Swopping knots

20140918-379-girl-in-bed-7.jpgShe was stuck in a situation she couldn’t get out of. Circumstance she was unable to change. People who chose to disrespect her. It was like a mental snake-pit. She felt like running away. From home, from school, from everything. Or even better, just go home to God, so she would never have to enter back into the snake pit…

In the beginning of April, these were my daughters thoughts and feelings. She’s 10. On April 4th I found a note where she wrote, that she just wanted to die… It wasn’t a suicide note; It was suicidal thoughts and an intense cry for help. mental-health-thoughts_wide-a514e5c72a55accd8ef792b779b91316864bb05c-s1000-c85.jpg

Because of suicidal thoughts she couldn’t attend school – which makes sense – so she’s been home with me, doing some of her schoolwork, intense therapy and some TLC.

During these 20+ days, I have seen her stress-levels drop, I have seen cutting decrease, I have experienced her courage as she ventured into a sleepover at a friends house. When she’s in school, the stress is high, the cutting is daily and having a sleepover is simply unrealistic!

It didn’t take long for me to realize that there is only one way of dealing with this: Take her out of school. So I have… she will be homeschooled from 5th grade. As for finishing her 4th grade year at school, it may be a long shot, but the therapist really wants her to glean something positive before she leaves school, so that she may one day be able to return. It makes sense, but seems impossible.

And the Lord ain’t done with me yet… so once again I’m swopping “knot’s”:

I’m facing homeschooling. post-41755-0-90463300-1447240753.png

Though I know it’s the right thing to do and I also have God’s peace with it, I can feel every cell in my body resisting the “teacher” part. If you read my blog more or less regularly, you will know that I’m pretty well aware of my own sets of strengths and weaknesses. I’m an entrepreneur, a facilitator, a leader and organizer. Creative in many ways and a bit of a “funny clown” too. But there’s not a hint of teacher in me. The closest thing I get to that is an interest in psychology… which doesn’t really say much!About-Homeschooling.png

I’m praying for the Lord to “define my role as homeschooling mom”, because I’m… well… ahem… not there. I have this sense that if I begin “teaching” my child, it won’t go well. My role isn’t supposed to be a teacher, but I’ll try to patiently wait on the Lord to bring me the answer. I did say “try”… Lord knows, I’m not the most patient woman!

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43 thoughts on “Swopping knots

  1. As a homeschooler myself, my encouragement is that you’ll do perfectly. From my perspective, what your daughter needs is her mommy. Moms are teachers by necessity. You know her better than any teacher ever, and there are sooo many curriculums that can help you! My mom has always used Sonlight, if that helps. 🙂
    God bless!

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  2. Lene- Sorry to see that your daughter is still struggling, but what a relief that being home from school seems to help immensely. This is very encouraging! I know you don’t feel that you will do well homeschooling, but in my humble opinion, God chose you as the perfect teacher for your daughter in this season of her life. It doesn’t mean it is forever, but perhaps He is seeing these special lessons that only you will be able to deliver to her for now…? I feel confident in saying that He will indeed bring you through this season of life. He will direct your course on what to choose for curriculum, or what teaching methods to use, or even what words to say, when you ask Him. I know I was terribly nervous about homeschooling our newly adopted children, and how in the world would I ever manage to teach seven children, etc. etc. I still struggle with worrying about being “good enough”, but then I recognize it for what it is, a ploy of the devil to get me to doubt myself, and then I call on our good Father and He comforts me and guides me. I know He will do the same for you! As for some suggestions, I agree with you on the Sonlight total package curriculum. However, their book lists are worthy of checking out, as I feel they have some great ideas for literature titles. My family loves Apologia for science and also for Bible studies. The science is jam-packed with fun experiments and activities to do throughout the lessons that really helps to drive home the points in a hands-on, fun way. My children also really enjoy their note-booking journal activities that go along with the text book and I appreciate having the notebook with all their information in one place. They have both a younger and older version of the notebooks. The Apologia Bible series also uses the Notebook Journal style along with a text book and is a four-part series. Praying for you, Lene!!! <3. <3. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for checking in with me 😉
      I think I have found a curriculum that I, at least, want to try. It’s called “Move beyond the page” and was originally made for gifted kids… mine isn’t gifted, but the structure of the curriculum appeals to me, so I’ll give it a go. I will check out the apologia Bible studies. Thanks for the tip!
      Many Blessings.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It seemed mission impossible when God asked Moses at the burning bush to deliver the Israelites from bondage in Egypt…but God got them there…and prepared to take back their Promised Land. You do not need anyone to tell you your 10-year old daughter is worth more than all the gold in China. You may find out over time that you have a gift for teaching you did not know you had.

