(My subtitle might be “if the Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise…)
In any case, here I am, back again.
I took the requisite time from writing in order to just…be, and to try and make sense of our non-sensical world. Whatever I wrote during this time would sound shallow, or would be rendered hollow amongst the many voices that have so much to say about these times. Most of all, I took time to minister to my family while we were together as five for a minute or two.
This is a very special year for us–for me– in so many ways. Our daughter will be a high school senior in the fall. Though she plans to take a gap year following her senior year, this is the home stretch for me as our children’s teacher. The “feels” associated with ending this season of my life are quite simply, in a word, weird. Homeschooling, when you have done it for as long as we have, becomes far more than an alternative way to educate your children; it really is a way of life for us, affecting many, if not all, of the decisions we make as a family. Even when my husband and I talk about where we might move once he retires, we chuckle as we have to remind each other that homeschool-friendliness will no longer be a criteria for relocation.
In the meantime, however, as much as this coming school year is emotionally special for our family, it is also academically significant. Admittedly, it is difficult to think about next school year amidst so much uncertainty. The pandemic had a minor effect on our homeschool, especially once our older two joined us and concentration became more difficult. The larger impact happened when the community college closed down; this virtual campus option might be more miss than hit for us. But yet, if I choose to believe that this season, too, shall pass, then there is no reason not to use my time as if life will return to some normalcy. And we must begin the process of planning for it.
So academically, our year will look a bit like this:
Chemistry–wrapping up with a few math-related concepts after completing the more “fun” curriculum
Physics–(still in the process of reviewing curriculum, so if any one has a favorite, I am more than willing to hear it)
Algebra II, transitioning into college math
Reading list–American history, using selections from A Blessed Heritage
If it looks as if we are not doing much (as in I’m not doing much) , it’s because I am not. We are shooting our last arrow, and transitioning increasingly into the college aspect of dual enrollment. Three kids later, I have concluded that much of the high school homeschool years are about facilitating independence, including independence of thought, and not as much teaching of rote information. It’s funny, when you begin homeschooling, you have a vision of who you want your kids to be. Somewhere between the beginning and the end of the journey, if the journey is long enough, you come to the realization that who your children become might be someone completely different than is your plan. Your task then becomes to submit to God in stewarding who He created them to be.
Emotionally, we continue to teach with an eye for the Savior, though God’s hand has been hard to find. We continue with the same core values that have held this homeschool together for many years–pouring into the kids an understanding of who they are and Whose they are. And honestly, I could not be more proud of the young adults they have become in the face of this dark society.
You may not understand, but if they don’t make a stand, if we don’t teach them to make a stand, then who will address the systemic racism that undermines every single thing we say about who they are? This came from our daughter’s textbook, Texas Politics Today , used for her government class. My husband immediately wrote a letter to the department head.
Hold on, dear friends, and remember who is in control.
And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us – an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him! That’s why I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times.(Romans 8:17-18, The Message)