I love homeschooling. Other than random bad days (which everyone has, no matter what their job is), I can’t find much to complain about. I find it fun and challenging, I love watching my children learn, and I love the success I feel when I teach them something new.
At Moose’s IEP meeting this morning, though, I realized that there is one thing that I miss out on by homeschooling, that does cause me some disappointment.
I don’t get to hear from the teacher how great they’re doing in school, their funny habits and quirks, things they’ve really improved on, etc.
I suppose I could tell myself all that stuff, but it’s not really the same. It’s nice to have confirmation from other adults that the progress I’m seeing in Moose at home isn’t my imagination, that they’re noticing it, too. It’s amusing to hear funny stories about him when he’s away from home. It’s very encouraging to hear how hard he’s worked to master particular tasks, and to receive suggestions on how to help him with others.
Even though I *know* how well they’re doing, I wish I could hear some of that stuff about Turkey and Bunny from someone a little more impartial than myself. Then again, if that’s my biggest complaint in homeschooling, I guess we’re doing OK!
I’m mostly bragging on Turkey and Bunny, here, but if I’m to be honest, I’m also bragging on my teaching skills a bit. Mea culpa.
We’re almost done with first grade–(even though technically, based on age, Bunny should be finishing kindergarten)–just about six weeks left to go, so I thought I’d give Turkey and Bunny a reading assessment. Not comprehension or anything, just a flat-out, ability to read, assessment.
Turkey scored around a fourth grade level, and Bunny at sixth!
I knew they were way ahead of their grade level, because the stuff we’re reading in Language Arts isn’t challenging them anymore–I’ve been giving them extra stuff to read so they don’t get bored. But I didn’t know they’d be this far ahead!
This is huge for me. My number one concern almost two years ago when we started this journey was whether or not I’d be able to teach them to read. I had no idea how that process worked. I’ve never even helped a child read better, much less teach one from the ground up. And here I had two students to teach! I knew that my ability to help them learn to read (and learn to love reading!) would determine whether or not we’d be homeschooling long term, or if it would be just a one-time thing.
Well, I guess I succeeded (although, to be honest, the credit really goes to by two hard-working students, who just want to learn as much as they can)! And this confidence boost couldn’t have come at a better time, because we’re approaching my number two fear in teaching–learning how to carry numbers when adding. I don’t know if we’ll survive that one!
I realized today that it’s not only important to me to go to church on Easter (obviously), but it’s become very important to me to worship with my church family.
I never really felt that way about a church before.
Sure, I’ve had friends in churches, and I’ve learned from sermons and enjoyed hearing the special music, but I realized today how important the fellowship of this particular group of saints is to me. I don’t know what it is, other than, I guess, I feel like I’ve come home. Even though I’m not related to anyone at the church, and I didn’t grow up there, I feel such a sense of belonging, and it’s like being with my actual family when I’m there. So I can’t imagine celebrating the Resurrection anywhere else.
I also never before realized the joy of spending the whole morning at church. I was an adult before I realized that churches can have multiple services on Easter morning without having them all be the same. I really thought that the only people who went to more than one service on Easter did so because they *had* to–choir members, the organist, the pastor. I had no idea how much fun it could be to go to Sunrise Service, have breakfast at church, and then actually *stay* for the second service. It’s just the best day ever, and I find myself looking forward to Easter more and more each year, and find myself sadder each time it’s over.
I love celebrating Easter with my family!
Alleluia! He is Risen!
He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!
I don’t think I could ever find words to describe how much I love this service. The return of the Light, the readings from Holy Scripture, the remembrance of Baptism, the return of the Alleluias, the Lord’s Supper–I love it all.
I still remember the first time I attended the Easter Vigil–it was when I was in college, and it was something my church was doing either for the first time, or one of the first times…we certainly didn’t do it when I was growing up there. I remember sitting in the pew, in the darkness (that service started at 11:00 p.m., so it was really dark!), and thinking that I wished it would never end.
I still feel that way. If it weren’t for worrying about how loud my children are being, or how much longer they can make it through the service, I could stay forever. There is something so ancient and beautiful about the way the service is arranged, and the readings that are chosen–it is the perfect transition from darkness into Light, from Lent to Easter–and also provides so much in the way of Word and Sacrament.
Surely it is the Church on Earth at Her best!
What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence, and stillness, a great silence because the King sleeps; the earth was in terror and was still, because God slept in the flesh and raised up those who were sleeping from the ages. God has died in the flesh, and the underworld has trembled. Truly he goes to seek out our first parent like a lost sheep; he wishes to visit those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. He goes to free the prisoner Adam and his fellow-prisoner Eve from their pains, he who is God, and Adam’s son. The Lord goes in to them holding his victorious weapon, his cross. When Adam, the first created man, sees him, he strikes his breast in terror and calls out to all: “My Lord be with you all.” And Christ in reply says to Adam: “And with your spirit.” And grasping his hand he raises him up, saying, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.” “I am your God, who for your sake became your son, who for you and your descendants now speak and command with authority those in prison: Come forth, and those in darkness: Have light, and those who sleep: Rise.” “I command you: Awake, sleeper, I have not made you to be held a prisoner in the underworld. Arise from the dead; I am the life of the dead. Arise, O man, work of my hands, arise, you who were fashioned in my image. Rise, let us go hence; for you in me and I in you, together we are one undivided person.” (quoted in For All the Saints, vol. III, p. 1037)
During Holy Week, it feels as if the Church is holding her breath. Even though the events of that week are not happening anew, it’s almost as though we can feel the same heartbreak, confusion, despair and sadness that Christ’s disciples felt. Even though we know how it all turns out, it’s as though we are waiting with anticipation to see if God had been defeated on Calvary, or if there is more to the story that we just can’t understand yet.
Even as we wait throughout Advent, we wait that much more in Lent, especially during Holy Week, and especially during the Holy Triduum. We wait, we watch, we weep, knowing full well the joy that Sunday will bring, and yet still, for today, feeling the pain of the cross.
Thus says the Lord: What have I done to you, O My people, and wherein have I offended you? Answer Me. For I have raised you up out of the prison house of sin and death, and you have delivered up your Redeemer to be scourged. For I have redeemed you from the house of bondage, and you have nailed your Savior to the cross. O My people.
Thus says the Lord: What have I done to you, O My people, and wherein have I offended you? Answer Me. For I have conquered all your foes, and you have given Me over and delivered Me to those who persecute Me. For I have fed you with My Word and refreshed you with living water, and you have given Me gall and vinegar to drink. O My people.
Thus say the Lord: What have I done to you, O My people, and wherein have I offended you? Answer Me. What more could have been done for My vineyard than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad? My people, is this how you thank your God? O My people. Lutheran Service Book