    God bless and guide your steps.

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  4. I know of other Christian women who home-school. Ann Voskamp (A Holy Experience) home schooled all her children and she lives on a farm in Canada with her husband and six kids. When I read that when your daughter went to school the stress level went up, the first thing I wondered was what was going on at school? What was causing all this stress? I am very glad to hear that you have taken her out of school, out of that situation and you are home schooling her. I think, as a creative person, you can have a lot of fun with her doing this. Instead of looking at it as being an institutional teacher, maybe find creative ways to do this that are enjoyable for the both of you.
    I pray that things continue to improve for your daughter and yourself. God bless

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    1. “What is going on at school?” is still a good question. It’s a good school, rooted in faith with Jesus at the wheel, so it is puzzling. But my daughter feels disrespected, ignored and bossed around by peers – she calls it bullying and I tend to agree. Her psychological evaluation clearly states that she is almost “too good” a girl. Being too good in an environment of not so good kids is hard… especially when they are supposed to be “good kids from homes rooted in faith” etc. kids will be kids… but kids need to learn, be corrected and grow into the good values. Perhaps I feel like this is where school isn’t doing a good enough job… 🤔 not sure I should even say that out loud.
      And you’re right; finding my role as “teacher” in a creative way is essential for homeschooling to succeed. I just need to find out how…
      thanks for your prayers!

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  5. You’re right about Sonlight (you have good instincts!) – it’s traditional, classroom oriented stuff and not very satisfying. Like any child, your girl will respond to a ‘deeper’ approach, which does two things: (1) communicates your belief that she is capable of deeper thought, and (2) any level of success in such studies will confirm to HER that she is capable of deeper thought, creating self-respect and a desire to learn more.

    For Bible curriculum, why not make up your own at the leading of the Holy Spirit? For example, pray for guidance as to what biblical topics would address her current issues, and then study the applicable passages. Once you have narrowed down the topic and passages, there are plenty of online resources to help you make them useful to your girl. You can have a once-a-week study together. These could turn out to be very valuable ‘counseling’ sessions and mother/daughter-relationship-building times!

    Remember, THERE IS NEVER ANY RUSH – don’t let yourself feel pressured to meet any deadlines or schedules. A child can learn only what they’re ready to learn, and as her mother, you will KNOW when she is ready for a particular discussion. This is the beauty of home school – you can adapt the lesson to the child and the circumstances!

    Of course daily prayer, scripture memorization, and through-the-Bible reading are indispensable. Even if she doesn’t understand all that you read, it will be stored in her memory for later use. I can testify to this from personal experience: my folks sent me to a Christian school as a child, and God used the verses we memorized MANY years later to speak to draw me to Himself!! (BTW, our boys did a lot of scripture memorization, and by the time they were in junior high, they could instantly memorize just about anything they heard or read. To this day they memorize automatically – they can quote movie scenes, remember conversations perfectly, etc. And of course the scriptures have been tremendously valuable to them as they have matured in faith. Memorization skills are truly valuable!!)

    May I also suggest that you look for ‘critical thinking’ courses? We were terribly frustrated that the American educational system merely expects students to parrot what the teacher tells them. We wanted our kids to be able to analyze any set of ‘facts’ or opinions and be able to spot inconsistencies, faulty logic, etc. It turned out to be a tremendous benefit for our son – he amazes people all the time with his ability to ‘think outside the box.’ It has helped him tremendously in decision-making, too. (And you can never start too early with critical thinking skills!! Combined with memorization skills, a kid gets real control over the stuff the world throws at them, and they can become quite the debaters. 🙂 )

    I’ll poke around and see what’s out there these days, since it has been a while since we home-schooled – looks like there is a LOT more available than there was in the 80’s and 90’s!!! Cool!

