The risk of education

I took my coffee outside again this morning. I wasn’t moving as quickly as some days, and two of the boys were already out on the little lawn tractor finishing up a paid log moving job they took on.

I read the words of Isaiah with pauses to watch the two of them drive the mower together, back the trailer up, load in the old locusts logs that fell during the storm last year (or was it the year before?), then drive it over to the base of the sugar maple where the wood will sit and wait for an evening bonfire.

I heard the rumble of a larger truck going up our road and as I looked out beyond the deck saw that it was a local school bus. I smiled to myself and chuckled that my two school aged boys are learning more lessons here at home hauling these logs than they ever could during a day at traditional school.

We’re in no way close being “done”, but our homeschooling risk is already paying off in the form of capable, eager to learn, and curious children.

Lest you think our journey is some level of perfection, many days we accomplish nothing, there are plenty of issues and problems that I worry and fret over. There are times (many times) our house is chaotic and messy, the kids watch too much TV or YouTube and we spend more time yelling them we do talking sweetly to one another.

Yet, homeschooling is still paying off in dividends. I love seeing each kid take on problems, get frustrated when their solutions don’t work but decide to stick with it anyways. I love the influence I get to have on their days, and the fact that it’s not a stranger with them for 8+ hours a day.

Right now the oldest is in the basement coding an Arduino computer to make Star Wars like noises so he can build his own lightsaber. This project has consumed him for the past two weeks and many versions of his plan have been scrapped. He’s paced around the house, walked the perimeter of the yard, and sat on the couch staring off into space as he considers how to make this dream of his work. He has not given up and, even though I can see visible frustration on his face at times, has not let his failures rule him.

Living differently is a huge risk. People will think you’re a little weird, they might even make comments and basically tell you it won’t work out. But eventually you get to see for yourself if your risk worked out or not, and more often than not they pay off. That doesn’t mean everything is peachy keen, but when we’re walking with the Father and listening to His voice as opposed to the voice of the world, it’s hard for us to get too far off track. I think He likes to honor our obedience, and I KNOW He loves to give us the desires of our heart.

The desire of my heart has been to have my children close, to give them a solid foundation based on truth and God’s word, allow them to foster independence and critical thinking and then send them off into the wide, wide world to live a life of abandon to Jesus.

That’s my hope and desire, at least, and we’ll continue to see how our great risk pays off.

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