Stories From The Tolbert Home

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dana, homeschooling, and the peace that we have found

It has been awhile since I have updated you all on the girls! Dana has wrapped up home school for the year, well her curriculum anyways. Now begins our summer reading and our crafts and more relaxed home schooling. I can reflect and say that with out a doubt, I chose the right direction for her this year. I am not saying it is for every child, and I do not know what will work out for Ava. But I will never forget that thought in the back of my mind months ago, more like a few years ago about home schooling. I am learning that those thoughts....when prayed about...are actually Gods still small voice. Sometimes I "ignore" that due to my own fear of the unknown. When I finally was brave enough to ask God if he was wanting me to home school her for this year....I felt that peace...that wonderful peace that passes ALL UNDERSTANDING. You know the bible says that....but I truly put that verse to use this year. Kraiger and I both said we would never home school our kids, they would turn out weird. Then we took a leap of faith literally and went with what we felt God was telling us to do...and let me tell you what happened...
Dana went from closed off and very irritable almost a very open, kind hearted little girl who now acts her age:) She is still a teensy bit crazy, she has her days of getting in trouble, teasing her sister, back talking...but boy can I say that for the most part we both agree she has done a complete turn around. I spend all day with her now, and I have had to lay my own agenda down, which has been hard, but worth it. We have very intimate talks, she opens up about her feelings, she opens up about the things she believes God is telling her. Who would think that a 7 year old would say and feel some of the things she does. But sometimes it takes sitting down, and listening. Home school has done what we needed this year, and that is a closeness. We have been through so much in the past year, and I told my wonderful mentor/pastors wife the other day that it was almost like we were going through this storm, and Dana was on the outside, and home schooling pulled her into the eye of the storm with us. My other wonderful mentor/friend Julie Chamberlain said once that sometimes God calms the storm, and sometimes God calms the child in the storm, and it was after she said that, that our prayer life changed from "HELP" to Let me have your peace in this storm, because we need to go through this to learn and to grow. Not just us but our girls. And bottom line is...when you are living a life that is not bringing you peace when you lay your head down at night...then it is time to take the next step with God. He brings peace, this world does not, and I know that I was a victim of that even going to "church" on a regular basis! Things have now changed and I desire that peace even if it means stepping out into the unknown, or laying down my own fleshly desires so I can have that peace!

 Dana and I before we head off for a day at the zoo                                                                                                                                                                  
Dana writing about each animal, what they eat, where they are from, etc. Part of our home school stuff and Ava learning by pictures!
Ava was not so sure about this whole bird feeding thing

Dana was screaming the first time the bird landed on the feeding stick, then she got the hang of it and loved it!

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