum the other day. And yet, here I sit typing away on my computer.

    Help!

    Take care!!! :)
    Dee

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Dee,

      Oh, I hear your heart :) Homeschooling IS for the weak, for when we are weak He is strong! Amen? Yes, amen! I pray that God will direct each of your steps, each of your decisions. I pray you will settle nicely in to your year and it will be filled with peace and joy and love for learning. God is faithful :)

      I hope I can help in some way :)

      Blessings,

      Michele-lyn

  • http://gravatar.com/pruningprincesses Laura @ Pruning Princesses

    Super excited to read these posts. Thank you for sharing your heart. Knowing other’s stories is like getting a good advice, pats on the backs, and bags of ideas.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Laura,

      You gave me a soft nudge to get on with this already :) It’s been on my heart for so long, and now I’ve announced it! It’s official :)

  • http://compassionadvocacy.blogspot.com/ Lolita Valle

    Homeschooling is not so dominant in our country (Philippines). But I know some celebrity kids and other elite families do homeschool there kids.

    I love to hear from you as a firsthand view and hands-on homeschool Mama.

    I am now a granny, and I like to peer into what you are doing.

    I know I will enjoy them. Thanks for inviting.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Lolita,

      Oh, do you reside in the Philippines? If you do, that’s so amazing to me that we could connect :) It still amazes me the internet is world wide. Can you believe that?

      Thank you again for your encouragement :)

  • http://enjoytheprocess.blogspot.com Lori

    That’s awesome Michele-Lyn! I homeschooled for several years before putting my kiddos in a variety of school settings. Some days I really miss it…sometimes I question our decisions…but always I am a “homeschool mama.” Strange huh?
    I think this journal is a great idea and it will be great!
    Blessings~

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Lori,

      God has such a beautiful plan woven in the tapestry of our life — and it is uniquely ours. I am so grateful that you would come and share about yours. I do not think it’s strange you would think yourself a homeschool mama. It does become part of us, in a way :)

      Blessings to you and thanks again for your sweet visit…

  • http://pursuingheart.blogspot.com Cherry

    Visiting from Life in Bloom – thanks for sharing your heart here, and for your honesty about the struggles (and the joys) of homeschooling. I pray that you will be a blessing and encouragement to other moms as you share here each Thursday. And I admire you for taking a short break from blogging – I just took off most of July, and it was a very profitable time of hearing from God about His purposes. I am refreshed, and more focused as a result.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Cherry,

      Thank you for stopping by here and being so encouraging with your words. Thank you for your blessing.

      I understand about taking time off. I haven’t taken as long as a month yet, but I do plan on taking time regularly, a week at a time. I want to be refreshed and refocused also.

      Blessings to you,

      Michele-lyn

  • ro elliott

    Yeah…I cheer and applaud you and your heart and focus about homeschooling…If homeschooling doesnt’ refine the momma first…we will not survive…we pour out to them out of our broken places…they need to see us as learning right along side them…and there we can connect to their hearts…once we have their hearts…teaching academics fall into place. I had a very wide age span too…right now 30-16…having toddlers and kids that needed to learn alg. was a challenge for sure. Blessing to your new year…you kids will be blessed because your heart is yielded to God…ready to be taught by Him so you can instruct them~

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Ro,

      Thank you for being a cheerleader in my life! I mean that so much. You are always nudging me on, encouraging me to keep going, and you offer so much wisdom, love and grace along the way :) Thank you…

      Homeschooling to me, really is about the connection to their hearts. Yes. Thank you for reminding me :) I am looking forward to taking time off of the internet next week to do a better job of that :)

