But my daughter had other ideas. She wanted to talk about how pretty her 3 looked.
Just write the date, sweetie.
And to comment on how my letter "t" was not written the way the handwriting model showed.
Honey, write the date.
And why did she have to make her numbers big instead of small?
Just write it!
Thirty minutes later, her notebook said, "Augus 3". No year. The letter "t" had been erased in a fit of frustration. And we were both ready to quit.Three weeks into our homeschooling journey and I was ready to quit because of a missing letter and a little girl who doesn't like to do things the same way everyone else does. As I got up from the sofa for a much-needed break, all I could think was, Are we making a mistake? How would we conquer phonics and spelling and world history and advanced algebra (someday!) if writing the date undid us? Maybe I wasn't the best one to be teaching my daughter after all.
In that moment, though, I also realized that the battle that morning was very small compared to what probably lies ahead. Not just battles over lessons and learning, but over life. There will be many times in the future that my daughter and I will clash wills, when I will want her to do something one way and she will insist on doing it with her own creative flair, or when she will question why she must obey someone else's direction. At five years old, those parts of her personality are already very clear!
It is my job as her mother to wisely read those situations and know how to guide her. Sometimes I need to recognize her creativity and individuality and let her express herself in her own way. Sometimes I will have to change what we are doing at that moment, to give her a break, with a plan to tackle it later. Sometimes I will need to give her an explanation of the why to honor her curiosity. And sometimes she is going to need to just buckle down and write the date in submission to those God has placed over her.
My job - to read the situations well, to read my daughter well, and to gently guide her and help her make choices that will form her character as she grows up. Isn't that one of our reasons for homeschooling in the first place? To have that time together where such moments will happen and we can address those kinds of issues when they come up. It's so much more than reading, writing , and arithmetic. It's also character - correcting and training in righteousness. Not only hers, but mine, too! Because the wisdom to do that, and the grace to be patient when she doesn't see the wisdom of writing the date in her notebook, will only come as an overflow of my relationship with God.
When I returned to the living room, the notebook was put away until the next day. We went on with something else and ended the morning with a hug. It reminded us of how our relationship with each other is one of the most precious parts of our homeschooling experience. Neither one of us will do things perfectly this year, but together we can trust God and lean on Him for the strength to learn and to grow.
What hurdles are you anticipating, and what are you trusting God to give you the strength for this year?