On Friday, another home school year concluded at the Jackson household. As always, my kids were jubilant, while I experienced rather mixed emotions.
It is a relief to be done at last with the work of a home-schooling teacher. I won’t miss grading papers late at night, or writing out the day’s assignments early in the morning. None of us will miss drilling my youngest son on his spelling words, multiplication tables, poetry, Bible verses, historical speeches, states and capitals, and everything else a fourth grader is required to memorize with the curriculum I use.
Most of all, I won’t miss being both parent and teacher. Sometimes, I wish I could take a break from one role and focus on the other.
But I will miss the unique interaction with my kids that home schooling seems to encourage. Our school room has been a haven in which we have studied and discussed heaven (our resource was Heaven, by Randy Alcorn), end times, angels, and Biblical history and culture. This year, we have thrashed out algebra, waded through world history, and marveled at creation as seen in biology.
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. – Deuteronomy 6:6, 7
As always, we have grown closer as a family. In spending so much time together through the years, we have learned to tolerate one another’s differences and appreciate our similarities. And, we have learned the joy that service and sacrifice bring. We give of our time, knowledge, and skills every day, and we couldn’t function as a household, or as a family, without those gifts to each other.
It seems that just a few years ago my teenagers were preschoolers, studying the alphabet and learning their first Bible verses at the kitchen table. Then they were grade schoolers, practicing their spelling words while I washed dishes and cooked meals.
Today, they are self-sufficient young adults who need me more as a moderator than a teacher. And although that independence was my goal all along, it is a bit difficult to let them grow up – to let them go. They will be high school juniors next year, preparing for college testing and applying for scholarships.
Hence, my mixed emotions.
That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace. – Psalm 144:12
Meanwhile, we plan to enjoy our time off! As I write, it’s a sunny, breezy spring day. Tulips are blooming all over our yard, and birds are singing like crazy. After a winter of long school days, we plan to enjoy every moment outdoors that we can, with cookouts, lunch on our deck, music sessions on our porch, and walks in our woods.
We’ve got plans to take one of those walks later on today….just as soon as we’re done cleaning the school room.