“How have you changed in your twenty years of homeschooling?” Ray asked our friend Dena on Monday.
“I worry nothing about academics,” she said. “My main concern is teaching them about the Lord and their relationship with Him because there is such a battle going on about that these days.”
Dena has done a wonderful job homeschooling her three unique children. And she is one of the wisest women I know. I have sought her counsel many times during our long friendship. I am guaranteed to hear godly, insightful words.
On Sunday evening through yesterday morning, the Notgrass team enjoyed a retreat. Dena is our newest team member. She assists Ray and me in research, proofreading, and editing. She is also a great sounding board for ideas. She works part-time from home while continuing to homeschool their youngest who is in high school. We are grateful that she could join us all day on Monday.
The entire Notgrass team is made up of homeschool graduates, former and current homeschool parents, and one full-time summer shipping clerk who is still homeschooled. So what does a homeschooler team do at a homeschooling company retreat? We act like a big homeschooling family.
We prepare meals together and eat together.
Our children (and grandchildren) play with Duplos and other toys on the floor around our feet while we plan and learn fresh ways to do what we do.
We laugh and act silly.
We learn about the uniqueness of each one of us.
We work together on projects.
We play games with the kids before they go to bed and play some more after they go to bed.
We roast marshmallows and make S’mores around the campfire. Have you ever had a S’more made with a peanut butter cup instead of plain chocolate? Umm.
We posed for a “family photo.”
We woke up to our first snowfall of the season.
We followed a flexible schedule based on the needs and fun of the moment.
We learned from one another.
In Colossians, Paul wrote about his desires for them and for other Christians. He wrote about their hearts, their relationships to one another, their understanding, and their knowledge of Christ. Paul wanted this for the Colossians for the same reason Dena worries nothing about academics (which she teaches extremely well) and keeps her children’s spiritual well-being first: so they will not be deluded by the world.
For I want you to know
how great a struggle I have on your behalf
and for those who are at Laodicea,
and for all those who have not personally seen my face,
that their hearts may be encouraged,
having been knit together in love,
and attaining to all the wealth
that comes from the full assurance of understanding,
resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery,
that is, Christ Himself,
in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
I say this so that no one will delude you
with persuasive argument.