Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Homeschooling R.O.C.K.S - Meet Amy

Homeschooling R.O.C.K.S!

Real Moms, who face different Obstacles and Challenges as they homeschool their kids, yet put their trust in their King, Jesus Christ, and Stand firm in what the Lord has called them too!
Amy with her 4 adorable girls!

Me: "Hey, Amy. Who would have thought back in our college days that we'd both be moms of ALL girls and homeschooling! I am so excited to give you the chance to share your homeschooling experience"

Amy: Andrea thank you! It is always encouraging to hear fellow mamas share about their lives and homeschooling.

Me: "I already know you but tell those reading this blog a little about yourself and your family"

Amy:  I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and headed down to southern California to attend LIFE Pacific College. There I met my husband Joost. He had come all the way from the Netherlands! We met on the soccer field…he “Euro” kicked the ball, and I took it in the face…long story short, we fell in love got married and 13 years later have four beautiful daughters (Lauren 10, Aubrey & Bethany 8, and Mia 6) whom I have the privilege of homeschooling!

Me: "Have you always known you wanted to homeschool or are you what they call an 'accidental' homeschooler?"

Amy: When my oldest daughter turned 4 we sent her to preschool, then on to private kindergarten, then put her on a bus for first grade to attend our local public school, she had just turned 6. She would daily leave at 8:20am then would return at 4:00pm. This was so hard for me to have her away so many hours out of the day. And she was struggling. She was having a hard time adjusting to the school system and all the responsibilities it entailed. She wasn’t happy. She was overwhelmed and anxious. She was 6 years old with a full time job. During this time the light bulb went on, not in my head, but in my heart. I found myself following the system. Do this, do that. I thought to myself, “Am I a follower?” I realized that I had a choice for my daughters future, for all of my children. I spent her first grade year immersed in research, the word, and the Lord. I found my answer…I am a follower, I follow Jesus! And I am going to trust Him with my children’s future, and I will trust Him with their education. The following year I began to homeschool. Three years later, I can’t imagine it any other way.

Me: "What would you say are your favorite aspects of having your girls home with you everyday? What are the challenging aspects as well?

Amy:  I love being with my girls! To share life together is priceless. I love being able to sit back and take in the moments my girls share while playing. I enjoy being able to witness the “light bulb” moments when we are learning side by side. We laugh together and we cry together. We make memories everyday together. Yes, there are daily challenges. Like the fact that we are all girls here! And my little sweeties aren't always so sweet. More than anything though they are little living reflections of me. Which lets be honest…isn't always pretty. Again, this mama is learning a lot about herself. The Lord uses my little ones to teach me, and to train me. I am thankful that these humbling moments are often in the comfort of my own home ; ). Attitude adjustments, start with me. Asking forgiveness is a must. But my favorite aspect of being home is choosing to go to the foot of the cross together, inviting Jesus to guide us through our days together. We choose to trust Him to guide us daily in our "all girl" school!

Me: "I know no two days are the same but what does a typical day in your household look like?"

Amy: I would like to say that I have it all together and that we have this amazing schedule that we stick to everyday without fail…but it’s the total opposite. One of the big positives to homeschooling is how flexible we can be. We have had to be very flexible these last three years. Our schedule changes each year, and sometimes half way through the year. My husband works long days so we adjust our schedule accordingly. Sometimes this entails sleeping in and going out for breakfast, or staying up later than typical just for goodnight kisses and hugs. Often our school day can even be an hour or two here, and an hour or two there with plenty of free time in the middle. One of the things that I found works well for us, is allowing the girls to have free time after breakfast to get their wiggles out. Four girls means we have plenty of imagination and creativity going on. I want my girlies to enjoy these years, expressing themselves and pretending and just enjoying life!

Me: "I love when people reference that they could never homeschool because they don't have the patience for it. I think the one thing I have learned in the midst of homeschooling is that I do NOT have a lot of patience, but of course the Lord continues to work on me in that area. What have you learned the most about yourself since homeschooling?"

Amy:  To be honest, I have learned that I can be so selfish and short tempered at times. Its embarrassing. The one thing that I humbly acknowledge is that I am nothing without Christ. I have to daily surrender my flesh. I have to daily surrender my expectations and allow the Lord to lead. Its amazing what happens when you open the door and let Jesus in!!

"Don't copy the behavior and customs of the world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is." Romans 12:2

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5

"My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9

Me: "Are there days/times you feel like throwing in the towel with homeschooling? What encouragement would you give to any mom out there who is feeling this way?"

Amy: Yes. If Im overwhelmed and feel like giving up, its usually because I've lost focus. I need to put my eyes back on Jesus, get in the word and seek his face!

"For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need." Phillippians 4:13

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful then the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Phillippians 3:6-7

Me: "Are you involved in a homeschool co-op or any kind of outside homeschool support groups?"

Amy: Yes! This last year we joined with our school district in a parent partnership program. The school district has a school dedicated to homeschooling families. The teachers are wonderful and my girls get the opportunity to take different classes according to their interests, or mine! This has been a fun addition for our family. The girls have made many new friends and have enjoyed learning along side other children their age.

Me: "Is there anything else you'd like to share that I didn't cover?"

Amy: Yes! "Never give up, never surrender!" Hee hee! But seriously,

"Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble, and always be prayerful!" Romans 12:12

Me: "Amy you are a beautiful person inside and out, with 4 adorable little girls! I'm so happy to be on this homeschooling journey with amazing gals like yourself! Thank you so much for taking the time to share from your heart"

Amy: Thank you Andrea! I hope that through each of these interviews, each woman reading will feel encouraged, find hope, take Joy and trust that the Lord has begun a good work in each of them!

1 comment:

  1. Wow that totally spoke to my heart strings. We need each other so bad. We just started back to home school today after a year at public school. I had my doubts just realizing what a sacrifice it is and how stubborn people can be (me and my kids). Ugh, we need you Jesus, thanks for all the great reminders. Love you both and miss you tons, Brook