It happens every year, at least once a year if not twice. I get a cold. Nothing serious, but definitely more than the run-of-the-mill stuffy nose that just automatically goes along with unstable Arkansas weather. The normal congestion turns into all-over ickiness. A cough starts to tickle my throat and then dip down into my chest. Like I said, it rarely becomes anything serious. It’s just enough to slow me down – and take my voice away. Typically by the time my voice goes completely, I feel much better. One more “take it easy” day, and I’m good to go.
Last weekend the cold hit. I felt the stuffed-up head become more on Friday. By Friday night my voice was growing gravelly, and Saturday morning it was obvious this was the real thing. When I got up Sunday morning, I felt rotten. I still had the gravelly voice, but I knew what was next: after spending Sunday at home on the couch, I would go into our first day of school silent.
My children also knew what was coming, and I expected them to start lobbying for one more day off school since Mommy was about to be voiceless. But the suggestion never came. Instead, the children began discussing what they would each read aloud so we could have as normal of a school day as possible.
Monday morning dawned and, as expected, I had no voice. But the day progressed without a hitch. A few times I whispered brief explanations, but for the most part we accomplished school through my hand signals and their voices.
The whole scenario made me realize that we truly are achieving our primary homeschooling goal. My husband and I desire to teach our children more than just facts and information. We desire to teach them to learn. They are only eleven, nine, and six at this point, but they already get it! They already know what questions to ask and how to search for a lot of information on their own. They still need me, but not necessarily to teach them. They need me, instead, to direct them. They cannot take a wide-open field of information and determine what portions of that information they need. But as I hand them guidance, they can take that guidance and teach themselves. Even the six-year-old. Come to think of it, many times when they come and share what they have learned, I end up learning facts and information from them!
The way my children learn academically should resemble how we learn spiritually. So often we want our pastors, Sunday school teachers, and mentors to provide us all of the information and knowledge we need. We anticipate it. We expect it. Yet there will always be something lacking in their teaching. They cannot cover all we need, and sometimes they will not be able to be there at all. But they can teach us how to grasp it for ourselves. They can teach us to learn how to learn.
That’s what we need. On Monday I could not truly be there for my children. That day will come for our spiritual leaders as well. What sort of students will we on that day?