Almost six months ago, our house became a school. It feels like the most natural transformation, really.
Like a comfortable memory now reborn...
I was nearly eight years old when we left the city for the country. We drove all through the night, down winding dirt trails and over rusted cattle guards, not a single flicker of light but our own front beams and a sky so full of stars it looked like a bowl full of glitter. The ten mile driveway off the main highway ended at our ranch. The ranch we've always owned, the land that's only ever run through our blood-- our homestead.
The big white ranch house was a mausoleum of artifacts (still is, in fact). The six bedrooms in the house were all piled high with books and boxes and antique furniture. It looked like an old abandoned castle from the fairy tales I loved. I remember choosing the upstairs bedroom in the northeast corner. The room was full of old books and it even smelled like a library. I loved it. It was years later that I was told the room used to be a schoolroom. My aunt and my cousin along with a few others from neighboring ranches were taught in that very room.
That fall I would attend school in a two room schoolhouse where I would eventually become the only student in my grade from fifth to eighth. One teacher taught K-4 and the other taught 5-8. Kind of reminds me of homeschooling in that respect. That little country school provided me with a great education. And the dust from those schoolbooks in my bedroom must still be lingering in my brain, because to this day I love the smell of old books, and transforming my house into a classroom feels like a coming home to me.
There's something so miraculous about teaching and opening up the mysteries of God's world to our children, hearing them read, helping them write, going on nature walks and discovering science in the everyday, reading Bible maps and learning about the early church, the great commission, and the spread of the gospel. I never thought it would be this exhilarating or even this challenging, because it is both. Most days I feel overwhelmed by the huge responsibility of my child's education. But even on those days, I'm left feeling so grateful for this experience together. I want my kids to love to learn, to be lifelong learners. And we're on this learning journey together, he and I. I'm learning how to teach and he's learning how to be teachable. Either way, it takes a bending of our will, positioning ourselves at the feet of The Greatest Teacher of all.