Friday, February 24, 2012

My Dreams for My Kids

I have gotten a bigger, fuller picture lately of what I want for my children, as we 'homeschool' (I've come to hate that term for some reason) and as we prepare them for adulthood.  I have also been reminded that I can not live vicariously through them.  So I need to be always in prayer and always open to where the Lord leads.  And also, fully aware of my motives in all I do.

While we can not know for sure, what the Lord has planned for the kids' future, I believe we can prepare them for most any possibility that may come up.  Giving them a truly 'liberal education' will prepare them for whatever the future may hold.  I also want to make sure we give them the tools necessary to meet their personal needs: spiritual, emotional, mental and physical.

The kids were such a mess for so long, that I think I gave up hope of ever really affecting them in any lasting way.  I remember Samuel screaming his first few years of life, literally for hours.  And when he was 2, he didn't know his colors.  We were appalled and embarrassed, but yet, we realized that he spent so much time screaming, that it was not possible for us to teach him anything.  Myia spent her first 6 years over-stimulated and angry over everything in life, so teaching her was next to impossible.  It was depressing, esp as I came to realize the important role I played in their lives.  How could I mold them, when I couldn't even control them?  And my own emotional life was too chaotic to really accomplish much outside of survival.  So, for years, we survived, barely, and nothing else.

The last few years I have seen us slowly, painfully, come out of that mode, and finally, recently, to actually start to thrive.  I feel like we are finally caught up to where we should be, instead of sadly behind in life.   Oh wow, does that feel good!

And, the last few months, I would even say that I have seen the kids 'soar' in so many areas of their lives.  Their imaginations have become more vivid.  Which has helped greatly in their book reading.  You can't follow even relatively complicated books without being able to visualize the story in your head.  And now, they stop me all the time, in our daily readings, to show me what the book just described or explained.  It's so cute!  And they ask far less frequently, what words mean that they don't understand. I am hoping/assuming that is because they are figuring it out in context more, which is also an important skill for more complicated reading material.  They have both become more aware of the needs of others lately, instead of just being wrapped in their own little selves (they are by no means perfect, btw, I just see improvement in that area-and we had a LONG ways to go in it!).  I have seen more natural respect for adults.  And more self-control in their lives in many areas, esp day-to-day ones.  They seem more in touch with their bodies, as to what they need and when.  We have a long ways to go, but I am finally able to find joy in that instead of dread, since I have seen huge changes, and know they are possible!

Because of all of that growth, my own mind has started to 'run', and I have gotten excited about the things I want them to learn.

Here is my 'vision' for their education that brings them into adulthood, ready to serve the Lord in any capacity He calls them to.  I know the reality will change over time, which is fine.  But it's still fun to dream.  And I like having them in written form, so I can look back on them later and see how we have grown and how the Lord has guided our course.

Sure beats survival!

Until they are approx 12 years old, I hope to continue with our overall current schedule, but adding in new things as I see the need, improving, expanding, growing along with us. But, basically, reading lots and lots of books that stimulate us to grow and think, along with our Saxon math, memorizing math facts and doing lots of hands-on learning. I also plan to do the CAT5 in 3rd, 6th and 9th grade, although that can change. Just to see where we stand in the bigger picture.

I hope/plan to make the next 4-6 years a time of mostly focusing on their physical growth (eating lots and lots of good foods for proper growth and development, and healing our digestive systems, and lots of time spent outside in fresh air and exercise), spiritual growth (Egermeiers, Scripture reading and memorization, and mostly my own daily devos which God uses to change me, and then filter that to my kids-I love that part!), mental growth (reading good books that challenge us to think and gives us heroes to emulate, and lots of time spent outside, observing and really learning to see what is around us, and to work on our concentration skills, and learning special crafts like carving and sewing), and relational growth (family relationships, respect for adults, manners, putting others first, service projects).

For the next stage, I hope and pray they will spend 40+ hours each week reading books on various subjects and doing projects that help them to better understand the various subjects they are reading about.  Also, I plan on us having 'cottage industries' that will help us raise money, so we can traipse all over the world and see what we've learned about in our reading, first hand.  To visit places of interest, people we have met and beautiful sights all over the world.

Also, I really like the idea of my kids not leaving the house before having attained these skills: cooking/nutrition, healing naturally/doctor, meal planning, budgeting, building a house,(or here in Minnesota) maintaining a house, survival skills in the wilderness and in an urban setting in case of disaster, learn at least 2 other languages-well, to know how to care for a baby, to know how to love and/or respect their spouse, how to choose a spouse and friends in general, how to know themselves well, how to study Scripture daily and hungrily, how to manage themselves in a corporate setting, how to set and achieve goals, how to maintain self-control (the last 2 are tied into 'know themselves'), how to run a farm, how to care for animals of all types, to be amazing readers of all genres, understand the government and be able to take any office and do it well, car mechanics and maintenance, hair cutting, music appreciation, play at least one instrument (hopefully more though), lifeguard training, the ability to sew their own wardrobes, a love of art, a love of poetry, writing skills, be good spellers and have good handwriting, be dreamers, have electrical and plumbing skills, know how to grow their own food in any environment, have good work ethics, good speaking skills.

I expect by high school, they will be earning college credits with their work.  And if the Lord leads them into any fields that need more technical knowledge, that they will search out apprenticeships/universities/tech schools for those.

I realize these are my 'dream' goals, although I do think they are pretty wide in scope and yet very doable also.  I confess I'd much rather my kids become farmers or missionaries then CEOs, but I can love them even if they are rich. ;)  I really desire to send them out into the world, as equipped as possible.
Of course, if I find they are adults and the only 2 skills they have are to Love the Lord their God  with all their hearts, and to Serve Others, well, I'd still not be disappointed, much...

1 comment:

  1. Can I move in with you and you can teach me too? :) God is doing a big thing in your life and I pray that together we can grow and learn. :)