Tuesday, September 7, 2010. The first day of our 2010-2011 school year here in the Lockwood home! And we are so excited and so thankful! We have seen such sweet and amazing answers to prayer in preparing for this year and we feel so very blessed.
This is the latest I have started a school year in a llooonnnggg time! When Timothy was a little thing, I remember always starting the day after Labor Day; it seemed like a perfect end to summer and a great time to begin. But as the children grew in grade level and number, I began to start earlier as it always seemed we needed those early weeks to get a jump start on the year in order to finish our goal by summer.
In recent years, we have started early and still finished later than we'd planned. So when it was inevitable that we'd have to start this year later than I'd hoped, I told Daniel that maybe we'll start late and end early! Wouldn't that be a change! :)
Oh, but we just love school! I love to see the children learning, growing and so excited about each new day and what it will bring. The children look forward to each new day, each new page, and even when it is difficult and it seems they will "never be able to understand", what joy to my heart as well as theirs to see them persevere and with the Lord, overcome those obstacles!
I finished our school schedule a couple weeks ago and with the new schedule in the front of their binders, the children referred to it regularly the first few days, but by the end of the week were moving smoothly through each activity without me having to direct their every step. We still have a couple of areas that need readjusting (what looks great on paper isn't always practical when put into practice :) ), but overall, we are just so thankful for how the Lord directed and helped us in putting it together.
I took lots of pictures our first day! :) Usually, I'm so busy teaching and supervising during the day, I don't have time to take pictures, but I always try to keep the camera close by me our first day to get some shots. These I want to print up and put into their binders when they get filed away at the end of the year.
In praying about our schooling and about my schedule, the Lord clearly led and opened the doors for the answers. Hna. Tola, a dear widow lady who has been in our church since almost the beginning, needed a job. The Lord opened the doors for her to begin working here in our home. What an amazing blessing she has been! She arrives early, helps make breakfast, does some general cleaning and laundry, and makes lunch while I continue working with the children. And it's wonderful to have so much Spanish being spoken in our home! She's so thankful to be able to work, to be indoors, and to have a Christian environment. She is like a grandma to our children and we just love her and her grandson Ivan so much.
Each year, while I feel more comfortable in some ways with the teaching, scheduling, problem solving areas of home schooling, I feel more and more the deep need for the Lord. I need His grace, wisdom, strength and help each day. I feel so weak and inadequate sometime, but as I read in I Corinthians 1 each early morning this week, when we are weak, He is strong.
How quick I can take glory for the "good" that happens. He is the only One who deserves glory! And I want our lives to bring glory to our wonderful Savior! The other chapter I've been meditating on is I Corinthians 13. How I want my life to be filled with love for my Lord and others. How I want our lives to shine Christ's love to a hurt, crying, lost world. How I want us to reach out to help, encourage, and uplift others and point them to the One who will carry them, bind their wounds, and heal their hearts. Praise the Lord for His Salvation!
Here's a little glimpse into our first day...it didn't run perfectly as planned, but it was just the best!
Every child gets a binder for the year where they keep the years work. We buy the ones with the clear plastic covers so they can decorate it as they'd like. The day before we started school, I handed out a new schedule to each school child to keep in their binders and we went over it together so they would know what to do and I could answer any questions they might have at first.
First day of school pictures. It was overcast that morning (very rare for here!) and it was extra bright outside, so a few of the children were squinting (think getting up extra early + bright :) ), but I think they are just so handsome/pretty/cute all the same :)
Susannah- almost 5
And we can't forget little sleepy Samuel :)
Reciting verses together
Rebekah's favorite time of her schedule each morning...teaching the little ones :) She does wonderful at it; it is amazing what she has helped them learn!
This little guy loves his mega blocks...they keep him happily busy for quite some time.