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"Getting it" as Mom on a whole new level


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Have you all ever had moments where you started seeing your older kids pull it all together and reflect exactly what you had hoped to accomplish with homeschooling? We just had one I wanted to share, as it was so rewarding.


We've only been homeschooling for 3 1/2 years. We pulled our first son out in 5th grade because he was rapidly losing the gleam in his eye about learning. He came home hanging his head saying, "This is going to be the longest year of my life." after the first day of 5th grade. I went into volunteer in class a few days later to see exactly what was leading to this, and I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that we were at a big crossroads, and I could ignore it and see what happened, or I could elect to listen carefully to what God was telling me and just obey. I had no plans of homeschooling, was 2 months from traveling to adopt 2 pre-teen sisters who spoke no English, and was dealing with another son who was fully illiterate at 11 years old. I didn't need my stable kiddo to go off the rails.


But somehow, I just knew we would lose him. I knew if I didn't act, we could regret it for the rest of our lives. So, though internally stomping my feet as I saw my whole life changing right before my eyes, I walked out of that classroom with my cell phone in hand, telling my hubby, "I don't care what we do, we have to get him out of here or 6 months from now we won't recognize him."


That was 3 1/2 years ago. It took me 4 months or so to get my formerly library loving kid to actually pick up a book for fun to read again, and once we regained that it was as if he had rediscovered a long lost love. How had I not seen how that had drifted so off course for him? I didn't see it because he was away from me most of the day, and I trusted the professionals to continue to encourage the love of learning, not have the system beat it out of him.


We enrolled in art classes taught by an amazing teacher who did more than use construction paper and glue, we took piano lessons, we studied current events, we delved into why and how with everything.


This week, I was moved to tears to see where letting him explore took us. Matthew decided he was interested in trying to help our aging, small church with technology. We have a projector and screen which go largely unused, so he wanted to create a slide who with music to use during worship. Luckily, we have the kind of congregation that embraces our youth, which really consists of our kids and one other family. "Come join us on the Worship Team!", they encouraged him.


Monday, he presented his first slide show set to the music "Simple Gifts"...he learned the software with 10 minutes of instruction from me, and he was off and running...later explaining a few features to me that I had not understood. The room hushed, and the 4 other adults sat there watching in the dark as Matt's little clip showed. 3 minutes later, lights came up and our pastor turned and in all sincerity said, "I have goose bumps!! Where in the world did you learn to do that?". Matthew, tapping what he had learned from a good art and a good music teacher, was able to beautifully weave together images with music using panning and subtle (not garish) effects to create a truly touching 3 minutes on screen.


I sat there thinking to myself that all we had done in 3 1/2 years culminated right before me, that he had taken all his education in a variety of disciplines, and applied it in a real life way. I was blown away by his creativity and sensitivity...as was everyone else.


And it was just his first effort.


I don't think I was ever as thankful for making the decision to homeschool as I was right then, as I could clearly see what had been wrought because of it. It's a small thing, I know, but it's really a pretty big thing. It was an adult thing out of a 13 year old kid, that in his own words, "I never would have done this if I was still in public school, Mom, as I would have been too worried about looking cool. It was fulfilling to see people touched by what I put together, and I really want to do more."


I also "got it" in a new and powerful way, that if we give our kids tools, access, a little instruction, and opportunity...they can do things we could never imagine.

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So amazing! We had the same experience with our son being in school for two years. He started avoiding anything that even slightly looked like "learning." I really feel like homeschooling has allowed him to heal and open back up to learning. It is amazing! He didn't have a bad experience being in school, but something about it made him change. I'm so glad to see our curious and interested boy back.


Congrats to you son for creating something so wonderful!

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