Monday, January 21, 2013

Roads Diverging

{What can I say? My bed appears to be the preferred locus of higher academic learning.}

Just my boy, cramming for his Teaching the Classics online literature discussion course -- and getting his first full dose of Shakespeare in the process. We've been thrilled with the class -- every three weeks or so, he's sinking his teeth into two hours of some really meaty discussion with a group of peers across the country. Two hours, and he stays engaged the whole time. Or at least, close enough. 

This has been a year of ramping up academically for Ian, and it hasn't been without its growing pains. Now, we're the midst of deciding what to do about next year. Trying to find the right balance for this particular child (this "square peg," if you will, who needs plenty of time to draw graphic novels and fire "Guess the Tolkien Character" questions at his sisters). The balance between the increased academic rigor and collegiality of a weekly class associated with our Classical Conversations community -- a class that could feed his need for challenge, accountability to someone other than me, and a sense of community with the friends he's come to know over the past two years -- and the freedom and flexibility of cobbling together our own independent path. 

I don't know the answer yet. I wish for the days, sometimes, of worrying about when he'd sleep through the night or successfully potty-train. You know, those things that seem huge and world-consuming when you're in the middle of them ... but really aren't. 

Will I feel the same, farther down the road, about the crossroads we seem to be at right now? Probably so. That point just feels very far away sometimes. 

In the meantime, we'll keep talking to the One who made him, so fearfully and wonderfully. "The Lord gave Ian to you 'cause you will look after him like no one else!" a friend reminded me last week as we discussed the options. I've said similar things to friends before, but isn't it funny how much easier it is to have faith for someone else's journey?

Yet parenting keeps teaching me: I need to cling to the cross in each of my crossroads. I suspect that's more important than where exactly the road ends up taking us. 


  1. Funny to read this post today. I've been pondering a lot this week about how, all too soon, the homeschooling journey will need to change for my older one. I see peer discussions getting more important, academics getting more rigorous, and my paradigm getting out of date. At what age does an afternoon at the zoo no longer constitute schoolwork?

    1. That's exactly it, Laura!!

      Now, will you hurry up and move back here so we can discuss these things at one of our kitchen tables?!?

  2. My homeschooling friend across the street has a son going into high school next year. She's in the throes of major decision making as well.
    I feel it rising here, too, like the tide. And I feel a deep urge to stick my head in the sand. ha!!
    The really unfair part of this - I will be potty training a toddler this year as well. Just sayin'.

  3. I have nothing wise to offer because I'm still at the coveted potty training stage ;) But I do want to say I really like the looks of that online classics course you linked to. Would you continue it only if you don't do the challenge course? If you do, or if for any other reason Ian finds himself reading The Hiding Place, then I would highly recommend that you all come visit me for a family field trip to the Corrie ten Boom house. A think a week or two in Holland should surely count as schoolwork even if an afternoon at the zoo doesn't anymore.

    1. You know I would love to take that field trip, Tamara!!!

  4. Even though I'm not a parent, I really appreciate this post. A good, timely, and (as usual) beautifully-crafted reminder to keep talking to the One, clinging to the cross in the crossroads. Thank you :)