One of the big changes that are happening at our house is we have decided to begin homeschooling this year. The Lord actually brought me through the 5 steps I laid out in my last post for seeking God’s will, which is how that post came to be. I sought the Lord’s leading and mentioned specific ways I needed confirmation. God led me to see how I had been prepared for the task at hand and I have thanked and Him for His leading. Most importantly, I acted by ordering what I needed, did the necessary planning and preparations and began the journey. And the best part was He had me apply what I had studied and learned in the fall in this new season of my life.
Whether we just keep Big Bro home or both boys is still yet to be determined but either way we are making a trial run this summer and are still seeking God’s direction in that area. But after a formal behavioral analysis revealed that all of Big Bro’s focus and impulsivity struggles are really just symptoms of his ADHD that just need to be worked with rather than rather behaviors that can be changed and realizing that he needs special accommodations in just about every part of his day, we have decided to see what having a quiet home environment and more one-on-one instruction will do for him. Towards the end of school this past year it took him about 2 minutes to tell me all the places he goes and things he does in his day which he ended with “I’m tired!” and that makes me concerned for the stress level he experiences everyday facing the busy, loud, over-stimulating environment at school.
Since school has been out and the shift to summer began, it became quite clear that Big Bro would not survive without some sort of schedule that he could see. In anticipation of beginning homeschooling, I took one step towards it by creating a bulletin board with a calendar, chore lists and a schedule in list form that can be removed from the board as we complete each activity. So far so good and it was easy to add in the academic pieces to our day was well as the memory verse while still staying within what has already been established.
I have been amazed at how much support I have received and positive thoughts on this endeavor for Big Bro outside of school personnel, although just about everyone has offered support if that is the way we choose to go. My prayer has been that I would just know for sure beyond a shadow of a doubt before I needed to turn in my letter of intent. And His answer is unexpectedly showing up. I thought it would have to do with how well Big Bro took to schooling at home and his interactions with me, but surprisingly I have been hearing things like “you may need to give it more than a couple weeks” and “embrace trials- avoid the easy button”. So comforting to me was the verses God brought to me the day after I opened the boxes of the first round of curriculum:
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” ~Joshua 1:9
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:19
Choosing curriculum was quite the process. I ordered everything through one company and once I got the books here I just felt that despite the samples I had viewed online it was just all wrong. I had been researching how to teach and work with the add/adhd child and found so much information and curriculum suggestions. So I boxed it all up and sent it back. While I was waiting on the first round of curriculum though, I discovered how add/adhd kids are usually just right-brained learners and learn quite differently than their left-brained “normal” peers. So it is wise to embrace their learning style rather than seeing them as having something wrong with them. A few books and websites later, a much better-suited curriculum arrived.
This journey takes courage for sure and I am thankful for God’s guidance through it so far. I can feel the pull of the enemy trying to discourage me and pull me off track with doubt, but then there are twice as many confirmations that thwart those discouraging moments and thoughts. Praise God for His leading!! It comes right down to keeping my eyes on Jesus and taking those negative thoughts captive to Christ when they come.
Of course I have been praying for direction and for the boys to embrace this change. I asked God to show me what I needed to do or change to make this work and minimize the clash that has been between Big Bro and I. He led me to pray for a quiet and gentle spirit and for His peace to take over our home the morning that we started. And I was amazed to feel completely at peace throughout the day while having the ability to see the perspective as to why Big Bro was acting out. With a clear mind, I could see that his obnoxious humor, flippant attitude, defiance and lash-outs were simply him testing the boundaries of this new thing we were doing and that it was his way of expressing that he was unsure of what was going on here. Transitions are hard for him but once clear boundaries and routines are set, he should settle in just fine. I’m sure he is still reeling a bit from the constant “not-good-enough” and “I’m-not-like-the-other-kids” awareness he had in the traditional classroom.
Day one we only got through math and language arts before dinner. Day two we managed to get everything done except the history I wanted to make up with Big Bro that didn’t happen on day one. But, we still had greater success on the second day, so I feel like we are headed in the right direction! And I have been amazed at how God is revealing the heart attitudes and motivators of his behavior as well. Now that I know those heart attitudes and motivators, I can pray specifically which feels like such a victory as up until now I really haven’t know how or what exactly to pray for besides wisdom. And I can seek out opportunities to thwart them and let him discover just how smart he really is and what he really is capable of doing.
Seeing him thrive, grow and discover his amazing qualities will be quite the reward for this journey and I know that if this really is the direction God has for us our plans will succeed and we will witness a transformation.
Until then, I will keep on keeping on!