Saturday, August 29, 2009

Gearing Up for a New School Year

I love getting ready for a new school year. I've just always been that kind of kid/adult. Buying new school supplies is a yearly pilgrimage for me. When I was teaching in public schools I loved going to the teacher supply stores and getting room decorations, stickers (lots of stickers!) and all kinds of teacher helps. Now that I'm homeschooling, I still love my trips to the teacher stores and buying supplies.

This year I started even earlier than usual and had my first week's plans in the books before August even darkened my calendar. I should have known better. Whenever I charge full steam ahead before checking with God, He reminds me who's in charge.

I had planned this year to have Fridays set aside JUST for hands on projects. You know those projects. The ones that fit neatly into the plan book, but never seem to happen on top of all the other activities you've planned for the day. The ones that should take an hour but your kids dive so deep into what you're learning that they go on for four or five hours. Yep, those projects. That's what Fridays were going to be for in our house.

Then came the call. Our family is near the top of the list for a wonderful Christian homeschool co-op in our area. Guess what? They meet on Fridays. I have a dilemma. Do we say no to the co-op? Do we make another day our "project day" and go down to three days a week of more structured learning? Can I justify going down to three days? Do I throw project Fridays away for this year and focus on melding into a new co-op? Should I, in my indecision, be trusted to teach other people's children?? :)

Fortunately, I need not make this decision on my own. I have learned from my past mistake and am taking this one to the Big Guy upstairs. Not only am I comforted by His promise to guide my path, but can you imagine if I didn't? I've been pretty dense sometimes in my walk with Christ, and I've found his little nudges become less subtle the more stubborn I become! :)

Proverbs 4:11 says: "I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths." I'm just so grateful that He offers to guide us and all we have to do is ask! I think I'm going to tape this verse up in my house in several places. Maybe then when I get excited by something it will remind me to stop and ask before I leap!

In the meantime, I'm still looking forward to the school year with gusto. We have great friends in the neighborhood who will be homeschooling this year and we are excited to collaborate on projects with them. We have a new math curriculum this year to try with the boys and I'm sure no matter what our decision, we'll still have lots of hands-on projects to play with.

I hope you all have a great school year. If you'll excuse me, I think I need to head back to the teacher store for more stickers. Can you ever have enough?

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