Friday, August 19, 2005

An Open Letter

(One of the goals of my blog is to record my thoughts to help my own children in their life and in their parenting. It is with that goal in mind that I share this letter to my daughters.)

To my dear daughter on the first day of homeschooling,

As you begin homeschooling, I thought I'd share a few words of advice and encouragement from someone who's been there. You are about to begin one of your most challenging and rewarding days. Don't be surprised if your excitement is tempered with a little nervousness.

If you're anything like I was, you'll have read many books (and blogs) by now about how to do this. Everyone has an opinion. And most will want to share it. Here's some of mine. Take it for what it's worth, after all you didn't turn out so bad. (Did you?)

You'll probably fret alot about the first day. Should you make it a special event? Or try and be low key? Knowing you, you'll probably even wonder what you should wear. My advice is go comfortable. The day will be longer than you think and nothing like you expected. So try to relax and enjoy it. (I know, easy for me to say!) And knowing you, you'll probably have have the schedule already made out. Exactly what should happen when. But if your children are anything like you, they'll probably wake you up before dawn. Eager to begin before you can even think a coherent thought.

There will be frustrating moments -today and throughout this journey. Moments when you will wonder if you can continue and moments of calm that you wish you could bottle and carry with you forever. This cycle will continue for what seems like forever. Your husband will be there for you. Lean on him. When you are weak he will be strong. But sometimes you will look at him and wonder, "Does he really get what I'm going through?" In his own way he does. Trust him. And trust God to speak to him and keep a quiet heart.

The day will go quicker than you can imagine. Before your know it, it's lunch time. You didn't get as much done as you thought in the morning. So you grab a quick bite and push hard the second half of the day until you're done. It's finally over. What a story you'll have to tell your friends. It wasn't as hard as you thought. Your husband cheers you on with a kiss.

And then....the doctor puts that baby in your arms and says, "It's a girl." You relax so much more now. I couldn't be prouder of you. Congratulations! You've survived your first day and the joy will be with you forever. You've just overcome one of the biggest hurdles of homeschooling. And the rest...well, let's just say "it's academic".


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