As our final high school student begins his junior year at home, I am contemplating what I have taught, and am teaching our children. On my junior's plate for this year is Geometry, Chemistry, Sonlight's Core 300 program, some Christian worldview titles, and the expected writing that he really doesn't enjoy. I am patting myself on the back because academically it appears to be a very sound year for him.
Reality, however, is hovering in the background behind the academics. My good friend is engaging in an uphill battle with breast cancer, another dear friend emailed early this morning to let me know that her husband is slowly losing his long battle with cancer, our college-graduate son-in-law is discouraged at his seeming inability to find full-time employment, and my aging parents face each day's multiple medical appointments with grace and patience.
It strikes me that while academics may define to some extent what my students/children can *do*, it does not begin to define who they *are*. Our homeschool journey has allowed our children to face life head-on. They've had the blessing of mowing grandpa's lawn or driving with grandma to the hospital. In return they have blessed their grandparents by seeking their counsel and excitedly sharing reached milestones. Living under the same roof has provided an amazing opportunity for one generation to benefit another. They're learning a servant's spirit and better communication skills as our daughter and son-in-law have returned home temporarily while they seek employment. Sibling relationships take on a whole new dimension as they become young adults. They've watched us struggle with sorrow as friends battle disease and discouragement, and have learned to pray with us amid those trials.
So as you face a new school year this fall, in addition to the academics you have planned for your children, consider what "life lessons" they might be able to learn as well. Look for ways to purposefully place your children/family in situations that will stretch them/you in areas of servanthood, faith, and character. As hard as those experiences may prove to be, the lessons learned will have eternal value.
Still on the journey ...
Sonlight Customer Champion