When I have had less time to blog, I find it helpful to simply stop and think of all the recent things I am thankful for. I believe we often have a choice about how we think about situations, and as Christians home educating, I think there is always much to be thankful for, even during the tiring days.
1) Flexibility in our work, enabling us both to continue in jobs we love whilst having one parent home at all times (the spin off lately has been that we have both been working unusual shift patterns including nights and shifts ending in the small hours of the morning, so we have not actually seen much of one another). But the boys get a different set of adventures and routines during these periods, and this brings different educational opportunities.
2) A wonderful afternoon in the park with some other local home educating families. I think we had five adults and thirteen young children. It was exhausting, but amazing to see their boundless energy and the number of different adventures that can be had in a simple local park. This makes me reflect on how little time most children these days have to simply roam free, to explore, to learn about nature, to get grubby hands and grazed knees, to wear out their shoes and trousers....It was great to see their freedom.
3) Our online community - we have a local Facebook page of Christian Home Educators, and this can be a great supplement to meeting face to face. Often when we physically meet up, we are so involved with the children and the current activities that we cannot discuss, for example, what handwriting or maths resources we prefer. But we can continue those discussions online, sharing links, resources, wisdom etc.
4) Health and strength. Last time I did this chaotic working pattern I was still unwell with vomiting, and it made it much more difficult. Although the work was intense and challenging, I felt well and that was something to be very thankful for.
5) Being able to attend church as a family before heading to bed. Hearing my sons sing about how God is 'indescribable' at the very tops of their voices, and feeling thankful that they love to sing to God.
6) Reading Christian biographies to my children and hearing them ask increasingly relevant and important questions. My prayers are that I can answer these succinctly and wisely in an age appropriate manner, and that the boys are able to understand these truths and incorporate them into their developing worldview
7) Springtime. Ducklings and baby coots. Blossom and flowers. Fresh air. Sunshine (although not yet warm!). Freedom to run. Longer light evenings (that too has a flipside as the boys are struggling to sleep when it is 'still light').
8) Museums, libraries, art galleries - the vast resources that are free and easily accessible living in a moderately sized UK city. Sometimes these things can be taken for granted, but our recent time in Africa reminded us that we should make the most of them whilst we are in places where they exist.
9) A colleague at work having spotted my boys and husband on the bus remarking to me that 'they must be home educated, because no other four year olds are so well behaved and have such a good vocabulary'. I don't know that they are always impeccably behaved, but I also am aware that as parents we tend to see the negatives rather than celebrate the achievements. I was also encouraged that home education was considered a perfectly normal, and indeed a positive choice.
10) That God gives us sufficient strength for every day, and even when weary there is much to be thankful for.
I hope you can also reflect on encouragements, and that you rest well tonight.
- I am a Christian mother of five, and our highest goal as a family is to serve God in every aspect of our lives. Jesus promised His disciples 'life in all its abundance' (John 10:10) - that has been our story, a rich life, not devoid of challenges, but certainly abundant. Previously writing at www.homeeducationnovice.blogspot.com, we have come to realise that education is just one area where our faith shapes our choices and direction in life. This blog seeks to share our adventure.