Ever since Kay and I first discussed future plans for a family in 1996 I’d always been a little partial to the concept of Home Schooling. Quite possibly for a myriad of reasons – originating from both positive and negative places.
Well, today my 13 yr old daughter (in 13 days) woke up, washed up, dressed for school, had breakfast and signed in, to her first official day as an On-line student. I have to say, back in 1996, the concept of such an event was not in our discussions. I mean, text books yes, learning curriculum’s – yes, but virtual classrooms and meetings pages with Clubs and virtually supported scheduled events – really? Also, I was pretty convinced my wife would be the home-maker and orchestrate our children’s education while I maintained a place in the secular work force.
Well, Kay did become a full-time Home Maker while I operated a business and held various jobs over our past 19 years of marriage. But Home Schooling never became a part of our family’s narrative. Not until this past summer when we actually listened to Kiera’s concerns about where she’d be attending next year, the instructors she’d possibly have again this year – who she found difficult to learn from, and the overall sense of disquiet she felt among some of her peers who lived within a vastly different worldview than she did. We committed the situation – in prayer – to the Lord – to lead us, as we trusted Him for direction because we hadn’t ever revisited the idea of Home School for almost 20 years.
Kiera is an exceptionally energetic, inquisitive and profoundly sensitive and empathetic child. She has a dark side too. As a matter of fact, her name, Kiera bara-Lelayah is translated: God creates beauty in darkness. It helps that she is also the darkest in complexion than the other two. She is truly a special child on several levels. She has always encompassed the unique ability to have the hardest presence while simultaneously igniting a room with her scintillating smile and deeply enthralling glance – bringing everything into order and focus.
For example, most people get excited about all things new. Not her. Her passion appears to grow the longer and more comfortable she becomes with it. And I’m learning how her perspective is quite contagious.
In April ’16, after three years, I resigned from my position within the public school system. I became committed to our ministry Èlim Christian Fellowship Church ~ Orangeburg to provide for my support of our family. The impact has been incredible. Then to learn only within the past two weeks that my presence at home would also propel and invigorate my daughter to participate in Home Schooling is simply God doing things “far above what I could ever hope, think or imagine; according to the power that is at work within” me. I am in AWE.
Yes, we’re so excited. The years I missed with her as I traveled back and forth up and down I-295, driving daily 75miles each way to Trenton, New Jersey resulted in far too many lost moments with her as a smaller child. She said to me upon moving to South Carlina that she never really spent time with me. She quickly supported her statement with “You were either, at work, at school [seminary], at church, or in your office downstairs studying.” She had me spot-on. Guilty as charged.
Yes, today we began Home Schooling our 8th grade daughter. But just as incredible is how much I’ve begun to finally learn that the Lord truly cares for more than my dreams, my aspirations or my personal sense of calling. In full transparency, I believe fathers, husbands and men in general have a propensity to think as long as we’re providing financially to our children’s lives, we’ve been successful. I have grown to learn that is not the case in the mind of our Heavenly Father.
Today, right now, I’m learning how wonderful it is to truly be present and available for the most significant moments in my child’s life. So I suspect I’m enrolled in a form of “home schooling” as well.
Life is never “usual” when you learn to dwell in His presence.
Rev. A. David Griffin, M.Div. (Daddy)