Andi and I are excited. Okay, that is an understatement. We are freaking out. Since I was first introduced to Callie Grace in that beautiful hospital room of Baptist East in Louisville, KY, Andi and I were already thinking about the journey of homeschooling we would soon embark on with our children. The time has gone by a bit too fast for my taste, but nevertheless the moment has arrived. We begin on Monday, September 30. Day 1 of school for Callie Grace Meade.
We are both feeling so many different emotions. Here are a few things that have been rattling around in my brain (or perhaps my heart) for the last couple of weeks since our curriculum arrived. Some of these seem to rattle louder than others…
I don’t want to be that parent.
Homeschooling isn’t for everyone. Christian parents may have very good and appropriate reasons for putting their children in public schools. The most obvious are work schedules, time, and cost. There are of course other reasons, such as philosophical differences; many Christian parents believe public schools are preferable in some ways over homeschooling and they may very well be correct. I was educated in public schools and have wonderful memories of my favorite teachers, my classmates, and I received an incredible education. So, here’s the thing…homeschooling is an area where Satan loves to turn well-meaning parents into pride machines. Over time, parents who homeschool will be tempted to look at their brothers and sisters who place their children in public schools and think, “how could they?” Obviously, I believe homeschooling is the best option for Christian parents who are able to make it happen. But when my opinion becomes a tool by which I size up other parents as ignorant or simply unwilling to do the work, then I have become that kind of parent. Put simply, there are few things more annoying and more damaging than a Christian parent who pretends to be holier-than-thou because their children sits at a dining room table instead of a classroom desk. It takes our children and turns them into idols. Then, as disgusting as it sounds, we take our little idols and hold them up for all to see and bow down to. For all parents who homeschool, this is something that must be kept in check and in prayer.
I can’t wait to learn.
After looking through just the kindergarten material, Andi and I are like, “oh boy, we are going to learn so much.” I love to learn. I am like a kid in a candy store when I glance through the curriculum my children (and us) will be studying the next 12 years. Some of this stuff is just incredible, things I never had a chance to really engage. Other areas are like a “second chance” for me. I was not really into the classics and skimmed my way through literature, something I have come to regret. I will now be able to read them all over again with my children in a teaching environment. Little things like that give me goosebumps.
We are getting organized like never before.
As I type this Andi has multiple baggies filled with items and plans for 27 units. The material for Day 1 is in its proper place and ready to go. But the exciting thing is this….so is the material for Day 14. Although we have miles to go, our minds are spinning with creative ideas for us to be organized for our schooling and it is spilling over into other areas of our life as well. God is a God of order and there is something fulfilling about slowly putting the pieces into their proper place.
My wife is teaching my children.
It is just beautiful to me. I trust no one like I trust my wife. She is intelligent, wise, compassionate, and patient (she’s also gorgeous, but that probably isn’t applicable here). Andi and I have had one simple goal for our children – our desire is to see them out-serve us. Out-serve us in their worship of Christ and out-serve us in their giving to others. Along those same lines, my children will also out-think me. With Andi as their primary teacher, I will humbly wait for the day when they are dancing intellectual circles around me at the dinner table.
The gospel is center.
God is not just another item on an agenda. God is the agenda. I’m excited to teach my children to learn that truth from Day 1, regardless of what educational discipline we are studying, be it mathematics, history, or home economics.
New Christian friendships are on the way.
We have a few couples at Graefenburg Baptist who will be homeschooling as well, but there are new parents and new children who will become important partners in this journey and it is exciting to know that those new relationships will be forming. We are blessed to have a strong homeschooling network right here in central KY and we are excited to meet parents who have similar passions and are in similar places.
School is just school.
In light of all of this, I am excited to remember that my children were born for the purpose of worship. Whatever happens in our home classroom, it isn’t that important. It’s important. But it isn’t that important. One of my high school friends recently passed away from a battle with brain cancer. He was a very successful man who had amazing leadership qualities. I never knew him to be overly interested in the things of God when we were in high school, but then on hearing the news of his death, I read the last thing he wrote to his small children. He wrote, “”You are never too young (or old) to have a relationship with Christ; Don’t be overly focused on worldly treasures and accomplishments – you don’t get to keep them in heaven; Everyone sins, but you need to ask for forgiveness; And always remember you can’t earn your way into heaven, it’s an incredible gift from God.” School is just school. Whether your children are homeschooled, in public schools, or in a private school, don’t forget that they were created to worship. Let’s make sure they aren’t worshiping their own minds.
So, here we go. Bring on the excitement, laughter, fears, tears, frustration, and victories.
I can’t wait.