Monday, February 13, 2012

Living in Obedience

Olivia came into our lives in the merry month of May.  She was in Kindergarten at the time. For a child who lived in a car, hotel, shelter or wherever her parents could manage to stay, she had little, if any, experience with a typical "Sesame Street" preschool education.  Her exposure to school opened up a whole new world of knowledge and imagination.

After a happy summer adjusting to her new home, she started First Grade, joining her big brother on the bus, delighting in a whirl-wind of activities.  It wasn't long before I noticed a trend in the papers she brought home. The papers that she did in class were all one hundred percent correct, however, the papers she did on her own were less than half right.  I worried about her falling behind, especially since she was already at a disadvantage with her prior limited knowledge.  Not to mention, she was still acting out experiences that should have been part of her "typical" toddler years.

In the background of my mind was a nudge, a calling, if you will, from God, telling me to take the children out of school and teach them at home.  Two of my children had already graduated from public school and one was in high school, close to graduating.  The idea of teaching the youngest two at home would be new and different.  I was a Teacher's Aide for almost ten years, so I felt up to the challenge and figured that if God wanted me to do this, then He would help me though it.  My thinking was that He wanted me to take them out during their middle school years, but seeing how much Olivia was struggling I knew He wanted me to start teaching them as soon as possible.

We started out with separate grade levels, Donovan going into 3rd and Olivia into 2nd grade.  It wasn't long before it just made sense for the two of them to work their subjects together.  The added bonus to teaching them at home was that Olivia had a chance to bond with us, which I think is what attributes to most people thinking we've had her since birth.

So, here we are seven years later, and suddenly my world has been turned upside down.  That nudge, or calling, if you will, from God, is now telling me to put them back in public school.  After the initial shock wore off, over the course of the day, I got pretty emotional and could not stop the tears.  I have grown very comfortable having these two at home.  I enjoyed learning new things with them and seeing their excitement over the things they were learning.  I can see the benefits of them going to high school, but I selfishly want them with me.

Once I was able to carry on a decent conversation without dissolving in tears I told the kids what was going on.  We addressed any questions or concerns they had and talked about how easy it is to "trust" God when we don't have any challenges.  Going to school will give them many opportunities to stretch their faith and put to the test what they really believe.  Then we looked at the courses that are available and talked about what areas they might be interesting in pursuing.  It's going to be a big adjustment, and I'm pretty sure that Fall will arrive far too quickly, but I think we're going to be okay ... because we are living in obedience.