Years ago when we just started homeschooling, one of the questions asked to this ‘unqualified teacher/mother’ who every one thought was insane in the challenge she was taking up, was: “How will your children learn about the competitive world, while they are in an isolated, home environment, with no peers to compete with, especially your boy (only CJ at that stage)?”
It was a very challenging question and at that stage a question I had no idea how to answer. The only thing I was certain of, was that God appointed me to homeschool my children (a posting for another day) and I was certain that God knew the big picture and never makes mistakes. He would sort out the details; He would give me answers to my questions as we proceeded on the road He was leading, if He thought it to be necessary. I knew there would be questions He didn’t need to answer and I only had to trust him in this, daunting journey. Thus, when I was asked about competing, I usually just gave a short, but certain, answer: “They will still be able to compete with peers in extramural activities.” I had no idea, how God would do it, though.
And that was exactly what we did over the past ten years. We let them participate in extramural activities, as much as was possible for us, not nearly as much as their peers in the public school system, but we did expose them to competitive activities.
CJ took tennis lessons, for about three years, which he enjoyed a lot. But he was still very young and didn’t have the opportunity to take part in championships.
He had a brilliant trumpet teacher, a man who had a passion for the trumpet and the gifting to instill a love for the trumpet in his students. During CJ’s third year, the trumpet teacher moved to the other side of the peninsula, I was pregnant with baby #6 and I was just not up to driving him once a week to his lessons any more. During his final year he took part in the Eistedford, received an hounourable mention and passed his Grade 1 UNISA exam with cum laude.
Heidi-Mari started off with modelling classes when she was only 4years old, but when she was five years old, she changed to ballet classes. From the first day she did ballet classes, we could see dancing is her passion, her dream.
She also tried gymnastic classes for a year, but when the year was over asked us if she could take an extra ballet class a week instead of gymnastics.
We also strive to expose Josua to the competitive world. From the age of five he received ball skill lessons (Playball) for two years, but then decided it is boring and stopped.
This past year CJ excelled exceptionality in his horse riding, taking part in various jumping- and cross country shows, bringing home several red rosettes. Josua also took part in his first show jumping event and received two rosettes.
At the beginning of this year CJ also started answering the Apologia Science Question of the week competition. He won two (international) rounds!
Heidi-Mari has just started her own card making blog. From this week she started participating in a Friday Sketch challenge on one of her favorite card making blogs. She doesn’t have any fear about participating in a challenge with hundreds of other expert card making ladies from around the world. She has the confidence to do her best and see what happens. We always encourage our children to do their best, and leave the rest up to God.
It is very comforting to look back over the past year and to see how the Lord had ‘crafted’ my children’s talents, gifts and character through home schooling and that there is no lack of opportunities to excel in the competitive world, although they are in “an isolated, home situation, with no peers to compete with”. God is faithful, like always. He knows the future of my children, He knows what challenges to expose them to, to become the person He wants them to be, to accomplish the calling He has put on their lives. Home schooling has by no means inhibited my children’s opportunity to become used to the competitive world. On the contrary, since they are home schooled they have more opportunity to focus on their passions, to give their best and excel above their peers. In most of the competitions that my children took part they competed against older children, even against adults!
On Saturday CJ and Josua both received trophies at Camelot’s Prize Giving Event.
Josua received the trophy for Most Enthusiastic Rider in the age group above 8 years up to adults (he is only 9 years old) and CJ received the trophy for Most Competitive Rider in the age group above 8 years up to adults.
3 Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.