As I face a new school year I am reminded of our beginnings….Rod and Staff textbooks which later evolved into ABEKA and Bob Jones. I felt I had arrived when I read Charlottle Mason and started to understand the whole language approach. Beautiful Feet and Greenleaf Press became new friends, and books ranging in topics from unschooling to classical education jammed my shelves. Science journals, notebooks, historical fiction, nature journals, source documents, philosophy and Shakespeare – The Chronicles of Narnia and Little House on the Prairie, Mossflower to Little Women became old friends. Unit Studies about the Ocean, Pirates, and Whaling were our family favorites. During the peak of my obsession with new topics to study, the children joked that I would write a unit study about a unit study.
Our twenty-fifth year of schooling child number 7 and 8; my homeschool days are winding down. Kristen helps me with Sam on the days that I am busy with new ministry, college, or pastoral counseling. This is Levi’s last year of having to legally register, and Joy is doing all freshmen online classes with Liberty University. I find it difficult to have the enthusiasm for unit studies with just Sam now, even though he deserves my best also. Thankfully, having a daughter that is homeschooling her boys, and Ethan and Sam being buddies, he is happy to do some work with her as well.
I am looking forward to the studies that Sam and I have planned for this year. Class trips are all family vacations and ALL vacations are an opportunity to learn. Bar Harbor becomes a study in tide pools, the sea, mariners…as I haul a back pack full of binoculars, field guides and critter keepers everywhere we go. My older teens are forced to re-live their younger years to humor me. I don’t know what I will do when our unit studies end for good. Dave will most likely be re-educated by his over zealous, aging, wife.
I am moving on in life, but what a wonderful life it has been. Homeschooling my children has truly been the most rewarding and beneficial part of my mothering. We have given up much in not having todays dual income life-style, my children do not have ipods, personal cell phones, computer games, or expensive clothing, but God has BLESSED up with all that money cannot buy. I have learned FAR MORE than my children combined, especially about Jesus and His long suffering and patience towards us as His children, ever learning.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. ” I have wonderful children who all know Jesus as Lord. There are some testings for them in the future – no doubt – but their foundation is sure as they learned about God from the rising of the sun, to the setting of the same.