Sunday, May 9, 2010

Quick! Look busy! Louis is coming!

I was talking with another mom this week about our upcoming visits with our facilitators.

If you aren't familiar with what that means, then I'll simply state that: where we live, we are accountable to someone for homeschooling our children.
Our facilitator not only helps us with the how-to's of schooling our kids, they also are there to keep things legal and make sure we aren't just feeding our kids twinkies all day and sending them outside while we blog or do are nails.
There is a lot more involved with their role, but I said I'd keep it simple, so there you have it.

Anyway, whenever it's time for our facilitator to come and visit us, I tend to get a bit antsy. My first thought is that we are going to sit at the kitchen table for the next week and try and make up a year's amount of work in a week so that when he comes I can shove a book in his lap and say, "See! See!!!! They have learned something!!!!"

I get a little crazy sometimes.

Louis, our facilitator, is the perfect fit for our family. There have been many times where he has challenged my husband and I to dig deeper and dream bigger for our kids. There have been other times where he has counselled us through the mishaps of reading, writing and ...dunh,dunh,dunh, math.

But here is the very best part.
Louis "gets us" as a family.
He understands us.
He knows that sometimes I need to put math on the shelf for the week and work with the attitude in my child's heart that says, "I'm not willing to do what you say." He encourages us as we navigate the stormy waters of a life of learning.

In our homeschool, our children's character development trumps any academic goals. And if we need to pull in the reins and say, "Let's mediate our way through this anger habit," then Louis is behind us. He knows that my child's heart response to God and to us as their parents will ultimately effect any learning that occurs. And he supports us wholeheartedly as we make that our number one aim in education.

Louis has encouraged us to document our work and display it in a way that tells of our learning journey, but never "only for the sake of proving that my kids know something."

He sees beyond the black and white lines of formal education.

And while he engages my children with questions about the book of work we do show him, he also takes the time to say, "How are you really doing? Emotionally? Spiritually? How can I pray for your family?"

We are blessed beyond belief that this is who we have supporting us.

His wife Joyce is no different. I get emails, phone calls and hugs from her. She'll look into my eyes and say, "You are doing a good job mom. It's not easy, but you are making a difference in your children's lives."

This is community at it's best. This is what Scripture encourages: that we walk with each other and encourage each other as we follow God's will for our lives.

The temptation to produce a lot of "proof" of learning is there whenever I learn that Louis will be stopping over. But then I stop for a minute and say,"What are our real goals in learning?"
And when I remind myself that it's about discipling my children to follow God's ways, I have no problem realizing that whatever "proof" of learning I show Louis will be enough.

Because my proof is my children.They have hearts after God. They will pray the Scripture with boldness and they are a rag-tag brood pursuing excellence.
Even if I don't always see that.

It's tempting to "look busy".
But I'd rather shepherd my child's heart than merely produce a mountain of work. And any homeschooling mom knows that you can't put on a show with that.

You can only invest time.

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