Thursday, April 02, 2015

Finding Our New Normal

Almost daily I slip in and out of this little page in the blogosphere and briefly sigh over its dusty state of abandonment. I think, "I should write something" but then fatigue and a million other to-do's trip over my brain which decides, "I just don't have it in me."

Today I received a kind little comment out of the blue, anonymous yet encouraging with the words: "I still check weekly for new stories. :) hope all is well!"

Sometimes it's nice to know one is missed. :)

The truth of the matter is that I still feel that I'm fumbling to find our new normal. Since school started last month, we shipped two off to Chilean classrooms; kept two at their computer keyboards; and one little soul became my own special charge to educate each day. On the first day of school, we snapped these pictures:

While the girls for the most part self-educate, I am grateful but worry if they are truly learning all they need to know. Recently (to their chagrin) we made the decision to invest in an outside math program for them because of our concerns in that area. I have integrated writing assignments and book reports and spelling tests not included in their online program in an attempt to oversee their language and grammar. But when their assignments sit ungraded - because by the time I finish with our first-grade homeschooler, lunch (our main meal of the day) must be made/served/clean up and then there is homework for the two returning from Chilean school - I question whether they are helpful at all.

The differences between our two first-graders is stark. Ian in homeschool struggles with an attention disorder and it would seem, an as-yet undiagnosed learning disorder which manifests itself in his inability to retain information in his short-term memory. Alec in Chilean school has suddenly been thrust into the world of uniforms and taking notes in a separate notebook for each new subject in school. He loves to dress up and thrives on social aspect of school, but is too shy to ask questions in his second language and seems to get overlooked in a classroom of thirty-two students with only one teacher.

Meanwhile, ministry joys and challenges continue. I am overdue in sharing pictures of our pro-life volunteer training conference and recent baptisms. Even as exciting new opportunities loom, we witness how the enemy seeks to sow petty discord among those God wants to use for His purposes. Finding focus and balance between the needs of our family and those of our people can be difficult. Will you pray for us? That we might always remember "... greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." (1 John 4:4)


Deborah said...

I love you. <3 I'm praying for you!

Noella said...

It is good to see you here again. Praying for strength to balance all that is on your plates. God bless your precious family and kingdom work.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see you're blogging again, I love reading about your family.And with everything you have to do in your busy life, the fact that you are also homeschooling fills me with enormous admiration of your patience and dedication.

Nedra Kaufman said...

Stephanie, I just wanted to encourage you by letting you know that I read your blog and pray often for your family and ministry. I will pray specifically for the things mentioned in this article.

2 Cor. 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

~Nedra Kaufman

Unknown said...

My little Haitian sensation struggled early on in school too. He is not squirrelly, but he can't/won't focus on academic work without a battle. He was later diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed a modest dosage of Ritalin LA.
We found that small (short) learning sessions work best, and that he does eventually get it.
I'm not a big fan of ADHD diagnoses. Academic learning is so hands off (and for kids, it doesn't seem to be applicable to anything they NEED to do). I guess if they were responsible for building a fence to protect a family garden, they would be better at calculating perimeter or adding up the cost of fence posts... (I speak as the mom and a high school teacher of 24 years.)
Anyway, it is frustrating, but be of good cheer calm. He will grow up and into his gifts. And be employable. And survive ;-)

Sheri Wiebe said...

I still check in on your blog often too. Take care.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous is so happy to see you here again :) and is praying for you :)