    Be blessed, dear one. You are in for such a fun adventure! 🙂

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    1. Thanks Sue! Yes, there’s a lot of stuff out there and it’s actually quite confusing, albeit it’s good to have options. Critical thinking would be good (since there’s hints of “perception process problems” but I think it’s because she’s culturally Danish in an American school!). Memorizing is not her strong suit. School has the kids memorize bible verses weekly and she’s at the point where “if I have to do another one 😠”… I think I’ll start her off with some YouTube clips of Beth Moore and her hilarious stories until she’s ready for more.
      Looking forward to see where your finger pokes 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! 🙂 ♥ I’m sure she will. ❤

        I don’t know if this helps or not since you’re in Japan, but my parents ordered my home-schooling books from Christian Liberty Academy (in Illinois) and they were shipped here (Arkansas). I remember that the textbooks were from a Christian perspective, which was nice. I wish I could remember more, but it has been almost ten years ago. 😊

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  6. Lene, I know we don’t know each other very well yet, but I know you’ll do great with homeschooling your daughter. I’m so sorry that she’s been through so much heartache with school and I’ll keep her in my prayers.

    If it serves as any reassurance, I was homeschooled K-12. I was raised in the world of homeschool co-ops and kitchen tables filled with textbooks, and I turned out pretty OK. While I at times wondered what it would be like on the other side of the fence, I’m now glad I was. I learned a lot as I was able to go at my own pace and made some of the greatest friends in the world.

    As her mom, you know what’s best for her and I know you’ll put your all into homeschooling. I also know God will guide you through this journey. It will be tough at times but it will also be really good. If you have any questions about the specifics feel free to DM me on Twitter or Instagram any time. I’m always happy to help a fellow sister in Christ.🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I think every child should be home-schooled. Lol Not too many people would agree with that! I think it is best for children to learn about life from their parents and other family members, rather than learning how to think, act and live from other students. The influence of other children can be so detrimental.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I really appreciate this. I definitely agree that the influence from other children can at times be very detrimental… it’s just sad it has to be in this way. Children are supposed to be corrected for their “mistakes”, intended or unintended mistakes… Remain Blessed.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. I agree. As an educator I have seen schools change so much over the years in regards to education. The majority of the time it is not in the best interest of the child/children. Parents that homeschool have a wonderful opportunity to love and nurture the child God has given them. To help them fulfill His plans for their life. I have two beautiful girls. One of which I almost lost in high school. By lost I mean she almost died. It was such a scary time in our lives. But I realized in those moments the only thing that mattered was loving her with his love. And doing things his way which is so beyond what the world would do. Praying continually.

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  8. Praying for your dear daughter!! Been there, as same issues with my child.
    Praying.for.strength for you and God to pour HIS love over you!
    Remember Moses didn’t think he was up to.the task that God called him to either, but God parted the waters!

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  9. I also considered homeschooling when my daughter was suffering from anxiety and depression. We tried switching schools instead, which turned out to be just what she needed. However, there are still days when I question if I made the right decision. I will be praying for you both and I know that the Lord will give you all you need to succeed.

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    1. It’s incredibly difficult to know the right way to go. I’m really glad things worked out well for your daughter. I too ask the same question, but changing schools (international) here in japan is both difficult (distance) and expensive (around 5000$ entree-fee).
      Thank you for the prayers.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. It will mean so much simply that you’re willing to try something drastic. When I was a senior in high school, my counselor and my mom decided to let me stay home once a week if I needed. It got me through. She will manage to learn the content. That’s secondary at this point 🙂

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    1. You are right. It is secondary right now and the main focus is on therapy, but she’s doing much better already.
      You must have attended a pretty decent school to get such an option. That’s wonderful and I’m really happy it helped you.

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  11. Oh, wow! That’s a big decision. Let me tell you from one mom to another, I am no teacher, either. However, I obeyed God’s call to homeschool, and while I made many mistakes, He has really come through and shown His power in the midst of my weakness! If He orders it, He’ll pay for it… May our Father’s blessings rest on your efforts and heal your daughter’s heart!

