Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Mess in the Cupboard and What it Taught Me about Home-schooling.

I opened the craft cupboard door to look for an envelope for a card and accidentally tipped a small box on the shelf.  Little slips of paper tipped out.  I picked one up and read it.

They were from an activity we had done for school some time back:
little bits of memories.

 Home-schooling can seem so frustrating at times: the things that are great about it are also what make it hard.

When you home school, your kids are with you in your own home environment all the time.  This means that your kids are always with you...not much time alone unless you can manage to sneak down the stairs in the morning without them hearing you, or you can try to keep your eyes open after they have gone to bed for enough time to read more than 3 sentences from a book for your own enjoyment before you feel your head drop from dozing off.

When your kids are home all the time, it means that your home gets that many more hours of full time use, full time wear on the walls and furniture, full time messes being made, full time "I'm hungry" and "I'm thirsty," and full time sharing of toys that aren't any easier to share when it is the same people wanting to borrow them.

 It means full time memories to be made: good and bad.

When you home-school, it means you are the one mainly responsible for your children's learning, for their steps toward achievements and successes, and the heavy weight of what may seem to be failure when they just can't seem to get the knowledge you think they should have gotten after the repetitive teaching you have given them.

It means you can't blame anybody but yourself; and, strangely enough, you realize that education diligently put forth has no room for blame because each child is different.

It means that when people say that your child's handwriting is sloppy, even after you have corrected her for her cursive o's and a's enough times you start to dream about it; it means when you have said, "'I' before 'E' except after 'C'," and she still spells friend "freind"; it means when you hear that somebody has said that they have met a lot of "dumb" home-schooled kids, that you will fight to not take those things personally, knowing that people who have never struggled to help a child learn will not understand the patience that is sometimes required in teaching without crushing a child's spirit.

It means you will come to understand that knowledge puffs the head that thinks he is superior, but learning how to learn and learning to love the search for true knowledge and the path to wisdom is what is more important.   Embracing education is finding one's area of excellence and using it for the glory of God and the good of man, even when it occasionally means being wrong or randomly requires spell-check.

 Homeschooling means you are the primary source of providing knowledge, but also the guardian of care, understanding, the ear to listen, the eyes to watch for needs, the heart that can stir or squelch adventure.

 Home-schooling is a heavy task, very full, not to be taken lightly...

 ..it is a gift from God but only if we pursue it with dutiful determination, disciplined direction, diligent dissection, daring dramatization.

 You will see the joy of searching and finding;
               you will see the light go on in their eyes;
                          you will be the one they run to to share those sentences that catch their curiosity and burn in them that sudden love of learning...

 even if that moment doesn't come until years into the process.

Homeschooling teaches your children to learn even when it is hard and it feels like work;
it teaches you your own weaknesses and strengths,  and uncomfortably at times,
where you need work.

Above all, home schooling can be successful to the Christian only if we make the center of it what God's credentials demand:

5"And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
 Deutoronomy 6
Of course, these verses apply to all of us influencing the lives of children, not just in school, but in each moment of our lives.

Sometimes in our zeal to pass on knowledge, we forget that although every date might not be remembered and spelling errors will surface, those little shards of memories we make along the way can be the glue that makes an education the gift that lasts beyond a lifetime...

it can etch into the soul of the person they are becoming.

As I closed the cupboard door, I smiled at the thought that a memory had been made that somebody had not wanted to forget by hiding them in the cupboard...a little stash of papers.  Yes, it was a little unexpected mess, but it was one that was worth it.

1 comment:

  1. I home schooled my kids k-12. My son graduated from college in '12 and my daughter will graduate in '15. Both of them serve the Lord in their lives. I loved homeshooling. It is a commitment for sure. Homeschooling was right for my family, but any way you choose to school your kids, it's the level of involvement and commitment that will make education a success. - Julie


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