Thursday, December 04, 2008

Encouragement to Homeschooling Moms in the Trenches

At the risk of tooting my own horn--which is only slightly more respectable than merely "tooting" --I want to jot this down so that I'll remember it when I'm tempted to think my work as a homeschooling mom was in vain. It came as a verbal Christmas present to me a little early.

Stephen, our freshman in college, had a conference today with his English professor. The discussion was about the eight-page research paper coming due; the teacher wanted to see at least half of it today.

My son's topic is homeschooling. He took in more than half of it. The prof observed that he must read at a high level (which he does) and she praised his organization, his mechanics, and his style.

"You're a really strong writer, among the best I've ever had," she told him.

"Thanks," he said. "My mom was an English major and she drilled it into us."

"Well," said the prof, "she did a 'dang' good job."

(Not her exact word, but my sanitized choice for this G-rated site.)

So, moms, whether your God-given bent is writing, science, math, art, history, or something else, let me encourage you to pour yourself into teaching it to your kids. Don't settle for mediocracy. Don't rush through a concept or skip over it if you know in your heart it's important. And most importantly, don't forget that heavenly Eyes are watching you, and that someday--a day that may seem eons from this one--you will receive a verbal gift from your child's future teacher, boss, co-worker, or friend about the "dang" good job you did in the trenches. I have homeschooling friends older than I who encouraged me with the compliments they received from their kids' college professors.

Of course I feel I should say it doesn't matter to me, that the only thing that matters to me is to hear Christ's "well done" the day I die. But that would be a lie. (And I've taught my kids not to lie, as well as how not to use apostrophes.) I kind of like hearing "well done" from time to time down here. I think it's what encourages me to keep doing well, even when I don't see results.

I have a personal goal to see my current students become excellent writers. Specifically, I want to see them get scholarships to college because of their writing. Right now they hate me, I think. That's okay. Like I always told my kids when they were little, "I'm not here to be popular. I'm here to love you and teach you."



Kelly said...

Thanks for this encouragement, Zo. As one who wants to teach her children, love them AND be popular, I often need the gentle reminder that sometimes I'll have to lose the popularity contest to win the war. And I'm sorry for the run-on...

Anonymous said...

I envision party blow-out horns being tooted by moms, sons and daughters together who realize the work was and is NOT in vain!
Toot loudly Mamas!
Toot louder yet homeschooled sons and daughters!
Toot not out of arrogant pride, but because God is amazingly gracious and does confirm the work of our hands!

Anonymous said...

Great encouragement, Zoanna! Glad you're raising up good writers. The world certainly needs them.

Josh and I were looking at Craig's List of HS grads who were posting their "resumes" (if you could call them that, more like descriptive paragraphs about themselves). The writing was HORRIBLE! Misspelled words, weird spacing, random apostrophes, etc. So raise up good writers!

Amy said...

way to go, ZO!

krista said...

Amen and amen! (Aka: Toot! Toot!)

The Bible DOES say to praise the Lord with instruments! :o)