Me: Grandpa’s heart is broken, he has to go to the hospital so the doctor’s can fix it.
Rose: Will they give him a teddy bear first? (Rose’s last surgeon brought her a teddy bear before surgery)
Me: I don’t think so, doctor’s only do that for kids, not grandpas.
Rose: Can we give him a teddy bear, I think he needs one.
I set up a yearly, monthly, weekly and daily schedule. I cleaned, organized, and simplified the house. I bought Stockmar crayons and paint, “At the Farmers’ Market with Kids: Recipes and Projects for Little Hands” Cookbook, wool felt for handcrafts, and “The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh.” I’ve scoped out and decided on a place to go for forest days. I’ve filed out all the paperwork, packed the bags, and moved my older son into college. I am ready to start Kindergarten with Rose. First day of school: September 1, 2015 . . .
But we won’t be using the paint or cookbook or felt. Instead, I’ll be at the hospital with my dad who is having open heart surgery. Rose will be at the babysitters – drawing a “Get Well” card for grandpa. The news of his surgery arrived shockingly suddenly and definitely changed my expectations for the perfect “first week of school.”
Yet, maybe this event is the perfect “first week of school.” Maybe this event serves to remind me what is important in life. Maybe this event sets up the “right” priorities for Rose. Maybe this event reminds me why I homeschool.
Teaching my children to love God and serve others IS why I homeschool. Starting school by loving and serving grandpa is more important than anything else we could be doing this week. There will be thirteen or fourteen years of reading, writing, counting, drawing, and playing. But serving others must take priority over traditional education.
In a recent survey done by the Barna Group, Christian parents were asked what their number one goal for their children was. Not surprisingly, the number one answer was that their children receive a good education. Less than half as many Christian parents considered their children’s relationship with Jesus to be as important as their education. Even less thought their children’s character was a top priority. I don’t want to be one of these parents. Education has its place, but I would choose illiteracy over eternity without God.
God is writing the lesson plans for Rose’s first week of school – and I know His plans are better than my own.
Visiting Grandpa in the hospital: We are called to minster to others
Coloring pictures for Grandpa: We use our gifts, talents, and passions to bless others
Giving Grandpa a teddy bear: Comfort others as you have been comforted
Praying for Grandpa: Reminds us God is in control – we aren’t, and He is the true healer
Living with Grandpa: Rose has a spiritual legacy. Daily she sees her grandpa reading his Bible, loving others, and putting his faith in God during times of trouble. He faces death knowing that “to live is Christ, to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21)
So, we will take pictures of Rose’s first day of school – even if it taken in a hospital waiting room. God’s timing is perfect and this is the lesson He wants me to start my daughters “education” with.
I think we’ll go shopping for a teddy bear tomorrow.