Rebecca's Ponderings

March 15, 2011

The secret is out… We’re expecting!

Filed under: Growing in Christ,Parenting — Rebecca @ 4:15 pm

Yes, you read that correctly. We are preparing to welcome a new child into our family – from Russia! Most of our friends know that we have always planned to adopt. Well, we are now moving forward with those plans. We are currently working to complete our home study. We do not have a referral yet, nor do we have travel dates. The absolute earliest we would be able to bring home our child would be this summer, but it all depends upon the Russian and American governments. It could be much longer.

To get all the details about why now, why Russia, how to pray for us, and where we are in this process, please check out our adoption blog: iwillcome2you. We also created a Facebook page by the same name. We deeply appreciate your prayers and support and look forward to sharing the adventures of this journey with you.

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October 7, 2010

Searching for His Image

Filed under: Parenting — Rebecca @ 9:07 pm
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I love the way Bud thinks. He is completely random, very literal, and hilariously entertaining. He makes connections that most people would never imagine. Like his momma, he is a ponderer.

This evening, we were snuggled together on the couch watching a show about inventors as I prodded him to finish some chamomile tea before heading to bed. He was unusually quiet, since he had been suffering from an earache. Suddenly, he said to me, “God made everyone in His image. That means we all kind of look like Him.”

I was taken aback by the truth of this statement. How often do we overlook individuals whom we regard as unimportant, ugly, or inferior. Yet, each person was made in the image of God. What a tremendous concept my six-year-old had just verbalized. I asked which part he thought most resembled God. He replied that he thought it was our heads, but that it was too hard to explain. Wow!

We had been studying creation in our schoolwork. However, we did not discuss this concept. Did he hear it somewhere else? Did he make this connection on his own? I began to wonder more about what exactly goes through his mind on a given day. What other treasures has he picked up?

I may never know these things. What i do know is that the Lord’s grace is incredible, making up for and far surpassing my pitiful parenting skills. These children he has blessed us with constantly amaze and challenge me. I resolved to consciously seek the image of God in each person I encounter. I also prayed for wisdom to train Bud in righteousness while wondering what plans the Lord has for my little man of great faith.

A few moments later, Bud interrupted my silent contemplation with the question, “Star Wars wasn’t real, was it?”

Oh, how I love his randomness!

August 7, 2010

Numbers and Nonconformity

Filed under: Growing in Christ,Home Education,Parenting — Rebecca @ 6:59 am
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I got it again today. It is the question I dread most at this time of year. It brings me intolerable mental anguish and anxiety, especially in the month of August. For most people, this is a simple matter; the answer is given to them. Even most homeschoolers have a rather firm grasp on the concept. However, this question causes me to reconsider every parenting decision I have ever made and to doubt my capability as a mother and a teacher. What is the question that causes me such fear and trepidation?

“What grade is your child going into?”

It seems that long ago, someone in this state decided that all children born before September first would be put into a specific ‘grade’ in school. All those born after September first would have to wait an entire year to begin schooling. Unfortunately, my children’s birthdays fall slightly on either side if this all-important date. My children were LATE!

To make matters worse, my older child, who was born after the deadline, was ready to begin learning academics at a young age. My younger child, whose birthday is just before the deadline, is not as interested in academics, but is not developmentally delayed. They both also happened to develop close friendships with children a few months older than themselves. How could I have been so careless!

I realize that the people who made this rule did not intend to make my life miserable. They had chosen to take responsibility for the educations of millions of children. They had to have systems in place to make the process as streamlined as possible. They did not have time to determine the unique needs, strengths, and passions of individuals and customize programs specifically for each child in that system.

So now, the cutoff date has become a critically important benchmark. With that, some parents of children with “late birthdays” choose to delay academic education for an entire year, believing that being older than their peers will give their children an advantage in leadership. Others rush into academics and even use homeschooling in an effort to have an ‘advanced’ student and enjoy the prestige of a child prodigy. One public school teacher actually told me that she tried to time the birth of her child such that it would give him an advantage in school and avoid a summer birthday. I find that rather humorous since I grew up in a state whose cutoff date was in December.

Then, there is the determination of grade-level. What criteria do we use? Do we base it on reading skills? What about a dyslexic child who cannot read but is a genius in math or science? Do we follow the standards in this state? What happens if we move? Should we compare the standards of Europe or Asia? Even the curriculum publishers vary in their criteria for determining grade levels. Where is it written that learning can only begin in August or September, anyway?

Conformity runs deep. It is so ingrained in my mind that I have difficulty recognizing it in my thoughts and attitudes. During the convention last week, the Lord reminded me that we are not bound by these arbitrary, industrialized methods. So why do I still follow them? Why do I allow these numbers and dates to distract me from my calling to teach my children, impress the Word on them, and train them in righteousness? Each year, I have become anxious over what labels to assign to my children. How silly of me!

Because of this transformation in my thinking, I have determined to simply teach my children what they are ready to learn, regardless of grade-level. I have mostly been doing that anyway, but I have been severely lacking in confidence. I will seek God (who holds the keys to all knowledge, wisdom, and understanding) to decide what is appropriate for each child and when. Then, when I am asked that inevitable question, I will simply state that we homeschool and, if appropriate, give ages instead. Of course, I may occasionally get a bit cantankerous and respond with, “In which subject, and by whose standards?”

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