Friday, April 23, 2010

Consistency

As followers of my blog, you all know by now that we are pretty much unschoolers through and through.We have purchased and tried many curriculum's, but end up giving up days or weeks after buying them. In light of recent circumstances with the district, we feel a leading to do something differently. Nate has asked me to please purchase a curriculum and use it all the way through. I think this has really shaken us as a family and especially Nate. While I feel kind of sad to say goodbye to my dear friend, unschooling, I am trying to really look at this from another point of view. First and foremost, whether we have not been going to church or not, our marriage follows a very biblical model. My husband is the leader of the family and what he says, goes. I want him to feel comfortable and happy with the way our children are being educated. I also realize that being pregnant and about to have another baby, it will be nice to open a book and know what to do each day without having to jump on whims for each and every personality which can sometimes get very costly and time consuming and only to result in a dead passion shortly after it began. I also know that Kayla, being almost fifth grade will really benefit from some more formal lessons in grammar and spelling. I feel blessed that my kids got to drag out their open ended explorations as long as they did, but I also feel that this is a new season and consistency of one curriculum for the entire year is going to be a good thing for the whole family. I am ready to sweat it out and really buckle down. I have used sonlight for a good 7 weeks or so in the past and of all curriculums we have tried, I believe it is the most gentle and wholesome curriculum I have ever been exposed to. The books are really wonderful so this is the curriculum we will be using. It should arrive shortly and the kids are actually taking this really well. We have been stern and told them that we will not be sending it back when we have a bumpy day. This is not the way life works anyhow so doing that in the past has been an injustice to my kids. They are going to have bumps in life and in their work and home duties and they cannot just give up because its hard or doesn't feel perfect. Its time this lesson starts being implemented in my home. We will be doing Core 1+2 with Bible, geography, history, literature, and science 2 all together. We will then of course have separate Language arts for each of the kids, using Sonlights programs and then Rod and Staff for math. Their math has already arrived and we couldn't be happier, I cannot rave enough about how wonderful Rod and Staff math is. I love that they do a daily, timed drill to practice and solidify easy math facts. Its going to be so good for them and they enjoy beating their own times from the day before. We also have decided to go back to church Sunday. We plan to not get over involved for now because that is when we tend to have problems within the church. We will probably stick to just Sundays. We also plan to stick this out through thick and thin because the kids really need the consistancy in their lives and we have always jumped on every whim and this type of thing has to stop. I have severe ADHD (diagnosed at age 8) and I have not outgrown it as an adult. Unfortunately, I actually find it worse as I get older. I think I get bored in church's and make excuses to leave. I think I get bored with curriculum's and make excuses to stop and at the very first sight of my kid's discontentment, I have jumped and packed up the curriculum and shipped it back. This is something I need to work through. My dear husband has been so patient with me, but he and I have reached the conclusion together that this cannot continue this way. We also realize we need church. Our family and marriage crumbles around us when we aren't following a biblical model for our home life. We need the togetherness of family prayer at the dinner table, we need Nate to lead the family(NOT ME), we need our kids learning character building traits from the Bible, we need to be emulating the grace Jesus has shown within our family, we need all of it and simply trying to rid our lives of it for the sake of making life easy, feels wrong. I have a very sinful past and of course we all become tempted by sin, but that is where I lack that sticktoitiveness that I need. I am working to find that somewhere deep inside me. I guess I wonder, what does one do when life becomes mundane? A Christ-centered life can become dull to me. I try to reinvigorate by reading a good Christian book or going on vacation and whatnot, but sometimes that old sinful life calling(ie friends from that old early marriage lifestyle) and its hard to resist and it sometimes makes me feel my life is dull. Their lives often  seem glamorous. They drop their kids off and head to Vegas for the weekend and do really wild things and I guess coming from a life where we did those types of things, we sometimes feel were missing out. That being said, when I leave my Christ-centered life for any length of time, I quickly loose strength to carry on the large amount of tasks I have as a mother, wife, housekeeper and homeschooler. I begin to see the emptiness in those sinful ways pretty quickly. This is the hard journey I want to avoid for my kids. Had I been raised as a Christian, I would likely not be having such a struggle in sticking to church or keeping my faith. I likely wouldn't have led the wild early marriage that I did. I want my kids to avoid those things. I want faith to be easy for them. I guess its that old selfishness I think I want, but true happiness comes from serving others, not self. I know this, I have seen it firsthand in my life. I have a lot to work through and at Christmas I am praying that I will be reporting attendance in the same church as well as being a over halfway through our Sonlight curriculum. Wish me luck my dear friends. I really want to accomplish these 2 big goals. I feel determined, but I am going to need all the prayers I can get!

11 comments:

Carrie said...

you can do it. Prayinf for strenght for you and your family. I hear you on the ADHD thing,it never goes away :)

Sankat said...

