October 30, 2007

What to do?

I never dreamed having children would be so hard.

When I was little it was my fantasy to have a house full of babies to care for. I loved playing dolls and dressing up in clothes that looked like Anne of Green Gables. I loved American Girl books and dolls (the original historical ones, not the newer ones) And I'll be honest and say that I lived out my fantasy up till my early teens.

A couple of months after Matt and I married, I could hardly wait till enough time had lapsed for us to have children. (you know, we had to wait at least a year according to everyone else, i am glad we waited a little while though) After 9 months of marriage I had a pregnancy 'scare' and was actually disappointed I was not pregnant. Then we began to think and pray about it and decided to conceive. That's where Leiah comes in.

Ah, Leiah, my sweet angel child. I never entertained the thought that I would have a 'special' child. I prayed constantly for that little one before I knew there were any problems. Anyways, I digress...

When Leiah was about 2 years old and Alexa was around 1 year, I knew everything I wanted to do where they were concerned. I would homeschool them, making sure that they learned the basics of keeping home and learned forgotten arts like embroidery and crochet, that they loved reading and playing dollies, and of course they would be perfectly dressed in matching dresses and pinafores. Then it became evident that Leiah was not progressing like we had hoped. She was walking well, but still no speech. She could do some sign language, but that was it.

A therapist started coming to our home twice a week and that went well. Then she turned three and could no longer receive these services. It was now up to the public school to take over her therapy. I was so against it, but after we went in for an evaluation and met the people and saw how well she did with everyone, we decided she was ready. She has been going for two years now, all day and rides the school bus. (only for her class, no other kids) In between all of that I had a miscarriage, a lot of health problems, and then another pregnancy, not to mention all that I was learning about keeping the home, being a submissive wife, learning to sew, cloth diapering, living frugally and health.

I am so confused now. The more I read about homeschooling the more guilty I feel for not doing it. I thought we were doing the best for her- she was getting free therapy and lots of teaching. But she still doesn't have many words. It's like she leaves all her 'school skills' at school, and doesn't integrate it at home. She is tired when she comes home so I don't quiz her a lot and try to work with her. She just won't cooperate.

I thought Alexa needed to go to preschool. She is learning a lot and enjoys being with the other kids, but many days she says she doesn't want to go and wants to stay home. Yet, she does get bored easily at home and is always wanting to go somewhere. Sarah could care less about what's happening :)

What a dilemma! I don't want to make a big mistake where my children are concerned. My thinking before was " I went to public school. I learned a lot and was a very good kid. I made a friend that later was led to Jesus because of our friendship. I was a witness to others. Matt was the same way in his school. So if we take all the Christian kids out of public school who will be the Light?" But now I don't know. Not all kids are as strong as I was, or as grounded in the Word. Schools are a lot different now than even when I went.

Every time I open the Bible to find some direction, I don't know where to go. I feel like He is silent on this issue right now. I am wrestling with it, trying to figure out what we should do. I have to know that I know that I know that whatever I do it is the Lord's plan.

Lord please show me the way soon.


Anonymous said...

Our son is almost 11 and is autistic. We could have services here at home. With autism, the more he's in the public, the better, on a lot of levels. As christians, we had to pray to seek and wait on the Lord. What would be totally wrong for many christian parents; many calling it a very bad choice; has opened so many doors of evangelizing Christ to so many folks involved in our little one's life. He is one of the calmest, happiest (their reports...that he stands OUT for this) children in his school. We are keeping him home for today and tomorrow, due to our convictions. Many times we don't think God can USE us in the 'DARK, CRUEL WORLD OF PUBLIC SCHOOLING'. But there is such a need for christians to interact there. I'll keep you in prayer that you'll be at peace from what the LORD tells your heart; not what the commentors say. Man is often 'well meaning' and at times we will be adverse to what the Lord is saying. Don't hear anything? Then just keep on keeping on. Guilt? Most likely from 'what will people think', I hate to say. The child happy? Amen. Smile. Give thanks to the Lord!! And thank Him for the opportunities to shine that He'll bring, because He'll bring them. We have 3 children. All three went to public school, AFTER MUCH PRAYER AND WAITING ON HIM. The 22 and 20 year olds are very strong in their walks. Our oldest works now in A PUBLIC PRE-SCHOOL for children with special needs. Hallelujah. Those families need that. A prayer warrior for their kids. Our younger daughter is a junior in college. We got a bit of grief for how they were schooled. Quite a bit!! Guess what? Nobody but Christ died on that Cross. Nobody but Christ was prayed to. Nobody but Christ answered us. I don't know about blogging over these matters. It will keep some folks from trusting in their own walk!!! God, husband and children. No 'blog response' shows up in the bible as an important order! LOL.
I have seen kids rebel. Heck, our oldest 2 did. But guess what??? Rebellion will happen REGARDLESS. Don't believe you can have any superior method of educating your children. Where God LEADS YOU, He will be with them. Our girls know the ins and outs of 'wordly' kids/life. I'm not saying I'm glad they rebelled. But, I have family who homeschooled and private-schooled their kids. Guess what?? Their kids left the faith. Why??? Because Mom and Dad were looking for a 'haven' by giving it to their kids in what they could 'see and touch' instead of pointing that Christ is the Haven. See? Wherever you have your child educated: Just do not even give a care over anyone....ANY ONE... but what you and your hubby from prayer decide. You cannot upset God. Honest. Lay down your 'rights' to your kids. If He wants them homeschooled, that opportunity/directive will come LOUD AND CLEAR. And that can still happen. For me, my son's administrators and teachers/therapists have a great need for the Lord. Because....He hasn't said otherwise. The bus driver and matron do too!!! As the neighbors, who 'observe'. So many people need the Lord. Soooo many. Let's not forget that.

