Amo Amas Amat…

Amo Amas Amat…

Well, now that we are well into Octo­ber  Novem­ber, how’s your home­school­ing going?

We’ve been plug­ging along. It’s been a great start to our year. The chil­dren are apply­ing them­selves, not drag­ging their feet too much at the thought of work­ing hard.

I’m teach­ing Latin to the girls together. I had taught my older boys Latin. It sort of dwin­dled over the last sev­eral years, but I picked it up again this year for my girls. Obvi­ously, they are on dif­fer­ent lev­els of grasp­ing it at 7, 10, and 13. But, it’s been so fun hear­ing Faith con­ju­gate her verbs. It amazes me how much young minds grasp and remember.

And it’s been won­der­ful watch­ing the older girls coach Faith and drill her on her vocab­u­lary. Lit­tle do they real­ize, but it helps them remem­ber the words at the same time.

We have been learn­ing “O Come All Ye Faith­ful” in Latin. The girls can sing it now with­out the words in front of them. And they can play it on the harp. I love see­ing them inte­grate their harp into their Latin. {I still have to have the words in front of me!}

We’ve been exper­i­ment­ing with a new sys­tem of record keep­ing. It seems to be work­ing. Keeps us all account­able daily for our work. And I mean us, because I have found that if I don’t have a sys­tem in place, that I get all off track and con­fused about who has done their gram­mar that day and who is hid­ing their sci­ence. They can be sneaky like that, you know, if they really apply them­selves to it. I’ve been try­ing for years to find some­thing that works for me, that is a quick and con­cise sys­tem. And I went back to our very early days of school­ing and pulled out that sys­tem again. Hello? I guess I can be slow some­times. It was right in front of me the whole time.

I was look­ing for some snazzy iPhone app or some­thing more mod­ern. Good old note­book with printed pages for check marks for the win!

I think the babies and the tod­dlers over the years really chal­lenged me. I never knew what the next 10 min­utes were going to hold, and it frus­trated me. Now my baby is 7. I have no more excuses. Mamas of lit­tles, hang in there. It is hard going some days. I know. Just get­ting all those bod­ies fed and clothed with brushed teeth and hair is about all we can man­age on some days. Let alone the laun­dry and vac­u­um­ing, dust­ing, mop­ping, shop­ping, school­ing, and PLAY. Yes, the chil­dren ought to see the sun dur­ing the week. It’s so easy to cram every­one into the base­ment for work, totally for­get­ting their frames and their need for nat­ural Vit­a­min D.

I guess I just want to encour­age you today. I want you to know that you won’t always have dirty dia­pers, runny noses, naps, and nurs­ing babies demand­ing your atten­tion. Say­ing good­bye to those days has been hard for me. I hoped for years that the Lord would give us another. But, after a cou­ple of mis­car­riages and the cal­en­dar flip­ping so rapidly, I have come to accept that we most likely won’t be hav­ing any more babies in our home. So, even­tu­ally they come to an end, and you have more time to focus on spelling.

So, we embrace today. We embrace the grow­ing, learn­ing, con­ju­gat­ing Latin verbs that can now pick up again. And embrace it with JOY.

Wher­ever you are in this jour­ney of your life, embrace where the Lord has you today. Today is your gift. We have no promises of tomorrow.

It gets eas­ier, in some sense of the word. The phys­i­cal sense, I sup­pose. And it gets harder, in that the chil­dren start ask­ing really hard ques­tions and push­ing lim­its and bound­aries (other than how far away from Mommy can I walk and still be safe). They start think­ing log­i­cally, they start ques­tion­ing the why of the rules. They start won­der­ing about doc­trine. They have opin­ions (other than the famous two year old “NO!”) and well thought out ideas. They ask ques­tions that we don’t know the answers to.

Pride has to be set aside if we want to face this stage well. Humil­ity is on the menu daily. Cry­ing out to God for a whole new type of strength is our only hope. I go to bed at night some­times won­der­ing how I did. Did I ade­quately address the heart of my daugh­ters who are strug­gling with con­tent­ment? Did I react with frus­tra­tion at the bick­er­ing? Did I show my chil­dren hope in my inter­ac­tions with them, or was I too busy with the sched­ule that I squashed oppor­tu­ni­ties for growth, and instead chose to bark out orders to pick up toys and set the table? It’s a con­stant bat­tle between get­ting things done in time for the next dead­line and truly liv­ing out the day, accept­ing the inter­rup­tions of life as God’s prov­i­den­tial gifts to us.

Being a mother, a truly Godly mother, is so hard. We can’t just live for us. We must live for God. We must draw our strength from Him alone. May the Lord give us wis­dom as we plot out our days and make room for the inter­rup­tions that always come. One day we’ll get back to the task we thought was so impor­tant before life took over. And hon­estly, I miss those sweet baby days, the foun­da­tional days, which make con­ju­gat­ing Latin pos­si­ble in the later days of our children.

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  1. This is such an encour­ag­ing post, Tonya. Thanks!

  2. Thank you, good wis­dom to hear on this cold snowy day and a day we
    strug­gled in school.

    • Aw, Kelly, I’m glad it was an encour­age­ment to you! You are such a dear! Hang in there! The first year is the hard­est! You are get­ting into new rou­tines, get­ting used to being together all day every­day. Dying to self. All that. Con­fes­sion: I didn’t enjoy home­school­ing the first year we did it. I ended up scrap­ping that cur­ricu­lum (work­book based) and tried some­thing new the next year. 15 years later and we are STILL using that cur­ricu­lum, with just a few swaps outs for a cou­ple classes. Fit us all so much bet­ter! We couldn’t stand the dry, ster­ile work­books. We wanted real books, real world learn­ing. Made a world of dif­fer­ence FOR US. Find what works and excited both of you. It’s just a tool. Not one size fits all. 😉 You’re doing great!!


  3. I love lis­ten­ing to you my friend. I must have gone to bed think­ing I did awful yes­ter­day. I had a bad dream about my kids trot­ting off to the ‘other’ school. Oh nightmare…thanks for the encour­age­ment! And Sunny (as Faith calls her) is 7 too, we con­sider her still one of our babies…!

    • Oh, night­mare, indeed! I can’t imag­ine send­ing them off all day! Oh, my heart aches at the thought! You are a GREAT mother! You are one of the women I look up to and admire for all you are able to accom­plish so beau­ti­fully! And your abil­ity to say no, although it sure can be a bum­mer at times… 😉
      And it’s funny that Faith calls her Sunny! Haha
      She tends to mix up what peo­ple are say­ing at times. Lends itself to quite some hilar­i­ous moments…

  4. Thank you, Tonya! I’m strug­gling with home­school­ing and hav­ing two younger ones need­ing all the things you men­tioned. You spoke right to my heart. A lit­tle per­spec­tive and the reminder of Who gives us strength is so helpful.

    • I totally under­stand, Jen­nine! I really strug­gled through the years of young ones under­foot! Some­times I won­dered what I was going to do. I just knew I didn’t have any viable options but to plow ahead with the task at hand. God knows these things. He gives us the tri­als and bless­ings that fill our days. He knows what we need to become more like Jesus. May we all keep our eyes on the Goal, and trust Him with these per­ceived inter­rup­tions. And may we love our chil­dren enough to allow them to be chil­dren, and trea­sure the days. I do find that with Faith, I enjoy those inter­rup­tions more and more. I know they are short-lived, and I will be mov­ing beyond this age soon enough. Wish I under­stood that bet­ter with my older kids. Regrets. But again, the Lord knew.


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