(In my defense, I have five kids. So really, as a family, we’re still running at 80% caught up. Or so I tell myself.)
I love my kids. I love learning. I love it when my kids are learning. Sometimes, though,the kids and the learning don’t seem to want to mesh together well- and that’s when things get difficult.
So, when my son got stuck and fell behind, with his grades falling and his mood and motivation with them, we did what any sensible homeschooling family would do- we doubled down and worked harder took a pause, and went to the art gallery.
And I am grateful- because if it were not for the 10+ years that our family has spent at Christiana, I might never have known to do this.
What I’ve learned through homeschooling here is that a challenge in an academic subject is rarely solved through extra focus on that subject alone. Instead, it’s about the student as a whole person, and the relationship between that student and God.
Our time at the gallery was about the art. Until it wasn’t. And once it wasn’t, then it was about our ideas about the past and the present, my son’s wonder at the human experience through different eras and places, and our humility before the works of great artists through the passage of time.
From these encounters come a new understanding of the challenges of our own lives, the recognition that these hurdles have been crossed before by countless others, and the realization that there is meaning in all this- then and now.
In short, our trip was about perspective. Which is what we all need when we get stuck.
I can’t do that for my kids- not through my will, my ability, or my effort. But God grants these things to us through the experience of beauty.
As I write this, I’m sitting next to a very different child than the one I had yesterday. And thankfully, I am also looking at a growing stack of completed homework.