Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Classes Day 2

Liana and I are back in the beautiful library we discovered last week.  She just finished her science homework and I just finished looking over my biology notes which I will be teaching in about 45 minutes.  

Our new schedule gives us a very long day out, but the change is good for us.  While the girls have their early morning class, I have time to "kill".  At my age, should I ever kill time?  My life has limited time left and I need to redeem it, making the most of it.  A friend got into my car this morning and after running an errand together, we sat and talked about important issues in our families.

Afterwards I picked up Liana and we are relaxing in this lovely setting.  The library is so much larger than ours.  Books surround us on every side of this table here, and a huge picture window gives us a view of the rolling countryside, stormy winds shaking the trees.  We'll head back to school in a little bit but we are enjoying the peace and quiet.  Then we'll eat quick lunch and I will present my material on Kingdom Monera.  Fascinating stuff!  I hope the students think so.  Arielle is in my class too and she is watching my every move, desperately hoping I won't do anything un-cool.  She's even choosing my wardrobe on school days.  But last week she told me I did a great job and that means a lot coming from her!

Arielle has a class that she is very excited about and I am too.  She is taking a history class called Omnibus that combines history, literature, writing, and theology.  The students read their textbook plus literature written at the time they are studying and then write essays. World history is combined with the history of the church because aren't most struggles and world events revolving around religion?  I grew up learning history apart from the impact of world religions.  How dry and how unrealistic.  The best part of this class is the discussion when all the students come together after doing their assignments. This kind of learning can't be done in a home setting. The class stresses critical thinking skills rather than a recitation of facts.  Right now Arielle is reading the classic Foxe's Book of Martyrs to better understand England in the 1500's.  She loves the class and is very motivated to do her work.

We have a week to prepare for our next long day.  This includes a field trip to a stagnant pond to collect bacteria-laden water that we will be observing under the microscope next week.  Fun!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Starting School

September 11, 2001, was just like September 11th this year.  Bright sunshine and a beautiful blue sky and a day full of promise.  It was on Tuesday in 2001,  just like this year.  Who can ever forget that day?  Arielle began preschool that morning.  She was so very excited.  This time she is off to high school at a new co-op.  She is equally excited and ready to take on new challenges.  

Disaster can happen on a day like this.  But this day, for us, it doesn't.  We don't think about bad things when we pull up in front of the old church which has been rented for the school.  Our new school bags are weighed down with notebooks and textbooks and lunch.  Liana is a little nervous.  She has a teacher she has never met and will be in a class where she knows no one.  Like me when I was her age, this makes her anxious.  Not so Arielle.  She is more like Dominic.  I remember his first day of kindergarten.  I had walked him to school and when we arrived at the front entrance he turned and told me good-bye.  He boldly went to his classroom by himself.  This day I am a little anxious too.  I will be teaching two classes.

In childhood I had decided I wanted to be a teacher.  I wanted to be the one writing on the blackboard and sitting behind the big desk grading papers.  I loved the discipline and order of the classroom.  (I hear it's not like that today.)  I wanted to impart knowledge!  But life intervened in those dreams and set me on a different course.  In the past I taught Vacation Bible School, Sunday School, women's Bible study, chiropractic patient education, and, of course, my daughters' work all these years.  I've loved it all.  But now!  I actually have an academic classroom with other people's kids teaching them science.  It seems kind of like...real school!

Friends of mine told me about this co-op where their children had attended and I knew that it would be a good opportunity for Arielle, now in high school.  She is such an extrovert (unlike me) and I know she is energized by being around other people.   I saw on the website that parents were needed to teach some classes and it would offset the tuition.  I applied to be the middle school biology teacherI heard back from the director of the school.  That position had been taken.  But would I teach high school biology?  Oh no, I couldn't do that.  I told her I would think about it, but the more I thought about it, the more I didn't want to do it.  What an intimidating idea.  Then my wise daughter reminded me, "But Mom, you would have to teach it to me anyway."

I wanted Arielle to go to this school.  I had the biology book already since Arielle needed it, and I started to read.  Okay, I remember this.  Most people don't realize the number of science classes that are required for chiropractic school.  I assumed I'd forgotten everything, but that wasn't true.  So I agreed to teach.  A few days later the director called and said there had been many requests for a physical science class.  Would I teach that also?  

I recognize opportunity for God's provision.  Not only would the girls attend the school at no cost, but we would have a little income in addition.  So I said yes to this new adventure.  I believe God equips us for whatever he calls us to do.  So all three of us were off to school on this gorgeous, sunny day on September 11th.