In about a week, both of my girls will be out of town. Lindsey will be on a mission trip with the youth group at church, and Kathryn will be on a vacation with her daddy and family. While they are gone, I will disappear into (or maybe under!) my enormous pile of school books, and not come out until I have approximate weekly schedules for each subject, and a tentative daily schedule of what we’ll do when.
Thankfully, I do have our curriculum for each subject already chosen. This will be my fifth year as a homeschool mom, but this will be Lindsey’s first full year at home, and our first year with a high schooler in our homeschool! I am am optimistic and excited about the upcoming year, but I know not to expect perfection.
Lindsey’s feelings about homeschool haven’t changed much. I do think she may be just a little bit [key word there is little] less resistant to it, but she still is not happy about it. Imagine: leaving the town you’d lived in your whole life, moving to a new home in a new town, leaving behind all of your friends, suddenly having a new family, a new church, a new routine, and on top of all of that, leaving the public school system you’re comfortable with and being homeschooled when you never even knew anyone who homeschooled! It’s SO easy for me to get frustrated about how much she dislikes (hates) homeschooling so far — but when I keep all of that in mind, it’s much more understandable.
Without hope, without grace, and without the optimism that comes from both, I would feel like giving up. But with all of that, I can keep going, even on the hard days. Someday, homeschool might become something she actually likes and appreciates. I’m not holding my breath. However, I do hope that this year it will finally sink in that we are doing this — and everything else in how we parent her — because we believe it’s best for her, because we feel that God has called us to do this, and because we will be held accountable before God someday in how we parent and disciple her. That’s a major paradigm shift for her: people doing things because God called them to, and because they honestly believe it is in her best interest. This is not just about homeschool; it’s about trusting that we won’t leave her or betray her like so many adults in her life have.
But we’ll get there. I have to remind myself how far we’ve already come.
Lindsey and I were the only ones home one evening last week, and we ended up talking for hours. No serious discussions; just talking. We realized that was the longest conversation we’ve ever had. She said she likes talking to me, but sometimes can’t think of what to talk about. I told her the same thing. I reminded her (and myself) that there are a whole lot of moms and teenage daughters in the world who have the same problem — but for us, we missed the first fourteen years, so it’s an extra-big challenge. We are making progress, though; any step in the right direction is good, no matter how small a step it is.
I found a book that Lindsey and I are going to do together, called Girl Talk: Mother-Daughter Conversations on Biblical Womanhood. We’ll read one chapter each week (individually), then we’ll get together to discuss the chapter. I’ve skimmed through it, and it’s good stuff, but looks teen-friendly as far as format and language. In other words, it doesn’t seem stuffy or sound “preachy.” No book will solve our problems, but I’m hopeful God will use this as a tool to help us grow closer to each other — and to Him.