This time last year I was counting down the days until school was over. I couldn't wait for the day I no longer had to walk through the doors as a public school teacher! Gone were the nerves and uncertainty that had plagued me about my decision earlier in the year. I was so sad to leave such great co-workers, but I had to be released from what had begun to feel like a prison to me! I couldn't stand getting to work before daylight and getting home most days just in time to get the children ready for bed so I could get up and do it all over again the next day. There was a period of time I stayed in the town where I worked, but the homesickness often won over the convenience. Those last few days of work I could hardly focus on being there. My mind and heart had already moved on to things to come! Finally, the day arrived, and I simply cannot tell you the freedom I felt walking out those doors for the last time. Strangely enough, it came with such an odd sadness. A chapter of my life had just ended.
It was during a very sad, desperate, troubled time that God had given me the very job I had prayed for and had just left behind. I knew it was His will that I leave it, and I knew He had other plans for my life. I sat in the parking lot for a minute saying a prayer of thanksgiving for the time He gave me in that position and for the things He did for my family during my time there.
As the summer progressed, my nerves tried to get the best of me. With each passing day, my new role as a homeschool mom was approaching. I was scared to death to teach my own child and to teach a grade I had never taught. Isn't that the craziest thing you've ever heard? A school teacher afraid to teach! I can laugh now, but it wasn't funny then! I simply didn't know how I was going to do it. What if I didn't teach my child everything there was to know? Lol! Keep reading for more on that!
Well, fast foward to today. Our state requires 180 days to be spent in school. Sometimes, I think we could log at least 300. :) It seems we are always learning or discovering something. Anyway, today we logged our 180th day!!! I OFFICIALLY no longer have a first grader (She's actually been through with first grade work for a while now. I had moved her on to some second grade work a while back.)
Alissa and I both survived. She actually learned, and did quite well, with me teaching her! (That isn't meant as a statement of boasting, but rather, a statement of utter shock!) There were days, especially in the beginning, that were very long and hard when I thought we would both be better off if I put her on the school bus and sent her back to school. I was so stressed about wanting her to learn and learn well, but God kept whispering, "Just hold on. I'm here. I am molding you, so keep waiting and watching. You can do this. Alissa's okay. She's learning." We have finally broken through! There are still days (very rarely now) when she finds herself in the "Think About It Corner" because she rolled her eyes or had a rotten attitude about my mentioning school work, BUT our relationship is so much closer now.
Being home where I am able to watch Alissa and Jake learn, grow, smile, laugh, and play has been such a blessing. There is so much time for sweet little snuggles and giggles throughout the day. I know I am blessed beyond measure, and I try to make sure I often tell God just how grateful I am.
God has just recently released me of that stress and pressure I was loading upon myself about not teaching her everything there is to know. (No wonder the poor child rolled her eyes and had a bad attitude sometimes! Not that there is an excuse for disrespect.) In a moment, when it seemed the sky parted and the angels sang, God spoke to me. He told me it was impossible to teacher her everything there was to know. Even public school teachers don't teach everything there is to know! Can you grasp how profound that was for me? How often does the state and nation revise standards trying to decide what bit of knowledge is most worthy of being taught? He showed me I need to teacher her love. Love of Him, love of others, and love of learning. He wants me to teach her how special she is in His eyes and mine. I need to teacher the academics that I feel are most important, but more importantly, I need to give her the keys to live a life of love and learning. I need to show her the joy of learning, and show her how to learn and discover. Wow! What a revelation it was to me to have that gift of love from God in a moment when I have been so stressed about which cirriculum to use next year. The cirriculum is important, but it is not the most important part anymore. I still have a responsibility to give her a high quality education, but that is not where it ends!
So, now I'm off to plan the fun stuff for next year! I am so excited for us! I am looking forward to a great new year especially since Jake will be joining us more often! I know it is going to be a great one with so much less stress and so much more fun and excitement! Oh, the possibilities!
Do you have any fun ideas to share? Please, share! Teachers are great thieves; we love to steal the great ideas of others! Okay, okay, I promise to give credit where credit is due if I "borrow" your idea! lol!
Until we meet again, may you be blessed!