(I want to state, up front, that anything I say in this blog or future blogs about homeschooling is because it is now a part of our life, and in this blog I share about my life. What I say is in no way a slam or dig on our public school employees and teachers, nor is it any kind of judgment about parents who don't homeschool. I have the utmost respect for the public school teachers and staff who love the children and toil in the trenches to give them the best the can. I have met, and know, many, many, many parents and children who go the public school route and who have wonderful, God-loving children. I recognize that we are tremendously blessed to even be in a position where Mary Ann can homeschool our girls.)
Well, many of you have been praying for us as we begin this homeschool adventure that we believe God has called us to, and today it all began. (Actually, we had a kick-off gathering Friday night in Paso Robles with the Christian homeschool group we are a part of and it was wonderful to meet so many families, and to see our girls playing with so many other children, and to see the full calendar of field trips and activities the group has planned!)
This morning we started with blowing the shofar in and out of the classroom (I'll put a link to a video of that on my Facebook page if anyone wants to hear it). The shofar was, and is, a powerful part of our Godly heritage as Christians and offspring of the Jewish faith. We then prayed and then showed the girls some of the new things we had put up in the classroom last night and some of the materials Mary Ann had laid out for them, and then Mary Ann began with talking about some of the names of God.
As I sat to the side (I wanted to be in the class this first morning---for the most part Mary Ann will be doing most of the teaching, though I hope to teach some of the history and science as able) I found myself so touched and blessed to be watching my wife instruct my girls on the name Immanuel, and how God is with us. (Actually, I forgot, we started after prayer with reading aloud the book, "How Big is God?") As the morning went on we talked about why we were homeschooling, what the expectations and "rules" would be, and how we want to instill in the girls God's central role in the fabric of history, science, etc.
It was wonderful to watch the girls scatter around and see how many edible plants they could find (apart from the vegetable garden) in five minutes. I was even amazed as we brought back five types of mints, parsley, green onions, rosemary, chives, sage, basil and, I think, more. The girls glued it on to pages for display. It was so wonderful, and I felt so blessed, to be able to just sit back and observe Mary Ann's love for God, love for the girls, and the personal instruction the girls were getting and the things that they were able to do in the environment of our home classroom.
I had to leave on a fire call during the morning so I missed the second half, but I saw enough to find myself really excited about what is ahead. We don't know if this is our long-term future, or only this years. We know that there will be many struggles in the process—we have been warned! But we also believe that the fruit of this decision will be bountiful. We covet your prayers as we continue, and we thank you for all the ones you have already lifted.
I am going to post a photo album on my Facebook page with different pictures from my first day for any of you who are also on Facebook and who would like to share it with us in a little more detail.