Sep 25, 2008

I'm julia, so nice to meet you all!

Hi to everyone. I'm new to this blog. I discovered you all from reading Trina's family blog. I found her blog while looking through other adoption related blogs. I love homeschooling..most days! And I always like hearing and seeing how other families homeschool and live day to day.

My husband of 14 years (Andy) and I have three children: Kara, age 10/grade 5...Anna age 9/grade 4...and Nathan age 5/K. We are in the process of adopting a 3year old boy from China. He has a repaired cleft palate/lip, so is considered special needs. I tend to think all of my children have special needs of some sorts. None have physical needs, but as any mom knows, even a so-called healthy/normal child comes with all kind of special needs unique to just them. Know what I mean? In fact, when we were considering adopting a SN child, I had conflicting thoughts that ranged from thinking that a cleft palate/lip was such a minor physical problem to thinking that our own totally normal and perfectly-behaved (to neighbors and friends, anyway!) kids give us enough drama and problems as it is. Anyway, the point is that we are eagerly counting the days until we can bring our newest son into our home. We have blog documenting our journey: if you want to keep up with our process!

In my pre-mom life, I was a special education teacher. I have been homeschooling my kids since my oldest was four years old. I started teaching her kindergarten a year early b/c I had fears that I would completely mess things up with her and if, or when, I did, she wouldn't really be behind this way. Ya, that's me. Always the optimist! I didn' have my husband's full support (or excitement and calling from God that I had) and I was constantly bombarded with homeschool questions from everyone from friends and family to the grocery clerks. I was feeling outnumbered and weaker by the moment as Kara's first grade year approached. I had actually already taught her first grade the year before, but for some reason, having her miss the official start of a "real" grade level in school seemed like such a monumental time in her life that I didn't want to mess her up academically. So, a week before 1st grade started, I enrolled her in school mostly out of my insecurites. After one week of school I knew I didn't want her in school, but my husband and I decided we would stick through the whole year and give it a real try. We did and we were both ready to bring her back home after that. I've been homeschooling ever since.

Like many things in my life, I started homeschooling thinking that I had found THE best way to homeshool and I had it all figured out. Hmmmm, shouldn't I have learned that lesson long ago? The longer I homeschool, the more I discover that I don't know it all. I love to hear what others are doing. I love to share about what has and hasn't worked for us. The interesting thing is that what works wonderfully for us at some seasons in our homeschool life totally doesn't work at other times. That is one of the joys of homeschooling. It is always different and often not what I had expected. But in the end, I have spent days on end with my children influencing and discipling them in ways I could never have done had they been gone all day in a school building. That's what I try to remind myself of when I am having a hard day (and most of my days I end up feeling that way!). Influence and Discipleship. Those are two of the greates benefits of homeschooling to me and my children. And I am also following and obeying what God clearly called me to do over six years ago. I have such a freedom now that I didn't have. And I don't mean freedom of my time and scheduling. I mean freedom in knowing I am following the Lord in instructing my children. Following is a whole lot easier than leading.

I look forward to hearing from all you and learning some new things!! julia.


Rebecca said...

Julia, what a sweet picture of your family! I am so glad you've joined the blog and can share your voice & perspective here. I certainly can relate to those "last minute panic" feelings you had with your oldest - I was 2 seconds from the school building the day before school was supposed to start, and God told me to turn the car around!!! I am glad I did, although like you, I do have "my days"!

I love having more freedom now, too. I can watch my kids interact with each other more and have more opportunity to influence & teach them what I feel is important. While we have an excellent & very conservative public school (they even pray every day), it is still not the same as having my children at home.

Looking forward to hearing more from you!!!


Andrea said...

Nice to meet you, Julia.
Your family is beautiful and so is that VIEW!
I loved what you wrote. I once had someone ask if i ever wanted to put my kids in school. I told them, "!Every day! and then I have a cup of coffee and I am over it."
Ours start K @ 4,too. I do it because it gives me 2 years to teach them to read! :)
Can't wait to see what you have to share.


trina said...

Julia!!! What a great surprise to see you here. I'm not even sure I knew you homeschooled. So cool. Oh yea..everyday...i have those feelings. In about January, I am calling Christian schools and asking them to send me packets..LOL. I think you are right. The biggest blessing of all is seeing my older ones loving on my babies. Joel B. our 10 year old, changes the babies diapers every morning and dresses them...on his own without me asking...he wants to do it. Alaina will change wet diapers,too..on her own without asking me. So cute!
BTW, today we had "home economics" all day. We had family coming to visit so we cleaned the house all day.LOL I think they would prefer doing their schoolwork after a day like today. :)
Anyway, I'm so happy you are here. Praying Caleb home soon!!

Anonymous said...

Welcome Julia! What a pleasure it is to meet you and learn a little of your family. This is my 1st year of homeschool. We are having so much fun. ANd my husband too was not a big supporter at first. But he was able to see a little of how our days "worked" and now he is my biggest supporter! Praise God! Can't wait learn more about you and your family! Thanks for joining us!