..."popsicles on the porch"...what a great afternoon treat and our favorite way to spend time together! These are simple and precious moments! Princess #1 and Princess #2 along with Little Man #1 and #2 are my inspiration for most of these writings.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How we Found Classical Conversations:
Have you ever known you were “supposed” to do something, but were scared to take that next step?  Isn’t it amazing how fear and doubt can creep in and keep you from all the good things God has in store for you on the other side?  All the “what ifs” seem to flood your mind i.e. “what if I mess up, what if I can’t do it,

what if,

what if,

   what if!!!

It’s a battle for your mind and heart! A test!

What will you choose?

Will you choose to stay put because it’s safer, it’s easier, more comfortable, it makes the most sense, and etc….

In every major season of my life, there has always been a battle for my mind and heart. This is where I found myself yet again when I felt the call to homeschool.

 Even though I was convinced of the educational and spiritual advantages to homeschooling  (see previous post)I was still afraid to let goThe thought of swimming against the culture (even Christian) was really scary.  But, just because something is the “norm,” doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the right thing.  Public education was not right for our family because God had distinctly moved in our hearts and called us to be a homeschooling family. Therefore, it would have been wrong for my family to go public. We would have been deliberately disobeying the word God had given to us.
However, as the new school year was approaching, I started doubting the word God had spoken to our hearts. The "what ifs" flooded my mind. I recognized this battle for my heart and mind unfolding before me as I had been there many times before. Yet, despite my fear and lack of faith, God still met me. I love His patience with us!  

He knew I needed a little push out there and that’s just what He did!

How God Continued to confirm His word in our hearts
My family was in the middle of a big move. If you’ve ever experienced a move with little ones in tow (including a newborn), then you know just how difficult it can be.

Not wanting to put my 5yr old in kindergarten, just to uproot her in a few short months, I knew it was time to take that leap of faith. God was pushing me out there and using our move to do so! I finally had the courage to step out in faith. Besides, I thought, "how bad could I mess up kindergarten?!!" ; )

Little did I know that selling our house in such a tough market would take 10 long grueling months. I say grueling because my husband had to commute every day 1.5hrs each way for 10 months! We’re talking almost 1 full year!! It was brutal; especially having such small children and a newborn in the mix.

Despite the challenges of moving, we had a very successful first year homeschooling. My kindergartner learned how to read in just four short months, was writing well, and really loving learning in general. I couldn’t have asked for a better year!

My husband was very impressed with the results of our first year homeschooling and encouraged me to try another year. He wanted to see what another year would look like now that our move was behind us. I was curious too, but still a little nervous. Fear started to creep back into my heart.  Kindergarten was one thing, but how far would we take this? I began doubting the word God had put in my heart, yet again. 

Sidenote: Do you ever feel like an Israelite? They were a bunch of whining babies always forgetting God’s miracles? Always grumbling about all the whys and hows?

 Oh wait….that sounds like me!

Fear of the unknown had crept back in. I was just so scared to have the education of my children rest solely in my hands. I know that sounds terrible, but I am a product of the public system, it’s all I’ve ever known. Yet, the reality is, there are other ways. We do have other viable options.

Needless to say, going against the grain was causing me to have to “unlearn” a few things.  Not only was I learning how to homeschool, juggling the storms of fear, but then the infamous “what about socialization?” question crept in. 

I know this is the first question that most people ask in opposition to homeschooling, but honestly that had always been the furthest from my mind. My children are highly social, boisterous and competitive little beings that aren’t afraid of meeting new people, and love  to talk your ear off if given the chance! With our involvement in church and other extra-curricular activities and friends we hoped to make in our new neighborhood, I knew my kids would have plenty of opportunities in time. 

However, the “in time” part was the problem. My children had left behind all of their old friends. Developing relationships takes time. It's hard to make friends in a new place and takes even more intentionality when you homeschool.  I wanted my kids to jump in and feel connected so badly, I rationalized that it would be much “easier” and “better” for them to go to the local public school. However, in my heart, I knew I was wrong. God had been directing my steps and now I was faced with a whole new bunch of “what ifs!”

Fear brings doubt. It causes you to question God and exalt your own strength instead of His. It blinds you from the truth and keeps you from doing what you know God has called you to do. (Can we say disobedience!)

I was SCARED!!! Summer was coming to an end and the new school year was starting. I needed answers and I needed them fast! I began pouring my heart out to God and begging him to confirm the word He had given me. 

The next day, I received an e-mail from a friend, whom I hadn't spoken with in quite some time. She e-mailed me out of the blue just to tell me about a new program that her family had started. She said she thought I might be interested and gave me the website for Classical Conversations (CC). After reading through the information, I knew this was exactly what I had been praying for! I couldn’t believe it!

Then it hit me. I was slowly connecting the dots that another trusted family friend had once mentioned CC to us about a year prior to this unexpected e-mail. God had planted that seed back then through another friend, and a year later had redirected me back to CC . 

As I read through the material it seemed like God put before me everything I had been looking for.  It was first and foremost Christ centered, economical, and not only was there an opportunity for families to connect socially, but there was a strong sense of accountability and a challenging academics program with a biblical worldview. This is what I had been looking for!

I knew God was speaking.

And wouldn't you know the very next day after receiving that e-mail, I  had plans to attend my first homeschooling convention. It was there, that I had the opportunity to speak with a CC director to learn more about the program. Afterwards, I felt a sense of peace and joy. I knew God was speaking and working on my behalf!

With tears in my eyes, I turned to leave and was surprised when I looked up and saw two familiar faces coming my way. It was a couple I had known and worked with several years before.  I hadn’t talked with them in years, much less did I know they were a homeschooling family. God had brought familiar faces and a safe place to share my heart.  I shared with them what God had been doing and how scared and unsure I was to take the next step. After listening, they encouraged my heart and the new adventure God was leading me on. It was another sense of peace that God was giving me. Some might call all of this coincidence, but I know better.

God speaks when we take time to seek and listen! 
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened
unto you. Matthew 7:7
This has been our first year in CC and though our community is still forming, my girls have learned so much! I am overjoyed to be a part of their learning process and so thrilled to be a part of their “light bulb” moments. Sure we have tough days, but anything worthwhile is never easy!  We hope to kick off the upcoming school year with committed families and can't wait to see what God has in store for us on this great adventure we call homeschooling! ; )


Steph @ MomKaboodle said...

This post really spoke to me today....thank you for your candor in sharing this. My 5-yr-old and I have been fighting quite a bit lately. I've been crying out to God, asking Him if he has removed His hand from wanting us to homeschool. I've told my son over and over and over and over that I'm just going to enroll him in public school. Most of the time he cries and tells me that he wants me to be his teacher. (What a mean mommy he has!)

Anyway, I've been hearing from the Lord lately, and I finally realized as I was reading your post that He hasn't removed his hand from homeschooling, but rather the nature in which we homeschool.....(I could go on and on, but maybe I should save that for my own blog, hmmmm?) =)

Visiting you from iFellowship!

popsiclesontheporch said...

Thanks for dropping by Steph! I just love how God speaks to us! Hope to connect with you more and I'll be waiting for your post to hear all about what God's doing!