Friday, September 14, 2012

Making My School Unique: Blog Hop and Giveaway

Congratulations to the Caywoods!  They won a 1-year subscription to Home Educating Family magazine! Thanks for commenting and joining this month's Blog Hop. Remember, you can read all the ways the Home Educating Family bloggers make their school unique by visiting the blog hop here:

This week's topic: Making My School Unique. Which of course, because I am my father's daughter, leads me to this gem of a joke:
How do you catch a Unique Homeschooler?
You 'neak up on him!
(Cue laughter. From at least one of you.)

Enough comedy. Or enough semi-comedy. Or enough "trying-to-be-funny-but-not-really" comedy.

How do I make my homeschool unique? Easy. I look at these faces. . . . . . .

and remember wise words a friend told me when I first started homeschooling.

God has uniquely gifted me with these children, these specific children, with all their hopes and dreams and gifts and challenges. More than that, He has equipped me to be the best mother for them.  And when it comes to homeschooling? I'm the expert. This doesn't mean I teach them everything, nor does it mean I never ask for help when needed. But this does mean that no one, absolutely no one, knows my children better.

And even more importantly? I have access to a loving heavenly Father who can grant insight and wisdom into their lives, and enables me to pray specifically for them and for strategies to meet their unique needs.

Sounds great. But what does it look like in real life?

• When one of the crowd reads at 7 instead of 5, I don't compare them to the others. We work on rhyming, I read aloud to this one, and take the pressure off. One day, this child starts reading up a storm. And hasn't stopped since!

• When our son became involved and found his passion in Boy Scouts, not football (that's an Alabama reference for those of you who live where football is NOT an idol), we supported him and tweaked his high school plan to take advantage of those opportunities. P.E. credit for canoeing and backpacking? Works for him!

• When our eldest needed another year to be ready for college, we allowed her to intern in a children's ministry program at church. She gained valuable outside-the-home-experience, and the extra year for our late-birthday girl gave her the time she needed to have a successful college launch.

• One of ours loves to talk about math. So we talk! And talk and talk and talk - and she has terrific scores on her math work.

Get the picture? If I spent my days comparing my kids to other kids, or my family to other families, I'd be sunk. I've already written about the dangers of comparison, but one danger I didn't mention? Missing out on the unique qualities of your family.

Enjoy the unique way that God has created your family! Celebrate it and use it for His glory!

Ready for a giveaway? This week, the folks at Home Educating Family are providing a fabulous wall calendar for one reader of my blog! It's got huge writing space for a uniquely busy family - like mine!

Want one? Leave a comment, and you're automatically entered! Tell us how you make your school unique, tell us your favorite terrible joke, or just say, "I want that calendar!" I'll choose a winner next Thursday using (Note: make sure I have a way to reach you in your comment!)

I'm also supposed to say the following (read in monotone announcer's voice): Due to international sweepstakes laws, this giveaway is for US entrants only. This giveaway is not tied to any social media site. All prizes must be claimed within 8 weeks.

See you next week for "Outside the (Curriculum) Box!"


Jen in Al said...

love this. what a great reminder to see the blessing in the way God has designed my family and me! I am so thankful for the way home education enables us to shatter:) "the box" and really think about what is best for our individual, unique children and our family. Thanks for the giveaway!!! love, jen in al

Sandra Knutson said...

Love this post! Thanks for the reminder of why we choose to homeschool. We have had a difficult week with homeschool and life training with our 7 and 5 yo. So I definitely needed to be reminded that we are homeschooling our children as part of Life Training our children as part of GOD's PLAN for our family.

I would love one of the calendars :)

Heather said...

I hear you, Sandra. . . . we've had a hard month, and writing this has helped ME to remember and stay on track as well! Thanks for the comment!

Anonymous said...

I love your discussion of how unique each of your children are, and how homeschooling allows them to cultivate their tastes and talents... I have found the same thing with my children, and I need to remember to celebrate their individuality!