persevere: to persist steadily in an action or belief, usually over a long period and especially despite problems or difficulties (Encarta Dictionary, accessed 2009)
Synonyms: persist; continue; keep at it; keep on; keep trying; stick with
Antonym: give up
Our days have been fairly uneventful here as we wind down toward a summer break. We have, at the most, three weeks left. It occurs to me that, given the number of activities and events happening during this summer, my personal break will last about 5 weeks, 6 on a long shot. The kids are taking advantage of the summer dance sessions being offered for the first time in a long time at the dance center, the national competition is in July, and the youngest will attend camp for a couple of days as well. Our VBS will consume a week in mid-July, and so the actual number of days on our plate with nothing to do and no place to go—my definition of a break—won’t happen frequently enough. It’s almost depressing to be thinking along this mindset in May!
As for me, I’ve been busying myself with bargain shopping and school day planning. I think I’ve manipulated the oldest’s lesson plans to the point that it’s almost comical. At the root of the problem is that I’m having visions of working with a fairly apathetic high schooler, and I keep trying to find the right “hook” to make the material interesting. It’d be so much easier to work with our son, who loves Greek mythology and chose to read Shakespeare on his own. I imagine him wanting to listen in on a work like the Iliad for the enjoyment of the interplay between the gods and goddesses. Of course, all of this is the work of my imagination, and all of my thinking and fretting needs to be brought under the captivity of Christ and laced with Philippians 4:6-8. A few posts ago, a pastor whose article I copied spoke of three types of trust in dealing with teens: 1) trust in God, 2) trust in yourself as a parent, and 3) trust in the child. I’m struggling with those last two, and it’s a point where the Lord will show Himself strong, I’m sure.
At least a year ago, I stumbled across someone’s blog—I sure do wish that I could remember the blog name—and read the most wonderful post. A mother was celebrating her only son’s graduation and comparing her homeschooling years to the Grand Canyon. There were the wider bands of red layers, which, from her perspective, were the painful years, amidst the later striations of white—the joyful moments. There were all the years and colors in between, representing various emotions and events—again, I wish I could remember the post and the link, even if only for my own education. Being a visual learner and having seen the Grand Canyon, I could relate to every word in her post. She spoke of pressing and being persistent, even in the midst of the red, the yellow, the rust, or whatever “color” becomes a part of your personal path. After all, when people look at the Grand Canyon, they don’t see a particular color—they just see something majestic, glorious, and altogether breath-taking. And it looks different each time you look at it; the sun might magnify one color, then another, but it is all beautiful. I believe that is how we have to look at what the Lord has set before us—this calling to homeschool. For a Christian, the Bible is the only SOP (standard operating procedure). There is self-education, but no “student teaching” like a college-educated teacher would have—you are thrown in with a baptism by fire. There is a wealth of curriculum, but ultimately, you have to learn these young and younger will-be adults down to the most intimate detail, and you have to alter a packaged find into something custom-made for them. Not every homeschool season is spring, whether it is because of an academic challenge or a family situation that rips the fabric of the learning environment. Yet, specific images of trial, of happiness, or somewhere in between are not what is visible to those outside our homes. They have a more panoramic view, and with the Lord’s help, our monument through them will something glorious, something wonderful, and altogether breath-taking.
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9