Thursday, December 10, 2009

Not just their journey

We met with our charter school resource teacher today. We all love our resource teacher, but it was not the easiest meeting ever. We have not been completing as much work as we should. While Graham has improved considerably in his reading class, Malachi has not. There was talk of keeping him in 6th grade for another year. And as long as we're on a suck-fest roll, Graham's been having some behavior issues in his enrichment classes.

I left feeling deflated.

Here's the thing about being a Christian mother. We know that we have hope in all circumstances. We know that God is bigger than any situation. We know that he loves our kids even more than we do, and he's not about to give up on them, ever.

But. I also know how many times I have failed my kids. That I have always struggled with discipline and when I am not disciplined, my kids pay for it.

How to make these two balance? The whole drive home my mind kept going back and forth: "You're such a loser of a mother."
"No you're not. You discipline consistently, you love your kids, and their faith is infinitely more important than their reading level."
"But their reading level is important, and you're failing them. That reading teacher, why didn't she tell me it wasn't going well with Malachi? She said in 10 short weeks she would fix my boys. They're not fixed."

And then . . . "I am a God of hope, and I love you. We will get through this together."

I heard the voice of my God, still and peaceful in my heart. And then I realized. I'm not just a neutral in this homeschooling journey. It's not just their journey. It's mine, too. God has not only called me to homeschool my children because it is what's best for them - it's what's best for me, too. I need to grow in discipline. I need to grow in grace. It's not just for them. I'm not lost in some whirlwhind of a 20-year homeschooling journey. I'm here with purpose. FOR a purpose. My God is faithful, and he will never, ever give up on me.


  1. what a great post Emily, you are such a great mom and i know the Lord is so pleased with you

  2. I always love Isaiah 43:1,4

    Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine...Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you,

    and Zeph 3:16b-17

    Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

    I always crack up over the loud singing. He is completely head over heels for us. Can you see him standing at your window, head thrown back, singing you a ballad? He loves you, Emily, and knew just what your children needed when he gave them you for a mother.

  3. Yes yes yes!

    I'll make you a deal. Let's not FB for two days and see if we feel less deflated. :)...maybe just one day?

    half a day?

    Loving reading about your journey Emily! Thanks for sharing!

    Who is your resource teacher? Do we need to request a special person or are they just randomly assigned?

  4. I have no advice because I haven't even started the school journey yet. But I know that I want to run to your place and take the other kids off to play while you read with Malachi for as long as he can handle... then I want to come back and swap Malachi and Graham over so you can have one on one time to talk about why he is struggling with self control... then I want to leave all the kids with someone else and take you out for a coffee because it sounds like you need it!

    I hope there is someone that lives closer than me that can do at least one of these things for you... big hugs and prayers!

  5. Anonymous7:23 PM

    They will catch up or even out. Most kids do. Rebekah is not the reader I wish she was. Most of her english and math are 3rd grade at best...despite being a 4th grader.
    Nathan on the other hand is reading if he is not playing video games. I struggle to find appropriate books for a 6yr old who can read chapter books.

    (I cant figure out how to log in)

  6. Thanks for the info! I will definitely request her and I yes, my oldest will start kindergarten next Fall (2010).

  7. Amen, Emily!!!! I love how the Lord whispers just the right words to us to give us comfort. It was neat how you had that right-on conversation with yourself, too, correcting the lies with truth! You, like the rest of us, are in progress! :)

  8. ok, i had a huge response and lost it! I'll give you a shout in a few minutes. Here are a few tips i must share, especially after having a daughter dyslexic and not read until 4th/5th grade.

    less is sometimes more. (it seems backwards, but so does God's ways sometimes)
    The resource teacher, no matter how sweet, must abide by state guidelines. Which means if your son does not meet the state requirements, she has to do all she can to get them there. Unfortunately, not all kids are ready to be at grade level until much older...(Ashtyn is now in honor classes and planning to graduate early-I'd never have thought when she was in 6th grade!)
    You are called by God, not the state to teach your son. So, if he is lower than what the state mandates, that's okay. You are obeying a higher calling and that is more precious than anything!

    Lastly, you are doing an amazing job. Your kids are sweet and pleasant to be around. We all have faults and if your son isn't reading like the world says, remember that God is faithful to complete the good work in Malachi He has started. From experience with 4 kids who never read at grade level, I think he'll turn out great!