6 Years of Homeschooling

In a few weeks, we will finally be finished with 6th grade and 3rd grade  with my daughter and my son respectively. I am overwhelmed with joy and appreciation as my daughter finishes her elementary grades. We’ve homeschooled since first grade and I’ve seen how she has blossomed and developed her skills and her character all these years. But more than that, I’ve also experienced the providence and the faithfulness of the Lord in our life.

When we started in 1st grade, my daughter was quite shy and doesn’t really enjoy the company of others aside from us. It was one of my concerns then that our decision to homeschool her might actually make her  anti-social but instead of being afraid of that, we prayed and took that step of faith as we began our journey of homeschooling.
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Living in the far South from Metro Manila, we couldn’t afford attending all the activities that TMA Homeschool provided but we diligently worked on the curriculum that we had. We prayed that we’d meet other homeschooling families in the area and the Lord did send a few. But those few families were all that we needed for support. We also prayed that we’d find a PE class that will suit my daughter’s interest and the Lord provided. She is now into her 6th year of ballet.

We also realized that she has a special talent in visual arts. She produces artworks that are beyond what I can do myself! She won a scholarship from Global Art Philippines when she was 8 years old. She gave her own art workshop to young children when she was 10 years old. We just gave her materials and the time to draw and develop her interest and we were really amazed at how she developed her skills.

As required by TMA Homeschool, she presents her portfolio every quarter. She started out shy and not really talkative but eventually, she now presents with confidence and speaks with details. Of course she still needs to improve further in this skill, but she has definitely outgrown her shyness.

She also has friends from church and from her ballet class. I see her engaging in conversations and extending herself to others. She also writes letters to her friend who has now moved to Canada.

When we talk, I try to ask her what she thinks about the realities of life and how God has been faithful all these years. I can also genuinely say that she enjoys the company of our family and dreams of doing her best for the Lord.

The tears that we both shed, the prayers that kept us sane, the perseverance that was developed in us and the hard work has all been worth it.

All these developments are far more than I’ve imagined when we started out 6 years ago. The Lord has graciously used homeschooling to change not only my daughter, but also me, through the years.

Let us continue and be faithful to what the Lord has called us to do. When you feel like giving up, or unsure if you’ve made the right decisions, cling to the Lord because He will see you through. He is doing His work in you and through you as you surrender your life to Him.

A Mother’s Reflection on Mother’s Day

Now that my kids are older, I don’t get the cute little cards that I used to get. The parenting dynamics have also changed since it’s not focused on diaper changes, play time or reading together anymore. There are days that I get a lot of questions like  why the world is the way it is, why everyone has to work hard and whats going to happen…

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My children indeed have grown. If you told me 10 years ago that time would pass by so fast, I wouldn’t have believed you because I was mostly physically tired during those early years of parenting. From not being able to sleep through the night to nurturing the family throughout the day, I was happy doing all of these for my family but I was also physically exhausted. Now that my children don’t need me as much physically as they can now do things on their own, I am no longer physically drained. But I learned that I need to continue to be intentional in spending time with them and building that relationship with the children. I need to be present with them. I need to be engaged with them.  As they enter their preteen years, I am learning that parenting has become more emotional, mental and spiritual.

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We need to have fun and relaxing times together as much as we need to go through hard work and stressful moments. There should be a balance between being strict and being fun. I also need to listen to the questions they ask and answer them truthfully and really listen to the questions that they are not asking as well. I must inspire them to be who God has called them to be and help them through their own insecurities as they slowly discover themselves.

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I used to think that parenting would be easier as they grew but I was naive to think that. Parenting is a relationship so it is dynamic and changes over time. Truly, God is changing me each day as I continue on with parenting.  I’m learning to discern what God wants me to focus on and what to let go and to trust in the work of the Lord in the lives of my family as well.

As I celebrate my 12th mother’s day tomorrow, I am grateful for the motherhood journey that the Lord has allowed me to take and I am thankful that as I continue on this path, the Lord is constantly maturing me to be the woman He wants me to be.

Fully Satisfied in Him

In our fast paced life and materialistic world, we are enticed to think that we need the latest gadgets to be able to live a more organized and connected life. We are enticed to think that we need to enroll our children at that program so they can become the best in what they do. We are enticed to think that we need to do more to become better people in our society.

But sadly, in our own pursuit of happiness, this is not what God intends for us. Yes, God wants us to be blessed, but not in the way we thought. We might not be aware of how God has been blessing us because we have been looking at life through the wrong lenses.

As we face our daily life, we make hundreds of choices. Each of those choices yield results and we make more choices out of those choices. It may seem endless and futile but God wants us to see beyond our daily toil. God blesses us with His presence amidst our daily choices. As we completely surrender our cares and our days to Him, He promises to be with us – always. Whatever happens to us, God is with us, thus we are blessed.

His presence brings peace, joy, goodness, love,  and hope in our lives. And that is the fullness that fills our lives. We become fully satisfied in Him and regardless of our life’s circumstances, we know and we can acknowledge that we are blessed.

Our pursuit in life takes a different direction as we realize, in the end, what truly matters is the state of our relationship to God. Because if our relationship with God is doing well then everything else falls in the proper places in our lives. We can be fully satisfied because God is with us.

 

From Restlessness to Restedness

What a busy 1st quarter I had! From the start of a new part-time job in tutoring kids to becoming part of several growth groups to joining TMA Homeschool as a Family Advisor, it seems that this year truly is all about growth and opportunities.

It has been really busy and sometimes, I do feel guilty that I have not been able to give our homeschooling enough time and focus. I’m just grateful to see that my 6th grade daughter has become more independent through it all and has been studying on her own without me. I guess, this is the season where she is learning to be independent and I have to let go, so she will learn to do things on her own. If not for the opportunities that God has given me, she wouldn’t have tried to be independent and I wouldn’t have let go of controlling her time and how she does her studies.

Early on, I have been restless with our schedules and all that we need to do. But thankfully, God has worked in my heart and taught me to rest in Him. It has been a season of learning to trust in God. Knowing that His purposes will be fulfilled as I choose to let go and let Him guide me in everything that He brings in my life.

I’ve also seen the truth that our life has different seasons. Just as the climate has 4 seasons, our life also has different seasons for different purposes. We can never stay the same otherwise we wouldn’t grow. We just need to trust that God will be with us all through the different seasons and that He will fulfill His purposes in our lives. So whatever season of life we are in right now, let’s trust in the Lord and enjoy it. Let’s learn and grow from the current season that we are in for this is what the Lord wants us to do.

Reflection on Our Life’s Meaning

Most of the time, people find meaning for their lives by what they do. Fathers find the reason for their being as the provider of the family, mothers nurture and care for the family, children study and find jobs as they graduate. But I realized, the reason for our being should go beyond what we do. The reason for our being should not be based on what we do, because one day, the day will come when we cease to do what we do. Will that mean then that our life means nothing?

The meaning of our life rests on the being of who we are in God. As we find our identity in Christ, we understand that we are really nothing and whatever we do amounts to nothing, if not for who Christ is and what He has done for us. We find meaning in Him and then we do what we do because it is the appropriate response to God who loves us so.