We start homeschooling tomorrow. We’ve been doing this for nigh unto four years now. And overall, it’s been worth it. I never thought that I would be teaching my own children anything related to school (of course, my wife didn’t either). I enjoy teaching, like in a men’s class at the church, but school-related stuff to my own kids? Never would have seen it happening. It doesn’t take long, though, to see the benefits of having parent/teacher conferences. Or when the teacher needs to “discuss” something with the principle. (You could even say that this is the only possible way that the teacher and the principle are fooling around with each other and no one gets fired over it.) There are times, however, that I wonder about this decision. Usually that happens when I’ve let myself get frustrated about something related to teaching the kids and I take it out on our boys (aka “students”) and then feel horrible about it afterwards.
I hate that.
But I can also look back on the last three years of this process (now moving into our fourth) and see how I have changed and gotten better at reacting to things. To a degree, though, I still find myself dreading the start of the school year because of knowing that I will need to directly face this part of me again.
All this to say that our boys have not been the only “students” in our classroom. Their parents have been attending class and learning some things too. And in many ways, what I’ve been learning about myself has been very difficult to face, let alone change. Which means that my own “class material” has been more like college material than basic education material. That should mean that I ought to get something significant for my efforts when this is all over, doesn’t it? Really, I already have. You see, my boys have seen their Dad struggle and grow and change over these last three years. They’ve seen and experienced their Dad needing to ask them to forgive him for his behavior many times since we first started this homeschooling journey. But each year the need for this has gotten less and less. They have seen God doing His work in me, refining these qualities and chiseling away the things that need to be removed from my life and personality.
It’s not over yet. But that’s ok! It’s not supposed to be. So we all keep at it, facing each new day for the adventure that it is, growing and changing and becoming what and who God has destined for us to be. It’s preparation for an amazing life on this earth–and for things to come.
What similar experiences have you had? I’d love to hear about them!