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Control, Concern, or Confidence?

Control Concern or Confidence @harmonyartmom

Confidence-the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something, firm trust.

This isn’t the post that I had planned for today but it woke me up in the middle of the night just daring me to get up and write it. You know those thoughts in the wee hours that rattle around and around until you have to roll over, throw the covers off, and just get up to unload the things swirling in your head.

From now until the beginning of May, my life will be filled with things that are pushing me way out of my comfort zone. There will be things that I know will test my ability as a mom to let go of children, to let go of a feeling of control.

You see as a homeschooling mom I felt a huge amount of control over what the children did each day, what they experienced, and how far I would allow them to stretch. Maybe that feeling of control was all an illusion or maybe my control was real…now I am not so sure. It may have just been a slow releasing of them out into the universe, so slowly that I didn’t realize it until it had already happened.

We nurtured in our children a trust  in a greater power and purpose. They seem to have no great apprehension that the big things they are doing in their lives are part of the right path. The learning they experienced through homeschooling gave them a pattern to follow.

  • Make a goal.
  • Define steps to achieve the goal.
  • Pray over the steps.
  • Take one step at a time.
  • Enjoy the ride, whether it turns out as planned or somehow the goal is refined and looking back they can see how it was touched by holy spirit and was exactly as it should have been in the first place.

Being on the sidelines, I can become a little anxious. I struggle with wanting them to stay safely at home or at least near-by. There are those middle of the night moments when I worry about all the details. But, holding onto them too tightly is not the answer. I can’t keep every bad thing from happening, no one has that power. So now is the time for me to not only talk the talk but to walk the walk and show them I have confidence in my path. They are still as young adults watching me to see how I will handle my new freedom.

I have made new goals, prayed over the goals, taken steps to achieve the goals, and now like them I need to enjoy the life that has been given to me as a gift.

Parenting is a series of readjustments in thinking. Just when you think you have it all figured out, you face a new challenge. I am drawing strength from watching the way my children are facing the world.

Middle of the night thoughts are normal for moms. It will always be our job to be concerned over our children no matter their age. That is what moms do.

 

Homegrown Learners

Weekly Wrap-Up: The Value of Long Term Goals

Long Term Goals @HarmonyFineArts

Mr. A’s small airplane and the view from up there! Amazing!

The value of long term goals came into distinct focus this week with my formerly homeschooled older children. Two of my children are on the verge of achieving very long term goals that have meant sacrifices of time and money as well as  faith in their ability to persevere. Their example inspires me to make some long term goals in my life and watch for blessings on those goals.

Amanda has had the long term goal to serve in a mission that would use her strengths and her abilities. She has worked hard to learn a new language over the past four years to the point of being able to use it in a ministry to others. I have watched as she stepped out of her comfort zone and embraced not only a language but a culture. She also has spent lots of time volunteering in construction and now is ready to use those skills in Bolivia later this year.

Long Term Goals 2 @HarmonyFineArts

Valuable part of her goal – Passport with Bolivian Visa.

So many hurdles have been met and overcome in the past few weeks, including FedEx losing her passport and visa in the mail. Yesterday the two of us flew to Los Angeles to transport the newly attained passport to the Bolivian consulate so they could reissue her visa. It was a successful trip and the people in the consulate were helpful, efficient, and encouraging.

Mr. D, my aspiring pilot, has reached the last leg of his pilot’s license process. His solo cross country and night flights are all logged into his logbook. He has a few more requirements to meet before he will have his shiny new license in his hands, probably by the end of the month. I have shared before how this has been his dream since he can remember and even though many people don’t understand why he would choose to skip college courses for now and focus on his flying, he has kept at it even when others were making him feel as if he were slacking. I am so proud of his attitude as well as his actual accomplishments. His attitude is something he can apply anywhere in his life, no matter the goal.

So if there is any doubt about the value of long-term goals…perhaps goals other than a college degree…I am writing to say that you don’t need to fear that road with your children. Personal long term goals have made a big difference in our family.

There is no greater joy than seeing your children make goals, stick with them, and then achieve them.

Homegrown LearnersHigh School Link Up

Homeschool Grades versus Achievements

Achievements in High School

It is that time of year again…the time of year when all of us moms of homeschooling high school students feel the need to record everything down on paper for transcripts. For myself, high school brought home the fact that we really are preparing these kids for their futures. I think it is easy to forget all that when we are looking at all the wonderful curriculum choices out there….it may be a great plan, use great books, and have some fun activities but is it really preparing our children with skills they need for the rest of their life?

Many of the skills they need are not available in a curriculum. Much of what we work on in the older grades is about good habits, good attitudes, and good qualities.

Why are grades hard to give in our homeschool?

  • We take very few tests. Math is a subject that I give tests in…not so much to get a grade but to determine if the material was mastered. If the test shows an area that needs to be worked on, we review and retest. In other subjects, I know from the written work and from discussion whether things were covered well enough so there is no need for a test. I prefer to give end of the term exams which are Charlotte Mason in style.
  • Lots of learning is done orally and not graded. It is hard to grade a good discussion. I encourage question asking and then following up to find the answer. Self-education can’t really be graded….it is always above and beyond the required material.
  • I tend to have my children rework things that are lacking. When you homeschool, there is no reason that a formal writing assignment can’t be polished until it is of highest quality.
  • Most projects and papers have an assignment rubric so my children know what to expect. Assignments aren’t turned in until they are completed. We still work on meeting deadlines but that is to be expected as my son takes over more of the responsibility for scheduling and completing assignments. The rubric will give a score that I can record and the score is based on how well they completed what was asked of them.
  • I don’t grade art projects but use a rubric to reflect the amount of effort given towards a certain goal. If you use Artistic Pursuits you have a grading rubric in the back of your book to look at and adapt to your use.
Homeschool Tracker Report Card
The official report card does not give the complete picture of learning.

All our scores are kept in Homeschool Tracker and that part is easy to generate. I enter the points earned at the end of each week and I only really pay attention when it comes to the end of the term.
  
The bottom line is that I keep scores and grades so I can generate a transcript. I also keep foremost in my mind that the most important “grades” are those my children will receive once they leave my homeschool world. I try not to sacrifice the real education that takes place with all the different kinds of learning we offer in our high school courses just so I can have a grade to record. It does take a little more effort.

I tend to think of achievements rather than grades when I am recording end of the year records. You can read more and see a sample in this entry: Narrative Report Cards. 

There are also some thoughts in this entry that may help:

Homeschool Tracker

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