Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Me? Patient?

Isaiah 28:9-10 (King James Version)

 9Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
 10For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.

When people find out I have ten children, it never fails that they will tell me I must have a lot of patience.  When they find out that not only do I have ten children, but I also homeschool them, they are SURE I have a lot of patience.

But those who know me best and love me will be pretty quick to tell you that I am not always the most patient person in the world.  And that I have a temper.  And not be patient and having a temper do not always go together well...

What I do possess is a love of children, both big and little, and a large capacity to handle chaos.  In fact, my family often accuses me of CAUSING chaos.  And if you could see the loft of our house right now, you would understand why.  I can never let well enough alone.  If something big isn't going on, I will decide to totally revamp the house, which is what I'm in the process of upstairs right now.  But I promise, when I finish, it will be better...

But back to patience and homeschooling and raising ten children.

I never did like school when I was a child.  I can remember so well watching the clock and thinking "it's not moving. I will be stuck in this classroom, in this chair, listening to this boring lecture, for the rest of my life..."

So when I decided to homeschool my children, I was determined that if I could help it, it would not be boring.  I think to a point, I accomplished that, because my oldest son, who will graduate from law school next month, tells me I never made them lose their love of learning.  I was always "revamping" my homeschool system.  As the years passed, we used less and less textbooks, and we read more, and we went places to learn.  I think if I had been taught this way, my grades would have been wonderful in school.  I am a little bit hyper, and sitting in a classroom wasn't good for me.

So now I am an older mom, and I am trying to homeschool this crew:

Sometimes I have despaired about all the years I have left to homeschool.  Tommy hasn't even started yet.  And yet, I know I want them home with me.  I can't think of anywhere I would be willing to send them to spend seven of the most productive hours of their day.  God entrusted these little ones to me, and I will do all within my power not to disappoint Him.
So what about those days when nothing goes right, and no one seems to learn, and I think: I CAN'T DO THIS???

Then, one of my good, homeschooling friends will remind me: precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line.  Here a little, there a little.
I wish I could convey the strength this scripture gives me.

When I didn't think Angel-Leah would ever learn to read...
We had struggled through my trusty "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" book, the one I've taught most of my children to read from, up to more than halfway through, when she suddenly lost it all.  She totally couldn't remember from the very first lesson.  I was so frustrated, but this little girl has gone through a lot in her very young life.  She's had so much trauma, and I finally decided that it was stress.  So we put the book up for four months.  Just totally quit worrying about learning to read.  We started the book from the beginning this past September.  Today, I couldn't find her regular reader, so I picked up an A Beka reader.  It was marked first grade seventh month.  I didn't really think she could read it, it was totally different than what we've been using.  But she did!!  She whizzed through it.  I think I could put that book up, and go for second grade, she did so well.  So she isn't a bit behind...

"precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little, there a little"

And my Tommy...He's had so much trouble.  Again, I called upon a special friend who has a special needs daughter, Elaine.  She's an email friend, but she's 'real' (private joke!!)  She has helped me a lot, and even encouraged me that I'm doing okay.  For the longest time, Tommy could not open the tricky back door.  And with his sensory problems, it would cause a complete breakdown, and he would scream for a very long time.  So we worked on it.  Each time he couldn't open the door, I would imitate what he was doing (hanging on the doorknob and screaming.  And yes, it was funny.  And no, I won't demonstrate it for you!).  It would get his attention, and we would agree that screaming at the door was not working.  So we then, we would do what DID work, turning the knob.   And what to do if turning the knob still wouldn't open the door, or pushing the button on the screen door, if that was the door that wouldn't open.  We would calmly knock on the door, and mommy or someone else would come and open it.  And Tommy has finally caught on.  No more meltdowns at the back door.  Oh, thank you, Lord!
"precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little, there a little"

So now, when I think I can't do it anymore, I have learned to take a really deep breath, and quote this scripture to myself.  It's a powerful one, when you are in the midst of raising children, rather your family is large or small.  So as an older mother, this is what I want to leave with you today.  Here it is, moms, in another, simpler version.  Memorize it, and call it up when you think what you are teaching is not getting through, because it IS, as long as you don't give up:

"Who is it he is trying to teach?  To whom is he explaining his message?  To children weaned from their milk, to those just taken from the breast?  For it is: do and do, do and do, rule on rule, rule on rule, a little here, a little there."

We can do this!!

1 comment:

  1. Such encouraging words! I needed this - thank you!!


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