I spent most of yesterday grading papers.
Essays, worldview studies - years 1 and 3, short stories, creative writing, the beginnings of a novel...all single spaced....science tests,
grammar worksheets, scripture handwriting, art journals, algebra...
This does not include the daily papers
and journals and art projects
from my youngest four children.
It does not include all of the private interests...
guitar, piano, computer science, typing,
photography, design, foreign languages...
My "old" children (ages 17, 15, 14 and 11) are at
the stage where grading involves a lot of
reading, writing, and interacting - for me.
It is interesting, as the conversations have
been taken to a whole new level. It's not enough
for the most part to check off boxes (has it ever been?)
The big kids need analysis, feedback, suggestions,
encouragement, and constructive direction.
Some days, I wonder whose idea it was
to have three teenagers right in a row, and then
I remember that the first two were "our" idea...
and the third one was a "surprise" to us...
(but not to God.) :)
It is a very challenging task, but a good one,
a very rewarding one.
Some weeks, I groan when I feel the
weight of the stack of papers - but as
I dive in and see how they are
learning and growing and developing...
well, honestly, it is sometimes
overwhelming to think that I am in charge
of this huge task. I'm in charge of supplying
and talking and grading and holding to accounting...
and when I can't teach something I'm in
charge of connecting them to someone who can.
But what a privilege - to share so deeply
as young people begin to formulate and articulate the
ideas that will frame their thought processes.
I want to equip, to ignite, to foster. I want to challenge
them to surpass me and their Dad,
to go beyond what they can learn from me.
So often, that begins with a small comment beside a
written paragraph, a "what if," or a "have you
thought of this angle of things?" It begins with a huge
stack of papers and books, a pencil, and a
few refills of the afternoon coffee.
Thanks, kids. It's a joy to journey with you.
Looking forward to next week's stack ~