Thursday, March 31, 2005

Homeschooling Milestone

As a homeschooling mom, I've had my ups and downs over the years.

I have three children that currently range in ages 12 to 17. We've homeschooled from the beginning. My youngest, a daughter, was born six weeks after my oldest began kindergarten at the kitchen table. So she can say she's been going to school all her life.

At one time, several years into homeschooling, I did not think I could continue homeschooling my oldest, also a daughter. We had too many clashes. She balked at nearly every task I gave her. She would suddenly get queasy the moment we began school in the morning. Moaning and clutching her tummy, she would rush to the bathroom and hang over the toilet. I stayed in the kitchen, seething, refusing to be manipulated. That little scene played out numerous times, never once resulting in the hoped-for upchucking.

One day, as I was praying for wisdom about this situation, God showed me that our relationship was my responsibility, not my daughter's. If it was too improve, I needed to do something about it. I asked God to show me what to do. The thing that came to me was that my daughter was looking for some attention from me. She needed a little extra love, nurture, sympathy, but she'd take negative attention if that was the best she could get. I started showing sympathy to her when she complained of her physical "ailments." I didn't let her off from any assignments; just hugged her and sympathsized and offered to pray for her.

Did I really feel sympathy for her? No, not really, because I didn't believe she was honestly sick. But I loved her and wanted her to know I loved her; and if sympathy from Mom was going to demonstrate love to my dear daughter, well, she was going to get it.

Funny thing, the queasy tummy episodes stopped; my relationship with my oldest daughter improved wonderfully; and I kept homeschooling her. There have been some other challenges with our relationship as teacher/mother to student/daughter, but with prayer and guidance from God we've made it to the milestone every homeschool mom dreams of: my oldest daughter is "graduating" from homeschool this spring, she has demonstrated her scholastic skills and has the test scores to prove it, and she's been accepted to several colleges with scholarship offers from all of them. I'm so proud of her. I'm so proud of me!! We did it!!


Anonymous said...

I am soooo proud of you and your kids. Wuv you. A D

Catherine said...

Thank you! I really appreciate what you had to say, from your kids to Terri Schiavo. May God continue to bless you!