      Thank you again and blessings …

  • http://jana-janascreations.blogspot.com/ Jana

    *sigh* This will be our 2nd yr of homeschooling and I am already shaking in my slippers. For the first time ever my 16 yr old who has gone to public schools from day one, has decided to be home schooled…and then I have a 4th and 7th grader, a 4 yr old..a 7 month old AND I am currently pregnant again. :) I have struggled with trying to come up with a curriculum and make sure it “works”. We actually go through a homelink and so this year the kids will be taking some classes in a home school building. SO now at least 2 days a week I have to pack them up in the van and travel in the mornings for their classes. :( My kids start in 2 weeks and I feel lost. Since this is our second year I am still clueless on how it fully works and what I need at this point for my kids. {Forgot to mention all my kids went to public schools up until last yr} I feel that God is happy with my decision, but I am so scared I am going to hinder my kids as I am not “Book smart” at all. I look forward to reading your blog posts and hope to stay encouraged to keep going. :) I told the kids once we start home school there is no going back to public school. That it would never be an option. OY~!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Jana,

      Oh my! It’s sounds like you have a full house — full of beautiful gifts :) Congratulations on your new little one on the way! 4, 7, 4 , 7 … wow! I thought my plate was full. You have some wonderful stories to share, no doubt :)

      I love reading your last line — “that it would never be an option.”

      I know He will provide the grace and strength you need. I’d be lying if I said it’s all peaches and cream. It truly does feel like a battle ground at times. Not just spiritual either ;) Just take it day by day and chances are with a brood like yours, no days will look the same — one to the next.

      I hope that I can somehow provide you with encouragement, even though I still feel like I don’t know what I am doing :)

      Blessings to you, friend.

  • http://myfreshlybrewedlife.com Barbie

    Thank you for inviting me to be a part of this journey. Although my son (who will graduate at the end of the first quarter in the fall) has been home schooled, he’s had a tutor 2 days a week to get him caught up. My job is to correct papers and make sure he does his work. I will be homeschooling my daughter (7th) grade this year. I do not know what I am doing, and I even feel ashamed to call myself a “homeschooling mom”. I hold a full time job. I am not available to make sure my children to not stray off the path. My child will school during the day at her aunts, and part time while I work. I am thankful for hearts like yours that I can gleam from.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Barbie,

      You are so gracious to me. I feel so blessed to call you friend. My husband asked about you today :) He asked who Barbie was, because you are so faithful to visit and leave encouraging words.

      I pray that God would provide abundant grace as you walk this new journey. God is faithful. His plan is taylor made for you. Each day will look different than the other. I know He will provide all that you need — peace, strength and joy. God will fill in where you may lack. He will redeem the time. I know you will have a testimony of His goodness to share.

      Blessings and love to you precious daughter of God..

  • http://www.heavenlyglimpses.blogspot.com Theresa@HeavenlyGlimpses

    Oh, thank you for your honesty (because I read a lot of super stars out there and wonder if that is possible for us) and for this space you are creating here weekly. This passion burns as I read your post, not knowing if it is our call or not yet. But I get.every.word. I do. Yet, I doubt. We are praying and considering, though. And I’ll be visiting here along the way!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Theresa,

      God has our walking shoes taylor made for us doesn’t He. We are all so different, yet called to such a unifying purpose — to bring Him glory and make disciples.

      Thank you for your encouragement here! You are a true blessing…

  • http://www.deniseinbloom.com Denise In Bloom

    Oh we are kindred. no doubt. Thank you for inviting me to come over and read. We have so much in common I can’t believe it. The school choices, feeling called to homeschool, and I want to start blogging about homeschooling! There is more in this post that is so much my heart. Now if we could just sit face to face and talk- oh that would be awesome.

    Have a wonderful vacation, please stay in touch and thank you for sharing your heart here.

    You are precious!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Denise,

      I am so blessed you came for a visit :) I would love to hear more about your homeschooling life. Homeschool infiltrates almost every area of our life, doesn’t it? I am not sure why I didn’t share sooner, but nonetheless, it’s on my heart to share now. God knows.

      I would absolutely love a face to face talk one day. The one blogger I know that lives a hop-skip and a jump away, is very, very busy and I have yet to meet her in real-life. And everyone else seems like they are in TX or CA :) Where are you again?

      I hope to connect soon :) I will be offline, for the most part, beginning Sunday…