You will for sure be in my thoughts and prayers. I hope this all works out for you. Homeschooling is hard for me too. I think we are going to send the kids to public school because I just can't do it with 6 young kids.

makenna said...

janis, i can relate to your posting. That is a lot like me. Although I do not and haven't partaken in anything TOO sinful in my life, I find myself possessing a lot of sinful traits (jealously to name one) and have found I am inconsistant with many of my parenting ways, as well as my church attendance and desire to be a more rightous person - always fall flat. But like you, I keep trying, and eventually hope to get it right! You are a wonderful person and a great mother. I guess many of us are drawn to your blog because you are a real person, and are not afraid to admit flaws, but you always give 100% and that is VERY inspiring!

Tufford Family said...

Wow, Janis! What a turn from your other posts...I haven't been back for awhile, I respect your honesty. I am glad God has worked on your heart..I will pray for you and your family..Blessings on your pregnancy....Heidi

JenG said...

Janis-
I have been following you for a while...found you on the Quiverfull blog roll...and just find you fascinating. To be honest I have wondered what was going on with you because you make LOTS of changes LOTS of times and it all seems very chaotic to me. The ADHD clears up several things! I was so saddened when you went to the BACK to reality blog, because I had read so many wonderful posts about what Jesus was doing for you family. I am so glad that you are seeing what stability faith brings to your life. AND most thankful that you are candid to share all that has happened and who you are as a person, it is quite inspiring. I will pray for you and your family!

The Mom said...

While you and I differ greatly on the belief in a higher power/church I do wish you and your family the very best in this newest path. Consistency is incredibly important for children and while you're fortunate that your kids seem to enjoy changing schedules and not having strict structure, I know many families that would crumble without some sort of organization/routine. Hopefully having a curriculum will satisfy your husband's need for visual progress and it will help prepare your children to buckle down and take-on the tasks regardless of their difficulty level. As for the early wild life, it is easy to be tempted and sometimes it's easy to stray into the old life. I am a firm believer that we (as mothers, women, wives) need balance between who we are and who we've become. You are a wife and mother which will not change. You are also a young woman though and to shut out or block out your true feelings deep down of who you are and/or what you need will only do harm later in life.

marie said...

Can you find a homeschooling family using the same curriculum and work with them to stay accountable? I know I can never stick to my fitness resolutions (as an example) without having someone there to call me out when I'm too lazy to get my butt up and work out.

I would also recommend trying a Unitarian Universalist, or similar church- they are places where atheists are welcome, and one is free to take one wishes from religious traditions without having to subscribe to any set beliefs. It might provide a structure without being too much and causing you to recoil and overcompensate in the other direction.

The Winkelman's said...

Janis, you are such a beautiful woman and mother. Your husband and kids are so lucky to have someone that cares about their well-being so much. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help with your spiritual journey (or help with anything for that matter). Good luck to you guys.... we send our love.

Amy said...

Janis I am so happy to see your newest post. One because I really feel that trusting in a higher power will greatly benefit all of you but mostly because as different in some ways that we are I can so relate with you. I think I know just what your talking about! As a young couple wanting to have a bigger family, trying to stay away from debt and yet still wanting to be young. For me especially I think because my hubby and I are pretty conservative, it is a constant struggle to figure out just where we fit in society. Yes for the most part we are very busy with school, work and kids but when we do have a chance to just take a break where do we go? We don't really fit in the party scene and we don't really fit in with the mostly late 30 to 40 somethings who are more settled down with families like ours and also into the homeschooling idea. There just aren't very many people our age with similar family choices and values and so it seems a constant struggle between the wild life and the boring life. While my life has always been pretty mild and not to crazy I still envy those of my high school days partying it up in college. Not that I would trade them places for a single minute because I love my life and my family I just want a little umph in our family life. I too am totally struggle with consistency and disipline and I need to step it up at home and at church. This pregnancy I feel really overwhelmed though and tired and I am only on number 3 so I can only imagine how you must be feeling. Well anyway I hope this is of some consolation to you that there are others out there who identify. We will both just have to take it in baby steps. BTW I have never been diagnoised but I totally think I have adult ADD/ADHD or something bc I can NEVER stay on task, I get so easily distracted! Anyway God bless and we'll be praying!

Cat said...

Janis, I'm so happy to read the changes you are coming to. We also are making some changes, just as you are. I went last weekend to check out a church, and this weekend I'm going to attempt taking my family to the church and see how it works. We also are going back to Sonlight, we are trying to decide now if we want to do core K or 1+2 ourselves. If we go with 1+2, maybe you and I can keep each other accountable with actually DOING the work lol The k12 school we're in now is great for accountability but I know that when we get going independently that it will be a real struggle.

Jennifer said...

Janis, if you are truly struggling with whether or not you believe, you might find this interesting:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304198004575172233981688208.html?mod=wsj_share_twitter