Saturday, September 29, 2012

I just want them to fly.

His first comment upon meeting me was slightly off him.  It was the reason he was so very dear to me, and countless others.  His wife wrote to him faithfully while he was in a prisoner of war camp during the Second World War.  Not yet his wife, but certainly his love, she waited patiently for her love to return.

 He was among the men that we are losing now at frightening rates per day, many of them not telling their story.  Brave and courageous men that our country should thank...but hardly knows.  Hard working.  Hard loving.  This was Mike's Pop-Pop.  I knew him only briefly.  He was a strong man.  He said, "sit" and you said, "where?"

 He found out that we didn't have the History Channel and wrote a check for us to get cable.  He thought we were missing out on some real quality programming. He'd be sad to know that the TV is now unplugged most days!  He was a pilot.  A good one.  He flew during the war, and then flew commercially for years.  His sweet wife was bringing up 4 kids and wringing chicken necks while he was gone!  She's another post entirely!

He told his story to a tape, so we could know and remember him.  It is a treasure.  I don't remember if he told this story on the tape, or to us personally, but it stuck with me and is my reason for why I homeschool.

As I said Pop-Pop was a commercial pilot.  He was old school.  He learned how to fly using math and physics and all those things people wonder "when will I use this?"  He learned how to fly when GPS was your own plan and mistakes were not really an option.  He told a story about a time when the navigation system failed in the plane he was flying.  It was during the Cold War and he was flying dangerously close to enemy territory.  He said his navigator went nuts.  Wasn't sure what to do.  Had no idea how to get them where they needed to go.

  Pop-Pop was unshaken.  He did his thing, worked the math and got his plane and all it's passengers safely to their destination.  He knew how to fly. He didn't just know how to steer.  He understood how things worked.  He knew what needed to happen. He understood how all things worked together.  He knew...and it mattered.  When he finished telling that story I thought to myself, "I want my kids to know how to fly."

Folks don't ask me anymore why I homeschool.  I suppose they figure that with 4 kids, never in school and the oldest almost 10, they can't convert me...and they can't.  I never needed anyone else to know why I was homeschooling, I needed to know.  I needed to know beyond, "The Lord has called our family to this."  I needed to know beyond, "It's just a great ratio, '1 1-4'" I needed to know because sometimes I get a little tired.

 I am constantly working through heart issues.  Tears that come because Latin declensions weren't ringing a bell.  Tears because I was too impatient.  Tears because my heart overflows and it's not always clean.  When I heard Pop-Pop in his big strong manly voice tell that story, something resonated in me.  It screamed, actually, "That's it!"

I want the people that leave my house to know how to think.  To understand how to navigate if all they have is the head on their it enough?  I want them to have rigorous academics because God asks us to love Him with all of our mind.  I want them to be stretched because they will be.  I want them to be confident in their skills...that God has given them...because we are at war and the enemy's territory feels like it's expanding.  They need to know how to fly.

My Dad has issued a challenge.  He sent a picture of a river in Florence, Italy with the questions, "What bridge is this?  What river is this?  What bridge am I standing on.  You might need a map of Florence." Anson went crazy!  He was pulling all of the books that we own off the shelves trying to figure it out. Then as he looked at the picture he attempted to determine what time of day it was by the shadow being cast in the water. They opened the picture in iphoto in order to catch the time recorded on the picture.  We still have to make it to the library to check on bridges, but we've got the river...and some zeal!

Watching him I thought, "He's flying."  He's not afraid of looking, he knows how to use resources and he doesn't want to "google it."  He wants to find the information.  It was a joy to watch.  Mike and I did google it and figured it out pretty quickly, but it wasn't nearly as much fun!  Ans is enjoying the trip, the journey...the struggle to find the information.  The exhileration of locating information on his own.  I have seen that transfer to other things as well.

 As we learn the geography of ancient people and places the kids are LOVING the book of Acts.  They know that the Temple of Artemis is one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world and they know that Paul was ministering and preaching the Gospel to people who were making small statues of Artemis.  They know where he is.  They are paying attention.  They are flying.

They aren't transcontinental just yet.  Anson is struggling to learn the game of golf, and it's good for him.  He has the tools to learn.  He knows he has to learn the grammar of the game.  He knows what he needs to do.  Even if he isn't the best golfer, he'll know and understand and appreciate the game!

So, now it's time to get Anson to golf, me to the store, beds made (like physically Mike needs to build some) and enjoy these little pilots. You may not care why I homeschool, but maybe you need to ask yourself that question.  Perhaps it will help you fly with a little more determination and joy.

***Just for fun...these are a few pictures of our little house.  This is my "china cabinet"

This is my china cabinet with my white board for school...isn't it so not "schoolie"

This is the window pane where we keep our fresh flowers, our bell collection is on top

This is Caroline and our new countertops...aren't they both lovely?

So, there are some pictures for ya.  I always enjoy those blogs that are heavy on pictures, even though mine is usually only heavy on words.  I may try to add more pictures from time to time. I really can't wait to show you the beautiful bookshelves that Mike built for us...but I can't show you everything at once!!! to make some soup!  Thanks for reading.