Sometimes I wish I were illiterate. Honest. I realize the irony as I write the words across the page on my blog. But, sometimes, just for a moment, I wish that the burden of responsibility did not lie on my shoulders. I know too much.
I’m knee-deep in curriculum for the coming homeschool year. Bright sticky notes hang garishly all over the desk – to-do lists, grocery lists, books that have been purchased, books still to buy, blog ideas, Bible verses, funny quotes from my kids, chore lists, schedules, fall clothing needs, birthday lists, meal plans… Don’t tell me I need a planner. (They are too compartmentalized, never handy when I need them, and can’t seem to last me more than a week. And then I revert to sticky notes.)
It’s the homeschooling, homemaking, home-er-welming mother’s new school year resolution time. I will lose the weight of last year’s teaching failures. I will exercise my children’s minds every day. I will be organized this year. I will keep my house clean and hospitable. I will make my children brilliant. I mean, brilliant-er.
But of course, that will last all of a week. And that next Monday I will wake up, roll my growing frame out of bed too late, and patter into the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant, to sit forlornly with a cup of coffee staring at last week’s unfinished school and house lists. And I will sigh. And probably go buy a planner.
But of course, that’s not what I really need (though maybe this year it will help…) And it’s not what my kids really need (though it’s not an excuse for them to skip math, or reading, or writing, or spelling, or science, or history, or art, or typing, or logic, or piano, or etiquette, or any of the bazillion other things they simply have to know before I can untie my apron strings- aurgh. But I digress.)
Knowledge is power. Of course I want my kids to be powerful. But what if my quest for power is overshadowing a greater goal for them?
There will come a day when I will stand before the Judge of all the earth. He will look at me with piercing eyes, and He will ask me one question.
It will not be, “What did you do with your sons?”
It will be, “What did you do with My Son?”
What good will it be to my own children if they can grow up to write computer code, give persuasive speeches, name every country and capital, philosophize, harmonize, digitalize, make lots of money, cure cancer, or even do the dishes without being asked – but they have not learned from me that the paramount object is to know Jesus? Might they save the whole world, but lose their own soul? If they did not learn this one thing from me, what a tragedy would be on my head.
This is not an excuse to be lackadaisical in my approach to teaching my children all they need to know. I want desperately for them to learn, to know, to soak in and apply. That is why we homeschool, that is why I pour my mind and energy into making their waking moments meaningful, and that is why I plan to continue.
But I would rather fail – utterly – teaching them even basic knowledge, but know they gained true wisdom. If I had to choose. Because I’m willing to bet even Jesus couldn’t find China on a map (based on what he learned during His school days anyway.) I suppose He could cure cancer though. Maybe it was because His mom had a really good planner.
Or maybe not.