The process of teaching a child to read is …. interesting.  A struggle at times but with THE BEST rewards for both mama and child.  The foundations are laid loooong before the child ever reads his or her first word.  I’m already teaching Porter to read.  That may seem silly but studies show that children who are read to during early infancy have a better aptitude for learning letters, their sounds and then piecing those sounds together to form words.

Last year was our first homeschooling year.  I wanted to prove that I could do this – that I could teach my children.  That’s the sad part – there is a level of success that you need to show.  You must beat the critics.  Any homeschooling mom feels this pressure – any teacher feels this pressure.  So with the help of my MIL, I set out to teach Henry to read.  I gave us until Christmas (because I can’t half-ass anything).  Using Sing, Spell, Read & Write and as many workbooks as I could get my hands on, Henry and I set out on this adventure.  He won.  He learned how to read.  I helped but only in the most minute way.  I realize not all learning experiences have that satisfaction – we certainly had our own moments of frustration and angst.  But we stuck with it.  We read book after book after book.  Then we read some more books.  I got to watch his little brain work, sounding out each letter and then forming those sounds into actual words.  Oh my word.  It was (still is) a beautiful, GRATIFYING thing.

A year later and my son is reading chapter books with ease.  Yesterday I came up with the idea that our afternoon assignment would be to create an easy reader book.  From storyline to spelling to illustration, Henry did it allALL!

I just sat back, mesmerized by the grace that God has poured out on this endeavor.  He’s blessing this decision to teach.  To be home during these precious years.  He’s blessing this time.  All I can do is humble myself and lay down all my notions of perfection and the idea that I must prove myself because that’s so ridiculous.  All I can do is open up my arms and ask for more.  Because I have nothing to give.  Read that again: I have nothing to give.  I need more.  Patience, drive, grace, love, desire. 

More God.  MORE.

And He just keeps pouring….


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  1. Goodness, I can relate to this on SO many levels! But especially the end. “I have NOTHING to give…. More God. MORE.” YES!!!!

  2. I love these posts. My husband and I are starting to talk about school for our little one (she’s only 15 months), but we know it’s a huge decision. I’m a licensed teacher, and I have reservations about sending my daughter to a traditional school. We have some time to figure it out, but in the meantime, I hope I can keep reading posts like these :)

  3. Way to go!

    After teaching for 10 years, I turned to writing so I could be home with our daughter. The teacher in me is still dominant, yet I cherish the different form it takes.

    Watching our daughter learn about tides, beach streams, shore birds, using a metal detector, baking, climbing obstacle courses and practicing yoga, etc. (just some from her daily life at 22 months) is beyond beautiful.

    Please remember (paraphrasing Emerson) that there is no learning until the student and teacher are one. In the moment when student=teacher and vice versa, there’s true learning.

    I sit in awe of all that I’m learning with Susanna including when to reinforce vs. not, when to support vs. not, etc.

  4. I so admire you for doing home schooling – I don’t think I could ever do it!And I too pray to God each morning for more patience, more grace, and more love – these twin newborns sometimes get the best of me and all I can do is pray pray pray!