A very belated happy New Year to you all. This cold, dark month of January is nearly through and there is now a gentle fading light in the early evening sky. I always feel January is a month for hibernating; last year it was enforced, this year I’ve tried to tuck myself away in between all our commitments and activities. It’s been good to have time to allow all the collective stresses, questions, and sadnesses of the past couple of years to settle, to close down other voices for a short while and endeavour to hear God’s voice. To allow myself space to find peace in the midst of turmoil, celebration in a seasonally dark month and hope and joy in everyday beauty.
I’ve also been pondering the direction of my tiny space on this vast web, where I have the freedom and fun of sharing thoughts and practical tips gleaned from my mothering journey. I love writing and would tap away faithfully even if no one read it, but I’m truly touched and encouraged that so many of you do take time to read my musings. Thank you. I want to write words which will encourage and bless you, lovely readers.
We are a very imperfect family, and one of the problems with any type of social media is that I only portray the nice parts of our often messy lives. Sometimes I wonder if I should stop writing, but I figure that if I waited until we were sorted, I’d never write at all! Some days my writing is an act of the will; almost in defiance of how I’m feeling or what life looks like at the time. But for you, lovely readers, please know that, although there are many things in my life I am deeply grateful for, and there have been seasons in our lives when there has been more calm than storm, this season is definitely not one of them! I want to be as honest as I can, while allowing my family the privacy they deserve.
Most of my posts are about our everyday life as a home educating family, often infused with how I try to adapt this towards a child with significant educational, behavioural and sensory processing needs. I know quite a number of you read this because you too have adopted children, and I’m going to try to write more around this. I’m determined to increase our veg growing this year, and have had a tentative offer of some more bees, so I’ll write the occasional post about how I’m getting on (usually poorly) towards my self sufficiency dreams. And finally, I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been trying to work out how to live best in this strange new and unpredictable world we find ourselves in; how to live with integrity, with our eyes open and yet living life to the full each day. So, some thoughts on that as they progress will also come this way.
For today, however, I’m going to write a short update on the boys, especially for all you new readers. When our kids were younger, I was always eager to hear how other home educated children had “turned out”. Could they hold down a job, access higher education and of course, did they have friends?! I’m very glad to say that our boys can do all these; and am aware of God’s daily grace and guidance in the small as well as the big aspects of their lives.
Lanky Dude is in his second year at the University of Bristol, studying engineering. He is living at home…not what he’d planned but how it has worked out. He travels up daily with a friend who is also studying there and has enjoyed being allowed on campus this year. Bristol Uni has some beautiful buildings and is right in the midst of the city. It also has some more modern ones, with great engineering labs. He’s joined three societies, including the Christian Union, where he is in the PA team. Last summer he attended Wilberforce Academy, a week long conference run by Christian Concern with the aim of equipping students/young professionals to transform society with the truth and hope of the Christian faith, rather than allowing secular ideologies to seep into the church and change it. It was a great week, and he also has the opportunity to attend several refocus days in London. An adventure in itself for a country lad! He continues to lead worship in their band, and is a deeply thoughtful and caring young man. For those interested in how a dreamy home educated teen transitions to college life, I wrote about this here.
Rhythm Dude is in his last year at college, studying a BTech in sports and excercise science. He’s never been to school, and started full time college when he was fifteen. This is thus his fourth year and he’s heartily fed up of long bus journeys and even longer waits in town to change buses. He’s got some good offers for uni next year, which is a real credit to his perseverance and hard work; being dyslexic the many assignments take him much longer than other students. I’m still amazed when I see how far he’s come, remembering how difficult it was for him learning to read and write. God has indeed opened doors for this “out of the box” kid which I hope is an encouragement for other home educators who walk a non traditional path. He was one of those little lads who could never sit still, so our home ed was always done on the move! Now, all that energy is poured into his course, into playing rugby and going to the gym. He also has a deeply rooted faith, and continues to play drums in the band. For Rhythm Dude’s very different transfer into college life, see this post .
The girls continue to be home educated, are happy, noisy and have their own kaleidoscope of abilities and challenges….you’ll hear lots more about their escapades in weeks to come!
I’ll pen off with the first couple of verses of a great hymn which seems very appropriate for the beginning of a year . The Boys’ band played it last Sunday and it’s been dancing melodiously through my mind ever since.
Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best thought, by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light
Be Thou my wisdom, and Thou my true word
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord
Thou my great Father, and I Thy true son
Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one