Friday, June 8, 2012

We Finished... For Another Year!

Another school year has been completed for the Mathews kids. And for mom. It's always exciting, and a relief, to count that last day. I get reflective each time we hit a milestone like this. I like to look back and learn- from my own mistakes, but mostly from God's faithfulness to our family.

This was a hard year. In a lot of ways. We moved. While I would say we are all adjusting well, I don't want to overlook the fact that it's been a major change that has affected our family and our "school". The first half of the year probably involved daily tears- math seemed to be to blame, but I know there was more going on in all of us. While I've always been a fairly confident and independent home schooler, I've missed my teaching cohorts, the fellowship, and "shop talk". I haven't yet found another group of home schoolers to commiserate with! The kids haven't made a lot of friends. I've worried about that. As confident as I am in the socialization of home schooled kids, in the end I'm a weak and fragile mom. I want my children to have normalcy, opportunity to thrive, and basic things like friends.

Yet God is faithful. We've survived math, and while it's still not anyone's favorite, we don't have the daily tears. The Lord has been my faithful friend and support when it comes to making decisions about school. Josh has been even more of an encourager and cheerleader. Our family has grown closer and more in need of just one another. I think we're all learning just how indispensable each one is to this family.

Because math plagued us the first half of the year, I began to get my first real taste of "This is hard!". And it was "hard" a lot sooner than I expected. I figured high school would get hard, not 3rd grade! For quite a while I felt very discouraged about this school year. But as it closes, I once again realize it was a great year. We all learned a lot, not just by the books. We grew closer together- perhaps because we had no other option! We are all we had this year.

I have learned that the road we have taken to educate our children is not a race. It's not about finishing first. My children are unique, brilliant, and anything but average even if they aren't at "grade level" in a particular area. They, and I, haven't failed if we've faltered. We haven't lost if others surpass us academically, athletically, or socially. My aim is to run, to finish, and to finish well. Not to leave others in the dust.

With that said, I believe we finished very well this year. We kept going strong, completing the "course work" I had hoped to. That doesn't mean we finished to the last page of math. We didn't, so we'll be doing math this summer. But we didn't get lazy and *I* didn't give up. By God's grace, I am a 5-year-veteran homeschool mom!

Today I read Psalm 126 in the One Year Bible and I can't think of more appropriate words to summarize our school year.

"The Lord has done great things for us,

we are glad...

Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!

He who goes out weeping,

bearing the seed for sowing,

shall come home with shouts of joy,

bringing his sheaves with him."