It's no. 1's 16th Birthday!!!! We're calling it a "Psalty" 16 coz it's not a sweet 16 for our musical boy. haha....
It is so clichéd but it is so true! The years truly fly by. I first started the blog in feb 2007 when my firstborn was 7 years old to share with fellow Singaporeans about homeschooling in Singapore. Here's my first ever blog post. My intention was to de-mystify what homeschooling is like because most Singaporeans don't know what a joy homeschooling can be! My blog is a compository of our homeschooling days of the kid's childhood and their learning adventures.
Looking at back at my posts, being a young mother and without experience, I often mused about how my son will turn out. (It is always the first child we are most uncertain about because with him, we are always treading on new ground we have never tread before- the first guinea pig in everything.) There was often a sense of the Unknown how he will turn out but it was always accompanied with a sense of quiet confidence because God's promise of help and wisdom being with us as parents who follow Him.
I'm still wondering where my butterball went? This is my favourite picture of my firstborn baby. It was taken by papa one quiet evening at home. It was quiet because back then, it was only the three of us at home.
Fast forward to today, our son's 16th birthday. We are so so glad to say we have a strong relationship with him. What do I mean by "strong"? We are on the same page on our values and when there are differences, we are open in our communication and are able to work it out. There is absolute trust, honesty and an open communication. Most importantly, he is growing in his own personal faith in the God of the Bible and he desires to walk close to God. God has answered our prayers! Who says teenagers will go through rebellious years?
No. 1 having fun photographing his siblings and friends in Wisconsin. Chicken throwing game. No chickens were hurt.
Would you like to know how we arrived at this blessed time of reaping a wonderful fellowship and relationship with our eldest, now aged 16?
1) Good biblical teaching right from the start. We had good teaching, godly examples, good books which we learned from. Other families at Maranatha Baptist Church have the same testimonies.
2) Planning ahead, forward thinking parenting. Train at toddlerhood to prepare for childhood. Train at childhood to prepare for the teen years. Train at teen years to prepare for adulthood. Right now, we are encouraging him in his future career. Our goal is for him to be able to get married young and support his family.
3) Staying faithful in our own walk with God, personally as well as in church. He has grown up in our life choice but that alone doesn't ensure that he will stay in it. We have always emphasized a genuine salvation experience and in the more recent years, a real, personal relationship with God. And we are so glad, it is evident that he has both. It is truly a joy that we can't place any value on.
3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
Soup and marshmallows on a cold night in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Those were such wonderful bonding moments we will never forget.
Homeschooling has been the very best thing that we have done as a family!
Homeschooling has enabled us to respond to each of our children's whole person needs: physical needs, emotional needs, spiritual needs, schooling needs and also talent nurturing.
Homeschooling has enabled us to set aside 6 months of our lives to step out as a family to go on a road trip around America. That decision has been so pivotal in helping no. 1 understand himself better. Travelling for 6 months (june- dec 2015) was a great journey of self-discovery for him.
For those who are still not in the loop about what's been happening with our family, do check out the Facebook page, 6 Kids and a Pop-Up Camper.
Most of the photos there were taken and edited by him. And the amazing thing is that he is mostly self-taught. He has shown himself to be a confident and passionate self-learner and he works with dedication. I'm so proud of him!
How many 15 year olds can say they have a photo tour of 43 US states under their belt? Or that they are juggling publishing a 300 page photo book while preparing for O levels? I say this not to boast about ourselves but just to point out how much flexibility homeschooling offers us to respond to our various needs. If I boast, I boast only in God who has led us and enabled us.
We are ever staring at the end of our precious homeschooling days with our firstborn but we are ever cherishing the moments we have together as a family, and looking forward to more adventures as a family even as we, by the grace of God, step into doing a family business. Together. <3
Our family with our pop-up camper at Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
Love you, son. Happy Birthday!
Psalms 16: 11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
If you have any questions about homeschooling or christian parenting, you can email me, Sue at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or just leave a comment below! :D