Sarah said...

Do what you think is right. What has the Lord impressed upon your heart? You'll know. This is a very hard decision to make, but NEVER feel guilty about not homeschooling. If the Lord would have you to send your children to school than that's that. I homeschool and frankly, sometimes I wish I didn't. =P It is SO much work, plus the child I'm homeschooling is very social and I know he would do excellent in school. I just don't believe that sending 'our' children to school is what the Lord would have 'us' to do. I believe in the home is where 'my' children belong- as hard as it is for me at times.You're right- being a mom is hard! Hang in there! Praying the Lord will send you an answer soon!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I so know what you are going through. Really, I do. My daughter, by the age of two, could only say "Da da da da da da..." In all the verbal intonations and fluctuations as if she were "talking." No words, just "dadada". It was diagnosed as Speech Apraxia/Dyspraxia. She had therapy for the year, and then at three she was disqualified for saying enough "words" to be bumped from the system. I had so many of the same desires as you... so many, many goals!

My daughter is now 6 and talks clumsily, but fluently. She has some motor skill problems such as not being able to go through a doorway without bumping into it, however she rode a two wheeler are 4 years old. She's a math whiz, but the whole language arts thing is difficult for her. She wrote upside down from right to left perfectly for a while, but I did therapies to reverse that. She is witty and tender and bright in so many areas, however I know she would not keep up in a regular classroom when it comes to some areas, yet she isn't autistic or a slow learner... so to put her with kids who are autistic (which is what special ed usually is these days due to the sheer number of them) would crush her spirit. If you want, I can email you the things that helped her progress.

Because our son was already being home schooled, we decided to home school her as well. Is homeschooling perfect? naaaah. Will your child be salt and light in public or other-school? probably not much... it's not legal anymore. Even Jesus didn't start His public ministry until He was 30-ish. If we as mature adults were taking a course at a local community college, how many of us during school hours would have the opportunity to be "salt and light"? Not many. Does homeschooling guarantee good outcome? Nope, but it helps if you have a good heart towards it and give it your all. Will your kids rebel? Hey, even Adam rebelled and he lived in a perfect place with daily, one-on-one communion with God and had only one rule, and he still rebelled. So, maybe.

One thing I have seen over and over, though. Whether you home school or not, you will still "home school". My other-schooled friends still have about an hour's worth of homework per night, projects, commuting, talking with teachers, volunteering, fund-raising, etc... so they might as well be homeschooling. Their lives would be less harried. Even they say so!

You seem like a very intelligent, organized person with a passion for your children. That's a fabulous foundation! You have already taught them so much and brought them so far. Take it one year at a time. Never make concrete decisions like, "We will home school all the way through!" What if you are ill? What if the law changes? What if you must go back to work and your husband cannot home school? That way, you are always open to the leading of the Lord in what He wants you to do.

The lady who posted previously with the autistic kid... I see her point on many things. She's right when she says it is a very individual and personal decision. However, blogging about this is fine ~ there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors!

Okay, I gotta stop going on and on and filling your comments area!

God bless, and I'll pray for you right now.

howiesgal said...

Hi Jessica~
I will be praying for you regarding this matter. That God will speak loud and clear to you and that you will have no doubts as to what HE wants you to do!

ML said...

I have also debated homeschool vs. public school. As my oldest son got closer to school age, I realized that this social child needed to go to school. He would not learn from me when I tried to teach him. He went to school and has done so well. I sent my next son to school and he went for two years. He struggled and is a May birthday, making him the youngest in his class. I decided to hold him back this year, but rather than repeat 1st grade, I am homeschooling him. We are having fun and I hope I'm helping him. It it a major challenge since I have two smaller children home that need attention. I plan on sending this son back to school next year.

School is a fine place to learn "school" stuff, but making your home a haven will be the most beneficial thing you can do. The kids can still go to school and learn all the arts of homemaking from you and as long as you make faith a major part at home, they will carry it with them at school and be a light to others.

prayzgod said...

I thought I'd swing by for a minute, but I don't have much time. Someone may have already mentioned this, but if not, here goes...

Consider trying homeschool. With your children's ages, it would only take about an hour or so a day.

You can try it on the weekend for a few weeks, and see what you think.

Leiah should sit in on both girl's homeschool and participate. You are her mother, so you know her level and her potential. :-)

Since our children are similiar in ages, I can help you, and you don't have to buy any curricula to start out.

If you'd like to give it a whirl, you can email me and let me know, and I can email you some homeschool suggestions you can do with each of your children.

I personally think you will really enjoy it. ;-)

Homeschool is my favorite time of day around here.

Vix said...

Just wanted to pop in and say, homeschooling isnt for everyone. Homeschooling is not Gods Schooling choice for all believers. DONT be fooled. People will have you believe that. But if life were all to be ONE way only then we'd all be ears and feet and no mouths or hair or toes. I think what the Lord leads you to is different for each believer. :)
Just take that into mind when you make you descion. Just because I homeschool doesnt mean EVERYONE should homeschool And Just because you homeschool one child doesnt mean you homeschool all your children. Be open to Gods direction.

Love and Peace to you.
(I check your blog alot I just dont always comment. )