Our daughter Mary Evelyn and I love getting to know the young actors and actresses who perform in her plays. We enjoy watching them grow up, too. Because we were not able to do a play last year, some of the changes we saw at auditions last week were striking. One boy in particular (I’ll call him Matthew) is becoming a young man. However, the personality we have so enjoyed since he was young is still there and still a delight. He always brings a smile to my heart.
During the summer of 2016, Matthew was an adorable, energetic, thoughtful, little boy. That year he came to Mary Evelyn after his audition to talk about the kind of part he would like to have. He explained that in 2014 he had a part where he got to move around, but that in 2015 his character had been assigned to stay mainly in one spot. He wanted Mary Evelyn to know that he much preferred a part where he could move. He finished his appeal with these words: “I don’t know what you call it, but I call it freedom.”
Freedom was one of the reasons Ray and I chose to homeschool, and it was one of the many reasons that we continued. I hope that summer is giving you and your children a chance to breathe and experience freedom. I hope you are able to continue that freedom when school starts back again in August or the fall. Personally, I loved the freedom to start after Labor Day!
One way to experience homeschooling freedom is to teach the way that Jesus taught His disciples. It was identical to the way God told the Israelites to train their children in Deuteronomy 6 and 11:
. . . when you sit in your house and
when you walk along the road and
when you lie down and
when you rise up.
Picture how Jesus taught His disciples. Imagine one day during Jesus’ ministry on earth, a day He spent with the twelve disciples. The print below illustrates one event on just one day, the day Jesus healed Bartimaeus’ vision. Think about being with Jesus day after day. Think about what His disciples learned and how they learned it. Think of the freedom of learning all day long — all day long every day — with the greatest Teacher who ever lived on earth.
Now compare that experience with the typical educational experiences of most children who are the same ages as your children. How do they compare? How are they different?
Mary Evelyn’s young actor got what he asked for in 2016. He played a street beggar near George Muller’s orphanage. What a creative little communicator he was back then. Mary Evelyn and I ran into him at a festival a few weeks after the 2016 play. He was surprised and very excited to see her. He said, “If I was a cartoon character, there would be like fifty exclamation points coming out of my head!”
May you and your children begin the next school year with lots of exclamation points above your heads because you are so excited about the freedom to homeschool and the way your homeschool allows your children:
- to be free to grow in their faith,
- to succeed in the gifts God has given to them, and
- to flourish in the timetable that is a perfect fit for them.
It was for freedom that Christ set us free;
therefore keep standing firm
and do not be subject again
to a yoke of slavery.