…if you’re not interested in God, or you’re not a fan of home education, or maybe if you’re sick of the Beuvings…or whatever.
I decided that instead of whining about another month of the sick, and other boring things, I’d talk about something more interesting. (In my opinion)
I’m not sure why my priorities are always getting out of order. It’s so weird. I go along and my priorities are all lined up where I can see them, and I keep an eye on them and then I turn around for one minute and wham. They are gone.
Like a group of toddlers at the park.
(that is always a nightmare situation for me: watching someone else’s small children and my own at a park or other large open space where they of course get lost…please note if you are reading this and are worried because I have watched your children, at least they are still alive, right?!)
God. Husband. Kids. Taking a shower. Eating. School. (getting dressed is implied…of course to get dressed, you generally have to have clean clothes which is a real bummer now that the laundry has rotated back to me).
I really should have pulled back to regroup weeks ago. But sometimes we just keep going till we can’t handle it anymore. One of my favorite books puts it so well. I think of this often:
“Sometimes life IS too hard and we go down…for that is real life…it is also real life to find a way to go on”.
I don’t like to write when life is hard. It’s a real downer, and everyone else also has their own complicated problems which are probably a lot worse than mine.
So. Since school is pretty high up there on my list of priorities, I decided it was time to get serious. I had kind of eased back into it during January. Not sure why I always think that’s a good idea. It wasn’t. The work is so much harder with all of our books, but so much more joyful and interesting, challenging and inspiring. To them and to me. It has been so good for us to have all of these ideas to chew on.
I read awhile ago that one of our top priorities in home education (as Christians) should be memorizing scripture together. So I tried it. No, that’s not all we do, and that isn’t the most time consuming subject or anything, don’t freak out! But there is something to saying those verses all together every day. Looking into those little faces, realizing how we fail each other as we are saying those words “Love is patient, love is kind…it is not easily angered, it makes no record of wrongs…” Wow. The Word of God convicts. We don’t even need to preach a sermon to each other. Just saying those words. It goes deep into our hearts. It has the power to teach, train and correct…me. As the teacher. I just can’t say those words with my kids when my heart is wrong. Sometimes we pray a minute first. 😉 So someone can get her priorities straight.
Memorizing seems to go right along with other things to think deeply about so this year I took the plunge and started Pilgrim’s Progress. I started very tentatively, meaning with a very abridged copy, reading twice a week. And then they wanted to read more often. And then I went through a month of real doubt and stopped reading it at all, but they kept asking when we were going to read it again…or saying things like “so Mom, when his pack fell off at the cross, there wasn’t a very good description of what happened”, etc, etc, etc.
I figured, okay, fine. You want to read this, we’ll read it.
Holy smokes. They love it. Now granted, we read about two pages a day with many explanations (some of which I do not understand myself, a sort of the blind leading the blind exercise).
But they are thinking. I love that. Today we read two pages. It was about “Talkative”…who talked a good talk and was able to convince one of the travelers that he was a follower of Christ, until someone who had actually known him in his hometown spoke up to mention 1. he really is a bad man 2. who is a smooth talker, 3. many people have wandered from their faith because of him. (I have condensed half a page here) This reminded us of all kinds of things (that I won’t bore you with), it quoted a few verses in James that two of us had just been talking about, and it reminded us that we know of people who have turned away from God on account of smooth talkers whose lives deny their faith.
Very quickly, (for their sake, I want to let them think big thoughts but leave them wanting more, not wishing we had finished twenty minutes ago), we finish up with one of those biographies of great men and women who have loved God. Right now that happens to be C.S. Lewis. I wish you could all see the BIG eyes, and hear the amazement when I read that he met and was friends with J.R.R. Tolkien. WHOA. Of course Josh right away started speaking with a British accent because that is how he has heard the name Tolkien on the Lord of the Rings audio book.
And then they went outside. To yell, and scream, and be in the sunshine.
Because that is what I would want to do if I had just listened to someone read serious things to me while I sat very still.
No, that is not all we did in school today.
Speaking of priorities, this is a favorite quote that reminds me often of the great responsibility I have as a parent:
“Let us save Christianity for our children by bringing them into allegiance to Christ the King. How? How did the old Cavaliers bring up sons and daughters, in passionate loyalty and reverence for not too worthy princes? Their own hearts were full of it, their lips spake it; their acts proclaimed it; the style of their clothes, the ring of their voices, the carriage of their heads- all was one proclamation of boundless devotion to their king and his cause…what shall we say of ‘the Chief amongst ten thousand and altogether lovely’?”
– Charlotte Mason