Then, as He tends to do, God turned the path of my life in a new and unexpected direction. Still newlyweds, my husband and I found out we were expecting our first child. Long story short, I was really sick almost my entire pregnancy to the point that we decided I just couldn’t do it anymore. I should resign from my teaching job, rest up, and prepare for life as a stay-at-home mother. It was an incredibly tough decision to come to, even though I had always hoped that when the time came I’d be able to stay home and raise my kids. All my life I had wanted to teach, and I had worked really hard to get there. But that decision has ended up placing me in the exact spot in life where God intended me to be. For that I am unendingly thankful!
Funny little thing about those gut feelings, they usually end up being the Holy Spirit trying to tell me something. I moved into the excited new- mother- phase and nearly forgot all about the nagging feeling that used to plague my days. As my sweet little boy grew older, friends of mine who were parents of little kids began talking about the big word: PRESCHOOL. The conversations always led to the question, “Do you know where you are going to send your kids?” That’s when that little feeling began tugging at me again.
The thought of homeschooling crossed my mind, after all I am a trained teacher. And how cool would it be to be there to see my child’s face the moment he learned to read?! We knew people who homeschooled, they weren’t necessarily all, I hate to say it, strange. Some of them were entirely normal families with socially well-adjusted kids, as far as I could tell. (Yes, I had a stereotype.) So, I talked it over with my husband and began asking around.
A kind, new friend from church handed me a book called For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay. Normally books people hand me sit on the shelf for a while before getting some attention. But this one caught me in the first chapter. I dove right into it that night when I got home. I didn’t realize that God had been readying my mind all along to read this. Because while reading, I had this “Ah-ha!” moment, kind of like earplugs being pulled out after a swim. I had finally found what I didn’t know I was looking for all this time. Then, you know what, that annoying little gut feeling vanished forever! The author was talking about the ideas that Charlotte Mason was presenting as being universal and relevant, as welll as providing a framework for education. That framework felt like the firm foundation that I had been missing.
I shared my new excitement with my husband, who I’m sure thought I was slightly crazy for getting so excited over some random educational idea. I went back and talked a little more to my friend who gave me the book. And now, as I keep reading and learning, I’m seeing more clearly and repeatedly The Life! in these educational ideas and how they are already playing out in mine, my husband and most importantly my son’s life each day.
I have to say I have a new educational heroine in my life, but this really isn’t about her. It’s about God leading me to HIS ideas, to the way HE views children, and to teaching in the ways HE has laid out for all parents and teachers, and most importantly, for me to teach my son.
The Bible says, “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths,” Proverbs 3:6. This has been truth to me.
So, why am I blogging about all this? I have to say that in the past when well-meaning friends mentioned that I should start a blog, I always kind of brushed it off. What could I possibly have to say that isn’t already being said out there in the vast internet world? I did not want to be just another mommy/crafter/farmers wife blogger whose blog life revolved around little old me. But here I am feeling that little nudge again. You see, there’s a whole grassroots movement going on out there right now. I am part of it. So, in light of that, here’s my blogging goal: to document our family’s educational journey (and life) from its infancy and childhood on upward. I hope to create a place where other parents and teachers can see all this in action and connect over the ideas of this Life-giving education.
Lastly: the blog title. The view I held on education after college looked a little bit like this.
For me the focus has narrowed. I won’t be hopping on one of those busy roads and hoping it was the right one. God has directed our family to a bumpier, slightly more unchartered direction but one with a firm foundation and a focus based on His Word. It’s one that offers a great feast of only the best ideas, minds and books to learn from as the Holy Spirit leads each of us individually to grow in our education. It may sound a little “out there” to those who are used to the traditional view on education. So I hope this space with put some flesh to these ideas and help others to see it in action just a little bit better.
The grand and glorious world that God created lies ahead of us. I’m filled with peace, joy and anticipation as we head out to where the blacktop ends… and our family’s journey begins!