about his concerns, I took those two little boys downstairs to play in the same room their dad and uncle used to play in when they were rambunctious little tykes.
The week after his surgery, Dad had to be readmitted to the hospital. Ty, Joe, and I were out of town. My sister flew in to care for Dad. John, who is a true shepherd, rearranged his demanding work schedule to visit Dad, run errands for my sister, and provide a measure of calmness and care for them.
My daughter Lizzy lives five hours away and has been in her current job only for a little over a year
so she has little time off. Although
she can’t visit Dad
often in person, she is faithful
to call. My mom used to call Lizzy “her ray of sunshine,” and she is definitely t
hat for Dad as well. She makes him smile and, at times, laugh out loud at her stories and musings. I can picture Lizzy as a toddler, staring out our dining room window
waiting for Dad to pick her up
. “Where is Papa?” she would ask
. She couldn’t wait to see him. And now Dad
feels the same way about Lizzy
she lights up his life in such a special way.
Why am I writing about this in a homeschooling column? Now that my twenty-one years of homeschooling are complete, I hope that the following five thoughts will give you a perspective that can be difficult to grasp or appreciate while you are in the trenches. 1.
in the midst of homeschooling, we sometimes think it will never end. There is so much to do all day, every day, that it is hard to remember that your children will grow up and be on their own. Like my friends Deb Bell and Lori Lane
often say, “Homeschool with the end in mind.” Remember that the goal is to raise
children who grow up to love and seek the Lord and who will love and bless those around them. (And these are the two most important commandments.) 2.
Academics are important; relationships are vital. Couch your academics in
relationships as much as possible. (That’s a separate article, but I wanted
to plant the seed here.) 3.
Children benefit from relationships with people of all ages. The key ingredient in most relationships is
Homeschooling is a double blessing here, because it provides you with the time you need to develop relationships with grandparents, neighbors, church members, etc., and it easily allows for a multigenerational approach to life. 4.
I found that I had to be intentional over the years in making sure we saw grandparents. I would often pencil visits in my plan book and include them as part of our school day. At different times, I felt a need to prepare my children for visits with their grandparents so that meaningful conversations could occur. Sometimes we would focus on the fact that both granddads are World War II veterans, and we would draft questions at home to ask them about their experiences. 1.
Another idea that worked well was a journal swap that Lizzy and Joe’s mom kept up
for almost two years
one would write a question that the other would answer and vice versa. (If you have to document your school day, these visits for us included sociology, psychology, history, and composition.) 5.
And finally, pray with your kids. Pray over math. Pray for their grandparents. Pray for the neighborhood kids. Pray for your church. Pray for the government. Pray in the midst of their squabbles. Pray together. Every time you pray with them, you are teaching your children to seek the Lord in every aspect of their lives
and the Lord is