Well, term, and with it, our home-school year have ended. I so enjoy writing this blog, just recording and reflecting upon our life here in this tiny part of rural England; our family, our home-school, our friends and the seasonal rhythm of our activities.
We actually finished a week or so ago. Rhythm Dude, with the incentive of holidays, raced through the rest of his allotted work and finished a day early. We had an outing to the Big City, to visit a museum followed by a picnic lunch where we met up with some home ed friends. We’ve had so many outings over the years, many to this area of town, where there is a conglomeration of museums.
When the boys were young, Hard Working Husband had every Thursday off, so these were generally Outing Days. This was a fab way to learn for two active chaps, and I think Rhythm Dude especially benefitted from them. And we had lots of fun and ate lots of French sticks! We’ve also been up to the Big City a few times in the past week for two parties, and for a home ed group meet up in a play park. The younger children played in the sand and water, while the older ones climbed high on the larger equipment and then sat in the middle of a field and chatted. I’m really glad the boys are gently starting to imbibe some “street-wiseness” as they spend time with their home ed friends. They are pretty naive on this front, I think; would be able to fend for themselves out on the hills, but it’s good they are learning to be a bit more savvy in town.
And one evening all children were with friends, so HWH and I were able to go out for a walk and a pub supper. It was lovely…felt like time stopped and we were tucked away from our busy world. We came upon a small, completely unkept and hidden field. As I tiptoed through, HWH pointed out some young oak trees, presumably self-seeded. I went back to take a photo, and felt God was speaking to us through them. It wasn’t a beautiful or tidy field; it was messy and scrubby, and most people would have just walked through it to get somewhere else. But, it was quietly providing the nutrients and protection to raise these young seedlings that would grow someday into mighty oaks, strong, tall and able to provide shelter for many other living creatures.
I felt it’s so like what we are trying, with a huge dollop of God’s grace, to do with raising our children. It’s not glamorous (people generally look disinterested when I say I’m a mum), it’s hard work, it’s very messy, it’s generally hidden away (apart from when Sparkly Eyes screams so loudly the whole town must be able to hear her!). And yet it’s the most eternally important job I’ll ever do. Raising the next generation. I know we can’t do it in our strength. I’m grateful for those who walk the path with us, who have trodden it before, and pass on their wisdom, and most of all for our Heavenly Father’s help, every step of the way. And although I’m often weary, my passion for this only ever increases.
So, as we take time out of our more structured learning over the summer, I will take with me that picture of those young oaks and know that I’ll be reinspired and replenished to begin again in September.