Heart of Homeschooling
By Terra Kittrell
2018. Eighteen years ago, that date sounded so futuristic. As a kid, I thought the year 2018 would surely be the time of the Jetson’s cars and teleportation. Man, was my 80’s generation disappointed or what? We’ve got phones made of glass that shatters and hoverboards that don’t really hover. Remember how weird it was to imagine the year turning from 1999 to 2000? And even weirder when we were about to “enter into the millennium?” There was all that scary talk about the world ending, computers shutting down, and electrical failure.
In December of 1999, I had a new future ahead of me, one month away from delivering my first child. I recall getting ready for bed on New Year’s Eve, the sounds of popping firecrackers in the neighborhood making their way into my bathroom. I said a little prayer, asking God to protect us from whatever future catastrophe lay ahead. I thought it silly to be scared, but there I was… anxious and uneasy. As I brushed my teeth, I glanced at the little framed picture of an angel that hung above the sink to the right. I was urged to look a bit closer at the picture… one I’d had since a kid when I started collecting angels. There, in the tiniest of letters written around the very decorative edge of the artwork, almost undetectable to the naked eye and certainly something I’d never noticed before, was a Bible verse. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I thanked Him for His immediate reassurance to my prayer. I rubbed my belly with my sweet baby boy inside, went to bed, and entered the new century… dead asleep.
The ride into the millennium wasn’t as bumpy as we thought, and in January of 2000, I gave birth to our first son. 2018 still seemed far away enough that it might actually bring those flying cars (Or at least a robotic maid. We can still hope, right?). The days turned into years, siblings were born, moves were made, houses were built, homeschooling was started, and time marched right on like a steam train in an old Western movie. Just like that, my baby is about to turn eighteen. Like I stood in that bathroom on New Year’s Eve 1999, nervously anticipating my newborn and the changes the millennium would bring, today I stand on the eve of his adulthood, resting on that same verse, still a little scared but knowing whose Hand in which that future lies. It’s like I’m standing on the bank of the Nile River about to put my most precious possession in a basket… a basket that is going to be influenced by currents I can’t control and a destination unforeseen.
One of the many benefits of our homeschooling journey is the additional time spent with my children, as well as the extra time they have gotten to enjoy with each other. It hasn’t always been bunnies and unicorns, but they all have developed a deep, strong bond. Kaleb, himself, was recently blindsided with facts about growing up and leaving the nest.
“Mama,” he said, “Just like Ramsi doesn’t remember living in the old house because she was little, do you think Oaklee might not remember living in this house with me?”
“She won’t forget you,” I answered, “but she might not have the same memories of you that you will have of living with her.” He stopped me, said he didn’t want to think about that, and played and cuddled a good bit with his baby sister that afternoon. He has spent many a break between schoolwork rocking her for a nap. I’m so indebted to homeschooling for allowing them the moments to make that connection.
This new year will bring numerous changes to our household, as well as our home school. As Kaleb turns eighteen, graduates, and enters college and adulthood, we will rely on faith and the promise of God’s Word that this new season will prosper. Ephesians 3: 18-19 says “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” If my children leave this home with the love of Christ, then they have left with a knowledge greater than any other.
About the Author: Terra Kittrell is a stay-at-home and homeschooling mother of Kaleb, 18, Chandler, 16, Ty, 14, Ramsi Kate, 10, and Oaklee, 3. She and her husband, LaTrelle, live in the Samantha community and are members of Church of the Highlands. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Photography Credit: Photography 1:16