During the spring and early summer of this year, I spent a lot of time considering what our life might now be like if I had left the kids in public school… and how very grateful I am that I was led to homeschooling.
Midsummer came, and with it car troubles, house troubles, financial troubles, grumpy 13-yr-old troubles. I found myself second-guessing things. Finances would be simpler if I put the kids in school. I could work more hours. Afford payments on a car. Not have to wonder how I was going to buy curriculum.
Mentally, I remain 110% committed to homeschooling. We’re fortunate to be surrounded by people who support our homeschooling and recognize the positive impact it has made on the kids. I’m continually reminded what a blessing homeschooling has been to our family.
Still, emotionally, I was struggling. When is it my turn to choose the easy way out? I’ve spent 15+ years being mom, and doing what my kids *need*, regardless of what I *want*. Every choice I make is based on what is best for them. Sometimes, I wonder if there is even any of ME left at all… or if I’d recognize myself if I saw her!
Into this maestrom arrived a sturdy, 200-page hardbound book, How To Have A H.E.A.R.T. For Your Kids by Rachael Carman. I’d previously read the introductary chapter online. (Click on “sample chapter”. Also available is the table of contents.)
Centered on one mom’s Christ-led journey of faith, parenting, and homeschooling, Have a H.E.A.R.T. is a guide to rejuvenating your commitment to your family. It doesn’t matter where you are along the path, you’ll find that the suggestions will apply to your own life.
As a divorced single mom, I felt a bit silly as I started reading the chapter “Enrich Your Marriage”. It’s a little late for that, right? Granted, I’m in a relationship these days, but when the kids are just mine, and already half to three-quarters grown, the dynamics are different.
Despite my disassociation with the main topic, I was surprised to find that a passage in this chapter is the one that most strongly resonates with me. There’s a couple of paragraphs that discuss “living the marriage out loud”… to simplify, do our actions, and what we’re showing people outside, fit what we want to exemplify? Are our actions those that we want our children to emulate? Despite the focus on marriage here, that line of thought has some pretty strong applications in all that we do. Who we are, and what we model, no matter whether we are at home, or out in our community, is vital to what our children are learning from us.
I was surprised to find that this book is one that I want close by – it’s in the stack with my bible and a few other titles that I reach for when I’m seeking answers. It isn’t quite a reference, so much as it is a guide to self. There is so much here that I’m finding something new each time I open it.
Christianity is so interwined with the story, it’s not possible to separate it, and that is both is both its greatest strength and my deepest regret.
I have friends, fellow homeschool moms, that I would absolutely LOVE to share this book with… and due to religious differences, it wouldn’t be well received.
I get it, I really do – this is a book written by a Christian, for other Christians, published by a Christian publisher – it is what it is.
Yet the challenges described in these pages are universal; however illogical it may be, I still wish that there was a non-denominational version so that the wisdom within was available to all.
We start our 7th year homeschooling next week. How To Have A H.E.A.R.T. For Your Kids will remain in my “bag of tricks” to get me through the year.
To see what other crew members had to say about this product, check out the TOS Homeschool Crew blog post, Apologia–How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. For Your Kids.
**I received this product for free as a member of the 2011-12 The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew so that I could provide you with an honest review of it by our family.**