Homeschooled or Unschooled

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We recently began homeschooling, just this year actually. God laid it on my heart to begin homeschooling early in 2018, but I was so hesitant to take that on. Just the thought of it overwhelmed my head and heart. However, when God brings us to something, He doesn’t leave us there alone. So He surrounded me with many homeschool families to help support me during this new transition. And still I hesitated, that is until my son Wyatt, was diagnosed with T1D. Then I jumped on this new ministry like my life depended on it!

Homeschooling

We started homeschooling with my heart set on all of these curriculums that I had brought together for one big idea. I had this picture in my head of me reading aloud daily to happy children who never misbehaved or got frustrated. Then God popped that bubble of a very unreal idea of homeschool and set a much smaller plan in my heart. Since this is our first year, we only do the bare minimum with fun stuff thrown in the mix. So basically by homeschool is a mixture of school at home and unschooling.

Unschooling

When I first read about unschooling, I was repulsed! My organized teacher heart did a back flip and landed in slime with a disgusting PLOP! How could any child learn from the unschooling technique? That’s what I would ask as I read all of their ideas. Then when I started homeschooling and God started whispering to my heart to go “At the pace of the children,” I started to love the idea of unconventional teaching. We have stopped curriculums after 3 weeks and tossed them out the door if they tried pushing to hard or overwhelmed either of my older children. We spend a lot of our days letting God lead our school. We focus majorly on biblical principals and biblical history. We learn our math facts with God’s truths thrown in and we learn literature and handwriting from passages of Psalms and christian authors like C. S. Lewis.

At the Pace of the Children

God whispered this to my heart one evening when I was becoming increasingly concerned with the pace my youngest was learning the alphabet. He caught my attention very suddenly and said “Daughter, I never rush you to take steps you are unprepared for, so why are you rushing him? This ministry is for you and your children to grow more in love with Me, not the alphabet. Let him lead this while you lead him to Me. Trust me to fill any void that is left.” And that was it. I was hooked. We would go only as fast as the children were comfortable and the rest was left for God to fill. Trust, faith, and grace are all needed to homeschool, and thankfully God fills me every morning with each of these sufficient for the day.

If you have any homeschooling advice, or curriculums you love, please let me know! I love hearing from other homeschool families!

With All of God’s Blessings

Stephanie Smith

Change, change, and more change

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My son Wyatt is 8 and he is winning at life with T1D. He conquers every single day like a champion! His math skills are exceptional (better than mine!) thanks to carb counting and correction factors, his faith in God is unshakeable, and his prayer life is out of this world. He knows the power of healing prayer and the power of walking out your personal testimony, no matter the cost, for the glory of God.

When you live with T1D, there is only one thing that is certain, and that is that every single day will be different. What you do one day that worked, will definitely not work the next day. What you ate that day that kept your blood sugar in a good zone, will make you sky rocket tomorrow. Day after day of shots, checks, and corrections lead to burn outs quickly, well for me. He excels in taking every day as a grain of salt. He amazes me! So now, after waiting long enough for his nerves to calm down, he has requested an insulin pump….. (insert anxiety here).

Now don’t get me wrong, I wanted an insulin pump. I’ve researched for the best one for his age, checked all the reviews, asked his diabetic educator her opinions, visited the doctor with questions, and asked my own “diabetic family” their advice. But ultimately, it is his decision. I leave all of these BIG changes up to him because in the long run, he is the one that has to live with and learn to love these devices. However, now that he is ready and his insulin pump has arrived via FedEx, I’m hesitant to schedule the training. Not because of any fixable reason, just because of fear of change. Again. Every time we get adjusted to the new of diabetes, a new ball is thrown into the juggling match that I have to master. It’s overwhelming and stressful and just plain out scary. Right after his diagnosis I left the hospital with the mindset of “Once I get home and do it myself, I’ll be good to go.” And technically that is true; I’m excellent at rolling with the punches.

CONTINUOUS GLUCOSE MONITOR

When we got the new CGM (Continuous glucose monitor) I was all on board for that. It is an amazing device that checks his sugar every 5 minutes 24 hours a day. But let me tell you the shock of seeing how food and drinks mess with a body that has a pancreas that doesn’t produce insulin. It’s insane! I stayed in a panic for at least two weeks. The alarm blared every 5 minutes every night for the first week! It was terrible. What I thought would make diabetes easier, made my life incredibly difficult and I was heart broken. Now a days, its easier, but not by a lot. The alarm haunts my sleep most nights. The roller coaster on the screen of the CGM reader makes me unforgettably aware that I am unfit to replace an organ that God made perfect for a body.

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So now I am at a cross roads of going to finalize this insulin pump set up, or to just keep going with the multiple injections every day. While I know I will eventually get brave and take Wyatt to his training, I think I’ll sit here in the comfort of our “normal” for a little while longer. Until I gather all of my courage and face this newest change, I’ll hold my strong little man a little while longer and pray with him. Pray for strength, courage, and perseverance for me. Pray for painless injections, normal sugar readings, and a steady faith in God for him.

With All of God’s Blessings,

Stephanie Smith

Meals for Days

With a family this size, and still growing, I look for any way possible to save me time and energy on a daily basis. One way I do this is by sitting down over the weekend and creating a menu for the week.  I like to include the kids in this because maybe that way they will actually eat what I cook! Sometimes this works, sometimes this doesn’t. The key to it being successful is by compromise and not grinding your teeth after your child declares your food “sucks” for the fifth time that day.

One of the many reasons I choose to create a menu is that it saves me money. I can take a look around our pantry and refrigerator to see exactly what ingredients we have and go from there. I will only have to go to the grocery store if I absolutely have to have something to finish the meal. When I started doing this, it saved me loads of money that I’d normally blow at the store on items I didn’t need that would end up going bad in the back of the fridge. This way, I bought only what I needed for that week.

Another beautiful plus from creating weekly menus is I was running around at 5:00pm desperately looking for something to thaw or something quick to whip up before the husband came home. I could begin my dinner preparations at breakfast since I already knew exactly what we were going to be eating. Also everyone was in agreement for what I was cooking since they had a chance to vote and veto items off the menu when it was created.

All in all creating a weekly menu has really changed my dinner time game. My kids enjoy the responsibility of being able to choose what we eat for dinner, and they also get to help prepare dinner with me. It helps me keep my peace and that allows my mind to focus on other more important topics that need to be attended to. Like separating the fighting kids or saving the cat from being flushed down the toilet by my daring two year old. Oh the joys of parenthood!

 

Thanks for reading this! I hope you enjoyed it and that you found something useful from it! God Bless!

 

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me! This is a new and exciting season of my life as we expand from a blended family of six to a family of seven. Come June 1st (or sooner) we will be welcoming another beautiful blessing from God into our tiny house. It’s such an adventure, this thing called life, and I’m happy you have chosen to spend a little time with me on my page. I hope you enjoy my posts and please leave replies on anything that catches your interest.

God’s love is unchangeable, He knows exactly what we are and loves us anyway.

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