“For though I fall, I will rise again. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light.” Micah 7:8
When the news came that we would not be going back to school after Spring Break, I was actually excited. It would be like summer time and we would love it. Then the distant learning was put into place and I wanted to quit. Truthfully, I have always dreamed of homeschooling and often people assume we do because of the big family. I have never really understood that stereotype, but that is neither here or there. Instructions began to roll in from our school district, emails from teachers and zoom calls were scheduled for each child. Keeping up with the calls, passwords, websites, plans for 5 subjects per child, where to send in the finished work and adjusting to everyone being home, about made me quit distant learning all together. I even emailed our elementary school principal to inquire about our opinions. I will not add in the small detail of providing 3 meals a day for 9 people.
This was not at all what I had pictured. Distant learning is not, in my opinion, homeschooling. When your home has always been a school in a sense, this seemed a bit of an invasion. These were not my lesson plans, material chosen by me or a good use of our time. Again, I was ready to quit and felt justified with a million good arguments. Then reason entered the room, in the form of my practical and wise husband. He went online and cut through all the information and simplified it all. He is very comfortable with technology and I am not. He reads books on his phone for goodness sakes! To me, a book without physical paper is not something I can embrace. However, I am so thankful for his strengths, for they are not mine.
When he stepped in, we decided to stick with our commitment for the year. The kids will finish out the school year by way of distant learning. We add in what sinks into their hearts and actually have more time now. That is not to say that there have not been tears. Our little kindergartener cried because she “just did not want to be busy”. Online books do not work for her either. She loves her teacher, her friends and misses them. Her teacher knows how to get to her heart as well. Another child loves technology and thinks this is the best set up ever. Another gets his work done and is very content to dive back into science. He likes to learn on his own terms. This is fine for the short term, but would not end well. He would not be able to even write about what he is learning. Then there’s the older kids who are managing just fine and require little involvement. I am thankful for their independence.
The fact that two will most likely miss graduations, makes me sad too. Our kindergartener is slightly aware, but putting on a tutu and participating in a living room ceremony, would be delightful to her. Our senior would like more, but prom is her main concern. We are thinking of ideas to make that one happen as well. She loves to dress us, do fancy makeup, have pictures taken and to dance. She is a really fun kid. The part about liking pictures taken was new information to me. I hate having my picture taken, but she actually enjoys it. I am still getting to know her after 18 years of being her mom. We are all getting more time to know each other. More time around the table and this makes me smile.
Yes, much is taken off the calendar and learning is coming in a different format, but there is good. What may appear to be a dark time, is actually so full of Him that I find it hard to concentrate at times. He is shining bright if you have your heart turned toward Him. And even though I fall several times a day, I get back up. He gives me strength, joy and peace. I find it is when I rely on my own strength, this is when I fall by getting angry or worry. He has been faithful up until now and He is a good Father. I do not doubt His love to change. So, keep getting up by taking His hand and trusting in His love each and every day. His love is not distant and that is a promise.
*A game of “hot hands” was played as I typed. This game will now be banned in our home because it is just a matter of time before I am asked to play.