Monday, August 23, 2010

I can't compete with Mrs. Jones

The blog buzz in my sphere lately, is all bout the start-up of a new school year.

Teaching Momma's are excited about
new books,
new organization,
new pencils and crayons,
new enthusiasm...

I have been thinking for weeks about what I want our next year of learning to entail.
As regards academics, what's the most important things I want to focus on for each child?
As regards hearts - what is most important to the Lord?
I have lots of ideas, and in my brainstorming I've been praying that the Lord would help me know what would be just the right approach for my family.
It's pretty easy to find value in what someone else is doing (because it always looks so much more achievable when someone else is doing the legwork!)

Then there's the beauty of blogging.
Only the best gets published, creating a lop-sided perspective of the total picture.

the best ideas,
the best pictures,
the best crafts,
the best stories,
the best successes,
the best days out of ALL the days I home school...

...Those are the blogs YOU get.

Those are the blog posts we ALL get when we peruse the windows into other peoples lives.
I'm not saying it's bad,

Just so you are clear, I don't plan to start blogging my failures and worst days.  I doubt you'd come back, and to be honest,
I prefer not to remember those things.

My purpose in reminding us (because this is my pep talk to me as well) this truth, is so that you and I purpose to

do . what . works . for .me

For you, that is.
 Do what works for YOU.

And don't be fooled into changing your groove just because it looks 
so beautiful
or successful
or intelligent...
on someone else!  You might actually lose a good thing that you already possess ;-) 

Now that I got that off my chest, let me share one thing that I'm really excited about doing this year:
I am going to 
study my children.

In trying to figure out what each one needs from me in the wide world of academia, I am quickly reminded that my children are unique - not only in ages and stages, but in every facet of their make-up.
Their personalities.
I am their mom, yet I could do to know them better.
Furthermore, there are things in this life that are more important to me than their ability to do sums.
Do I know how to help them with heart issues and character qualities on a personal level?  
In more than a general sense?   ie. "we are learning about Patience today children..."

Here's my little idea.
I am starting a binder just for journaling each of my children. 
There is a divider for each one, and in his or her place I plan to make notes about that persons 
fears and concerns,
favorite things,
things they like to do,
thoughts and dreams.

Whatever makes them tick.
Whatever they tell me about themselves,
but mostly all the things I observe.
I will steal an idea from a friend of mine and draw each face, praying for that person as I study him.
I will record things they say and did;
I want to pay attention to poor attitudes that need to be uprooted before becoming a permanent part of that persons character.

I want to take time to pray for each one of mine with purpose and with understanding.

I hope to use that binder/journal a lot this year, and I hope it might start something that "works" for me.  
I have lots of plans for our school year, but I am trying to set baby goals so I can reevaluate every now and again whether my people are growing and learning,
or whether we are just checking off the boxes to get "it" done whatever "it" is,
or whether we are just attempting to keep up with what works for the Joneses.

Our family is unique from every other, just as each child in my home is different from one another.

Start off your year looking straight ahead.  Slow and steady is just fine.

You'll do great!

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, 
let us lay aside every weight, 
and the sin which doth so easily beset us, 
and let us run with patience the race that is set before us."
Hebrews 12:1


Xenia Kathryn said...

I love your blog posts, Analene! This is wonderful, thank you for sharing.

God bless as you begin your new school year! Thanks for the advice :)

Much love!

J said...

You are spot on. That is one of the biggest problems with blogging--you don't get a TRUE picture of who someone is OR what their life is like. So then you have us ladies blog hopping and comparing ourselves to a picture of someone that doesn't even exist in real life. I believe Satan uses this big time. This is one of the reasons I struggle with whether or not to blog. B/c this part of it cannot be avoided, even if you DO blog about your bad days. And even if your intentions are pure as a blogger, your post can end up being hurtful (and you never know it).

You are right, study your children! Great idea on the binder. Writing things down is so beneficial and I often forget that I too want to know my children better and quite frankly, the Lord is revealing new things daily to us about them in our new homeschool routine. And about ME. Its all a very refining process, this homeschooling. ;)
And don't compare yourself to anyone but the standard the Lord sets forth.

Momma Bug said...

Amen J-girl.
I keep blogging all the good things in my life because
1) it is a memorial to the Lord that I can look back on - all the ways He has blessed me and preserved me when I deserved worse.
2)I have found (much to my amazement) that others are edified and exhorted when they witness the Lords mercy and grace in my life.
To Him be glory.

Love to you dearest!
And to you dear Katie:-)

Niko said...

Analene, your blog touched me in a most encouraging way. Just last night I was at my Pastor and his wife's house upset that I felt I wasn't "doing it right". I was using a particular example of someone else, and my pastor asked, "But is that FOR YOU, Nikki? Maybe that works for them...but what works for YOU?"
Thank you for confirming God's little admonition to me : )


JENNIFER said...

Good job, well said.... just no more talk about dead squirrels, they don't agree with my morning sickness.

Momma Bug said...

Well God is pretty clear about some things that there is a "right" way to do.

I believe that what He intends us for us to discern as right or wrong - He is clear about in His Word.

There are many other things, however, that He has given us freedom and latitude to decide for ourselves on. That is the beauty of LIFE and true freedom in Jesus Christ (and the benefit of our conscience and the Holy Spirit)!

We are not under the bondage of the Pharisee, or the traditions (or fear) of men.
We are not to make decisions based on how we will appear to others,
rather we make our decisions as a response to Jesus that is motivated by:

love for Jesus,
obedience to Him,
and worship of Him.


It's a very daily task - moment by moment really, and it's not a thing I have mastered ;-)

But I want to.

Pam said...

Yes, that is the key. I had an extra notebook and thought the same thing.I can notebook 'about my family'; studying them each day. They can write wonderful quotes and things from their reading; but my book can be about my wonderful family! It is a good plan.

Momma Bug said...

I should have given credit where it was due, Pam. I haven't drawn my children yet, but I am going to! That's inspiration you provided. I so appreciate your heart, and HOW in the world do you make time for that in the midst of "it all" (!?)