Wednesday, February 07, 2007

On a college decision and a joyful fruit of homeschooling...

For those of you who may be wondering...Thomas is planning to attend Covenant College in the fall. He did not receive the McClellan Scholarship but his participation in the scholarship weekend convinced him that he really wants to attend Covenant, McClellan Scholar or not. He did receive a Presidential Scholarship and a leadership award. Those grants combined with work study and his own hard work and saving in the meantime will make attending Covenant this fall a reality, Lord willing. We are thankful, encouraged, and excited for him. Thanks for your prayers on his behalf.

We are now planning for his graduation with the Cabarrus County Homeschool Association. He’ll be the first of our Pinckney Family School graduates to “walk” in a high school graduation ceremony. Even homeschoolers get to wear a cap and gown.

I am in awe and wonder that Coty and I have now guided three children through 12 plus years of schooling. My honest answer to the frequently asked question, “How do you do it?” is “by the grace of God.” And I don’t say that in a flippant, cliché sort of way. It is God’s grace alone that has enabled us to pour into our children’s lives in homeschooling. God has so graciously provided the resources and given us the strength, wisdom, perseverance, patience, humor, and encouragement to pursue a life of learning with our children. I could not do it on my own. I am humbled and grateful.

And then today I was given yet another joyful reminder of why we homeschool. This year Matthew, Joel, and I have been working on memorizing more poetry. So far we have memorized The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred Lord Tennyson, Macbeth’s soliloquy upon the death of Lady Macbeth by Shakespeare, O Captain, My Captain by Walt Whitman, and portions of The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere by Longfellow. This morning it was time to pick a new poem. I thought the guys should choose since I’ve done all the choosing so far, so I asked for their ideas. Matthew immediately suggested that instead of choosing a poem, we memorize a book of the Bible. I asked if he had anything in mind. He has been reading Isaiah and promptly suggested that we learn Isaiah 59. His reason – it presents our sinfulness, God’s righteous judgment, confession and redemption in one very poetic chapter.

To have a child that would choose such a chapter to memorize for the reasons he stated is for me the God-given fruit of long ago decision that God would not be kept in a box and brought out on Sunday only. Our long ago decision to homeschool meant that God would be an integral part of our daily lives and the center of our homeschool. His glory would be the goal of all our endeavors, educational and otherwise. This decision has given us the freedom and time to read, discuss, pray, and live with our children in an extraordinarily close way.

I must also extol my husband’s faithful, daily Bible reading and leading in prayer, as well as his consistent modeling of spiritual disciplines. I am so thankful for a Godly husband whose influence in the lives of his children is so tangible. Yet, I know that any good that has accrued to our children as a result of our schooling choice or our imperfect striving after obedience is all a gift from God.

Matthew’s chosen chapter ends with a very precious promise that I will hang onto with thanksgiving, as my children and I repeat the words of Isaiah 59 this month til they are firmly planted in our mouths and hidden in our hearts:

“As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or the mouths of their descendents from this time on and forever,” says the Lord. Isaiah 59:21

Ebenezer...

6 comments:

Derek said...

Great post, Beth! (from a Mecklenburg County guy who attended Covenant, works at Covenant, and used to rent a flat from Tom Houston)

Michael said...

Ahhh Whitman. I now feel the need to read more of him. Thanks!!

Kelly said...

"God would not be kept in a box and brought out on Sunday only. Our long ago decision to homeschool meant that God would be an integral part of our daily lives and the center of our homeschool. His glory would be the goal of all our endeavors, educational and otherwise. This decision has given us the freedom and time to read, discuss, pray, and live with our children in an extraordinarily close way."

Very well put, Beth. This is a wonderful thing about homeschooling that I am just beginning to discover. I can imagine the increased fruits over many years of faithful efforts! The feeling of freedom and reward that comes along with the work is an extraordinary joy. Praise the Lord!

Kelly said...

Oh, and congrats to Thomas!

Beth said...

Thanks, Kelly. I often think of you and the other young moms I know when I write these things because when you're in the thick of it with little ones, it can be so hard to hang on to the long view, trusting that your efforts will,in God's time, bear fruit.

Jen Unsell said...

Reading this brought me to tears Beth! Praise God!! And thank you for sharing!!!!!