Well, it's January 2011 - another new year, so full of possibilities. We have so much to look forward to, and yet in January most of what we counselors hear is, "I need help - we are SO BEHIND." I know why you think that, and yet, I would like you to take another look at your situation.
Here's the usual scenario - you start homeschooling in August so excited about what you are going to accomplish this year. The kids are excited, too, and making great progress in the first weeks of school. Then you begin to lose some of your excitement and energy, and the kids begin to lose some of their interest and momentum. And then LIFE gets in the way, in one way or another. The kids get sick, you get sick, the grandparents are in the hospital, a best friend dies, dad gets laid off, your house goes into foreclosure, etc, etc. I could go on and on, and some of the stories I hear from moms are much worse than this-- one mom, her son, and their dog lived for months in their car after her husband died and they lost their house. One mom lived with her five children in a shelter for battered women for a year until she finished online courses and was able to support her family. One high school student has been battling cancer for several years, and is now finally ready to graduate, praise the Lord.
Of course, some of you are on easy street. Some of you are just struggling with keeping your kids interested and have fallen a few pages behind in your curriculum. Think about this - one of our missionary families emailed me last year with her kids' grades and apologized for them being late. They had gotten
a little behind because they were hiding out in a basement and the kids were having a hard time concentrating with all the gunfire going on outside. They were in Beirut, I believe.
You are not on a time table, so you can keep going over the same material again and again if that's what the child needs and not worry about "getting finished."
We will all grow one year older this year, if we continue to live and breathe, by the grace and mercy of God. If you are healthy enough to teach your children and they are healthy enough to learn, you should be one of the most thankful parents on earth! You are not behind!! Who told you that? You might not have gotten as far in the curriculum book as you would have liked, but so what! Is your child learning? Do your children get to read, discuss stories and events
with each other or with you, and do they get to experience life? Are they learning how to work with numbers and words, and advancing forward instead of backward? If so, then you are not behind. Behind is when the kids are going backwards, which some of our moms with LD children are struggling with. But even then, you are not on a time table, so you can keep going over the same material again and again if that's what the child needs and not worry
about "getting finished".
We need to just enjoy the ride! So many of us are so concerned about getting finished (are we there yet?), that we are missing out on everything that's along the way. We really do need to stop and smell the roses. Here is one suggestion for 2011:
Celebrate the wisdom of the older generations! Take advantage of grandparents and great-grandparents if they are near, or elderly neighbors. Kids learn more from talking tograndparents than they could ever learn in a book. They learn history - THEIR history! They gain a sense of who they are and where they came from - their roots, their family traditions and heritage, their family's beliefs and struggles. They learn about life from talking to grandparents - the funny things and the sad times, and the times when things weren't so easy, and the familystruggled to stay together. Take your children to a nursing home or a retirement home. A mom once told me that her children were scared of old people. I was shocked-- I told her that I hoped they got over it before she got old! Children need to feel comfortable around "old people", even when they are in wheel chairs or have oxygen tubes. Do not worry that they will "get behind" in their curriculum book - the school books will be there next month or next year, but their grandparents may not be.
So here's our New Year's Resolution - you ready? I will NOT start the New Year by confessing that we are BEHIND! I will confess with Paul that "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before." Phil. 3:13 Here's the way The Message puts it in verses 12- 14. "I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward-to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back."
That's US!! We're off and running and not turning back to what we DIDN'T get accomplished. We're looking forward to what we WILL accomplish and we push onward, forward, toward the goal. So do some goal-setting - maybe making better use of those precious resources close to you, known as the Greatest Generation. They are quickly disappearing! Another goal might be teaching our children to be their best for God, in every situation. The list goes on and on, but the important thing is to make a list of goals that you are working toward, not that you HAVE to MASTER! And if you are doing this, there is really no such thing as BEING BEHIND!