Saturday, September 27, 2008

A cameo of homeschooling

Wouldn’t it be nice if we all got up at 5am every morning and said our prayers and did our studies and everybody grew up to be happy, successful and well educated. 
And wouldn’t it be nice if we could guarantee that all members of our family would always share our vision for life, faith and learning 

Home schooling I have come to discover is not about guarantees or formulas that you “better get right”.------ we parent why? Because there are no guarantees----WRONG; the only guarantee is God. 
No matter how our children’s lives are acted out on earth they are written in infinitely large letters in God’s love. The only expectations we need to live up to are those set by our loving Father in heaven; all else pales in significance.

I thought I would share some home school cameos. Recently my four youngest and I spent an afternoon with home schooling friends by a river. A rope swing, a fallen log as a bridge, and green pre-summer vegetation completed the scene.This was a universal picture of childhood. While the players in the scene could have just as easily been school children, not being at school gives our children more opportunity to experience moments such as these. 
The older two and I discussed it on the way home. They thought the wide range of ages(7 to 19) means there is a place of acceptance for everyone to just be. Same age pressure is eliminated and with it unrealistic competition and "one-upmanship". As my friend put it 'our children are free to be dags ', I would add to 'just be themselves'. I watched as my younger children gradually became more confident, this day was a platform where everyone felt accepted. 

Move the camera back to a day fairly early on in our home schooling. The phone rings, it is dad to say Vivaldi’s “four seasons” is the free lunch-time concert at Elder Hall.
What do we do: literally drop everything we were doing and in almost the time it takes to say lets go, get a toddler, 7 year old ,9 year old ,11 year old , and 12+13 year olds in the van and meet dad outside the concert chamber. Ah sweet success as we all listened spell bound to that magical piece of music by that famous red-haired monk. Forever after we have ‘owned’ this piece of music as a family.

Did I mention that our second son bought me Nigel Kennedy’s rendition of it one Christmas? 

Move forward in time. An April evening, cool. A toddler with a bow tie and braces, three handsome young men in black trousers, two beautiful young women in velvet dresses (blue for our lady with roses in their hair).Picture a darkened church, candles burning and the magical scent of immense. 
Yes it is the Easter Vigil. Yes this is the night that forever after will be a night like no other a night of eternal blessing. On this night all our family joined Christ’s beloved Church and came home. 

Picture children (ours and our friends) in a large back yard (no not ours), sitting under a towering tree on tree stumps reading Shakespeare together. Hear delighted giggles as “the players” within a play act out. See small elbows nudge small arms to remind them of their time to read.  

“What is a family” by Edith Schaeffer says, “there are no beautiful mobiles, works of art in the form of families, which have never been in danger of being broken.
  Frustration, anger, impatience, the feeling of being misunderstood, the giving in to daydreams of perfection; these or other dissatisfaction invade every human relationship for at least minutes, if not hours or days…people throw away what they could have, by insisting on perfection which they cannot have, and looking for it where they will not find it”
Our families are a mix of symphony and cacophony,
laughter and tears, joy and pain, learning and ignorance but they rest in the hands of the master builder who is perfecting them through to eternity.

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