and that is okay. The day started out poorly. To be honest, this whole week has not gone well. Tensions have been high and nerves have become frayed. I hate to admit it, but lately school has become something we have to do instead of something we feel privileged to be able to do. Consequently, more difficult assignments have been met with eye rolls, huffs of resentment, and protestations. And it has just been getting worse.
I finally snapped today and told him he would have to do it by himself. I was tired of his attitude poisoning my enthusiasm. I just wanted space, time away from him. In the midst of giving him all of his assignments, and him asking questions about how “his day flying solo” would go, I was able to step back, take a breath, and think about everything. It led to a conversation.
I started talking to him about why we were bothering to homeschool in the first place. I got him to admit that he had been approaching school as something he “had to get done” so he could play, as a burden to be endured so he could actually do something fun. I had felt this attitude from him the past couple of weeks but now it was out in the open.
I shared my heart with him. I read to him from one of the books on education I’ve been reading, read to him again my goal for his education, and I read my prayers to him from my journal. I told him how I saw the time I get to spend with him and invited him to see it the same way.
I will cultivate in my children wisdom and virtue by nourishing their souls on the true, the good, and the beautiful; so that in Christ, my children are better able to know, enjoy, and glorify God.
I apologized to him for the way I initially approached his education as a way to do “better” than the state had been doing. I apologized for the way I initially sought to be “more”, more rigorous, more demanding, more advanced. I apologized for emphasizing test scores instead of growth of spirit.
I told him how I had grown in my ideas of what an education should be. I told him that, if I had to make a choice between him being a genius at everything except a relationship with God, and him growing to delight in the Lord but being ignorant of all else, I would throw all of the other books away and choose to see him grow close to the Lord. I think he was shocked.
There were tears as we talked. We read scripture.
I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.
3 John 1:4
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men
Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.
We discussed the steps of progression in my definition of education; from knowing God, to enjoying Him, and ultimately, to being able to glorify Him. We talked about how the lessons we’ve been doing on building our lives on the Rock are not a one time thing, but a process, a decision we have to make every day. And we resolved to do better.
He will work on doing everything for the Lord.
Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. Colossians 3:17
And I will remember what the ultimate goal of all of this: to foster a love of God in my children’s souls.
Thought in a child arises naturally. The job of the teacher is to encourage and defend it from being blighted and destroyed, to strengthen it and enable it to flourish. Education is more like gardening than manufacturing. (Stratford Caldecott – Beauty in the Word p65)
And we are going to start out every morning the right way, we are going to sit side by side as we do our devotions and we are going to pray together. Though we accomplished almost nothing in homeschool the world would consider worthy, it was the best day we’ve had so far.