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      1. It can be overwhelming. The good news is that you can grow into it. Just pick the ones that seem like the best fit for what God has laid on your heart, and it will all fall into place. Remember, “He who calls you is faithful; He will surely bring it to pass!” 1 Thess. 5:24

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  12. I felt the same way when we made the decision to homeschool our son. I was terrified, felt totally unqualified and was afraid of having to be a ‘meanie.’! But God is good, and He was with us. I thought I would lose patience, but the Father helped me to realize that there really was no stress in the situation – we could take things at our own pace, so if it took longer, oh well. I learned two things: (1) I can outwait my son!! When he dug in his heels and said “no,” I could just sit quietly and wait for him to comply. (Once in a while I’d say something like, “I can wait. I WILL win.” One project took two years, but he realized that no matter how hard he fought it or how much he ignored it, the project would just not go away – better to finish it!! 🙂 (2) No stress. I spent a couple of weeks just testing him to figure out where he was and what was the most enjoyable way for him to learn. Turned out that he was WAY behind, but once we figured out his learning style, he went from 4th grade to 8th grade in about 3-4 months!!! And best of all, he loved it and so did I. We ended up both really enjoying homeschool. I’ll be praying that the same will be true for you and your sweet girl. ❤

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    1. I miss you Sue!
      Thanks – you outwitting your son made me laugh out loud! Fun!
      How do you test the most enjoyable way to learn..??
      Thanks for the prayers. I sure hope this will all turn out really great and much better than I can imagine.
      Can I ask – what curriculum did you use, because there’s an amount out there and some are huge packages while others are free online. It’s a maze.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It WILL turn out MUCH better than you expected! I believe that it was always God’s intent that parents would teach their children, and that kids are wired to learn from their parents. After all, who knows a child better than their loving parent??? 🙂

        I tested our son by using different teaching styles and watching to see which he responded to best. Because he was ADD (thankfully not ADHD), I suspected that he would learn better if his body was involved, so I tried things like making huge map pieces that he had to crawl around on the floor to connect – sure enough, it kept him involved and helped him to retain what he was learning. For math, we had “manipulatives” that created visual pictures while keeping his hands busy. I discovered that just hearing or just seeing wasn’t enough, so we combined hearing and seeing by various methods – when touch and activity were added, we got the full effect.

        His learning style didn’t fit any one particular curriculum, so I shopped around for each subject. Sometimes I made up my own curriculum. Yes, it is time consuming, but it’s fun and it’s also wonderfully rewarding when you see your child making great leaps!!

        If your girl is struggling with reading and grammar, I cannot recommend ABEKA reading program highly enough. We have seen it used wildly successfully in both classroom and private settings. Both of our boys were reading at 8th grade level by 2nd grade with ABEKA.

        Saxon Math is excellent – thorough and well thought out. They have good manipulatives for the lower levels. The higher levels are more traditionally oriented, but we found ways to counteract that by making our own manipulatives.

        We LOVED being able to learn history by making trips and watching videos, making things that correlated, etc. We used ABEKA, which has a pretty good history curriculum.

        My one regret is that (because we started home school so late and had so much to make up), I didn’t have time to give our son “electives” like photography, art, etc. I really wish we could have found interests that would have given him satisfaction later in life. It is thrilling for a child to learn that they’re GOOD at something, especially when that skill brings pleasure to others. Very inspiring and creates great self-confidence.

        Sorry for the long response. If you can give me (privately, of course) more information about your daughter’s age, learning level and abilities/learning style, I might be able to help better with curriculum choices, or put you in contact with someone else who can advise you. ❤

        Be warned – you are in for a WONDERFUL adventure, in which you will learn a lot about your child and a lot about yourself! 😀

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      2. I love your long responses. In learning a lot! I have a school support service who can help with various things and advice but do not make decisions… it’s a great help, but I was looking at Sonlight curriculum and it just looks overwhelming (and cotton candy coated). Easy peasy looks good but I want hands on stuff…
        she will be tutored in math and grammar because of the dyscalculia. She’s on grade level in reading (4th). She’s good with science and technology too. The rest is blurry… penmanship 🤔, biology, geography etc I have no idea where’s she at and Bible is… to moms great mental dissipation, “boring”. So I need a g-r-e-a-t bible curriculum… 🙏 one that can capture the mind of a young girl and spark the interest.
        I will look into Abeka! Thank you.

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