My Second Graduate!

“My son, observe the commandment of your father
         And do not forsake the teaching of your mother;
    Bind them continually on your heart;
         Tie them around your neck.
    When you walk about, they will guide you;
         When you sleep, they will watch over you;
         And when you awake, they will talk to you.” Prov. 6:20-22

   This passage was the one assigned for my Good Morning Girls group on Friday. And an appropriate verse it was, as my second son graduated that evening!

   He’s on the left. This one was taken in the church nursery where they got ready–the background cracks me up. Afterward we had a ton of people over for barbecue, banana pudding, and swimming in the pool. It was really a great time!

   Zach is just a joy. He’s hardworking, conscientious and talented. We’re part of an “umbrella school,” which is basically a group that functions as a go-between for homeschooling families and the state. They keep records of our curriculum, attendance, grades and standardized testing each year, so students are technically listed as “private school students” here in Florida. It’s nice to have a group to graduate with, and we’ve known some of these kids as long as we’ve lived in Florida–about 12 years, since we’ve been part of this school that long. It’s amazing to me that they’re *all* growing up so fast, and this particular graduating class was an exceptionally good group of kids.

   So Zach’s done. He’ll finish a few more lessons in Chinese and then plans to spend the summer playing the keyboard as part of the worship band for several youth camps and retreat weekends. Then, Lord willing, he’ll head to Denver, Colorado to take part in Youth With a Mission’s Musicians Discipleship Training School. That involves 12 weeks of classes and lots of playing in Denver, followed by an 8 week overseas missions trip (we’re praying he’ll get to spend some time trying out his Mandarin!) Since he’s a young graduate (not 17 until August) we feel very comfortable with that plan. He’s interested at this point in continuing his music education the following year at Southeastern University.

   Zach’s the second student to graduate in our family. His path was different than his older brother’s, and different too from those who follow as our Classical Conversations programs grow and we plan to continue that through high school for the rest of our students. I suppose when one looks back there’s a tendency to think, “Did we do enough of this/too much of that? Did I hit all the bases?” I’ve often said that my goal in educating my kids at home is to give them all the tools they need to do whatever it is God has called them to do. So did we succeed? I suppose we don’t know the answers yet. Here’s what I do know, and the thing that gives me true peace … every year, I sought the Lord about what to do, and what course to follow in educating my children. Whether it was which Algebra program to use, or whether to join a group and spend the accompanying time, money and effort, it was all brought before God and laid out as a question. And I chose whatever gave us all the most peace. So honestly, I can say that I believe he received the education the Lord wanted him to have–even though I won’t do things exactly the same way the next time around. I’m so glad I can lay that concern in God’s lap. It’s much bigger than my own!

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