I would certainly have to be oblivious to the world around me not to notice the stares, the whispers and sometimes quite loud comments of those around me.
The reason for all of the commotion? God has blessed me with what some consider a large family. We have 9 children. Yes, even as I type the number, I gasp!
How did this happen?
Did I lose all reason somewhere along the way?
All of this is a subject for another article. The discussion today is around home education; the choice, the patience needed and more specifically, are home schooling parents born possessing patience and organization qualities? (assuming that we are patient and organized!)
Quite often in the course of making new acquaintances the discussion of children arises. Usually, after learning of the size of our family the next question concerns religious affiliation and then the one of schooling.
It seems that many who have large families also choose to home educate our children. There are many in our society today, however, regardless of family size who have chosen this route.
The reasons vary, and it is always a fascinating discussion among ones who make the decision. While the size of family varies and the reasons for the choice to home school varies, one thing remains the same. All home schooling parents need to develop two qualities: patience and organization.
Inevitably in the discussion concerning home education someone will comment on my patience, or her lack of patience being the reason she could never tackle the education of her children. “You must be so organized! And so patient!”
These comments are common and go hand in hand. While I have learned at this point to just smile, I often long for the opportunity to explain myself.
I am NOT organized by nature. I am NOT any more patient than the next mom. In fact, patience has been a life-long struggle. The fact is that these are learned characteristics. (And I am still trying to learn).
Just like many qualities in our lives, practice makes patience. Notice, I didn’t say perfect! I pray daily for the patience to lovingly handle every situation that mothering and educating 9 children brings with it.
While I pray for the Lord’s strength and rely very strongly on Him and His patience to be lived through me, I learn with each situation a little more.
Gradually, if I allow each situation to grow me, I become more naturally long suffering, patient and kind. It is my choice. Grow and become better, or bow up with every challenge and become like a time bomb ready to go off at any moment!
You know, when I pause to really think about it, any parent at any given time along the path of parenting is faced with this choice; learn and grow or gripe and crumble. It may be that those of us who do choose to home school are also choosing to “be schooled” along the way.
It is unimaginable to me to consider educating 9 children 18 years ago when I first faced the decision concerning the education of my eldest son. While I knew that I wanted to dedicate my days to teaching this little boy I had no idea that God had much more in mind for me. In fact, I think I would have run had I known.
At that point in my life I was in no way prepared to tackle home schooling 9 children. And no, I’m not yet prepared for all that lies ahead of me. Each day I learn something new! Each day I experience a new trial, a new opportunity to grow myself.
What a wonderful blessing this choice has been to me. The choice to home educate my large crew has allowed me to become more patient and yes, more organized. While the stares, whispers and sometimes loud comments continue, my patience with that has grown as well.
At this point I just smile to myself as I realize – they just don’t know what they are missing!!