This year we embarked on the journey of being an official homeschool family. Aryanna has been doing an eclectic style pre-kindergarten but will be moving to a full kindergarten curriculum soon (more on that later). She has excelled in many areas and I could not be more proud of her. It is time that we share an honest moment though: numbers have been our weakness. Yes, OUR weakness. We’re in this together. School is not just her responsibility but all of ours as a family and we have been struggling.
Aryanna has had terrible trouble with number recognition. She can count past 30 by 1s, 40(ish) by 5s, and 100 by 10s. She can do basic addition and subtraction using items; especially grapes. Her penmanship is improving and becomes clearer every day. Ask her what a number is though and she shuts down. She becomes agitated, uninterested, and overwhelmed. I become frustrated and confused. Nothing we have tried has seemed to lead towards progress. She recently realized a 0 is a zero. I almost cried.
This hurdle has made me question myself…a lot. There have been many late nights researching homeschool curriculums, browsing ways to help with number recognition, and obsessing over if I am enough. Am I strong enough? Am I patient enough? Am I dedicated enough? Can I really do this??
I could scream from the mountain tops. Aryanna is so proud and excited that she can’t even sit still for a picture. We have had a breakthrough. Numbers 0-9 were all recognized and named! I am expecting a slight setback tomorrow and over the next few days as they sink into her long term memory but this is a huge step for us! We will still have challenges. We will still have the ups and downs. We will still butt heads and have meltdowns. These moments when I get a glimpse of something “clicking” for the first time though is worth every vexing disagreement. The ability to be there for her “ah-ha” moments is indescribable and irreplaceable. It is what makes homeschool so special and intimate.
Many people ask me if we will continue to homeschool through high school and right now I cannot answer that. We do not know how long we will be traveling full time. We have no way of knowing when or if we will settle, much less where. For now, I know we are doing what is best for our family. I see it in the way they light up when Daddy walks through the door. I hear it in the excited squeals over new materials or books. I feel it in my heart as I cheer on their successes. This is where we should be and this is the path He has chosen for us. In the depths of our darkest challenges, I pray that the rays of our mini triumphs will guide us through. May these small successes never be lost, forgotten, or overlooked for they are not just lessons. They are the building blocks of our children’s future.