Since I have been homeschooling, I have often told friends that my own education has been ‘redeemed.’ What exactly does that mean? Well, if you think about a coupon that you redeem, you actually turn it in to claim its value. Or if you think in terms of Christ redeeming us, he is ‘getting us back,’ into a relationship with God.
When I think of my education, I often remember being teased because I had glasses and braces. Or later on, in middle school, I was a bit nerdy and was teased for being a book worm. I remember being boy crazy and thinking about the spring musical and if I wanted to participate. But, rarely do I remember discussions about history or remember formulas or patterns that I learned in math. My education boils down to the experiences that I had in school, not what I learned.
And yet, here I am, ‘up to my ears’ in education again. When I decided to homeschool my own children, I did so largely because I wanted to be the one to have the most influence with them. I also wanted to choose how they learned and what they learned. I wanted them to have a strong Biblical education and wanted to be able to sing, read and do art with them. But little did I know that we would end up at a place that would plunge me into the depths of the ocean of knowledge, right along with my children.
My education is being redeemed. How? Well, I used to claim that I was pretty good at math…and I was. I earned the top honors for math in my high school and took more math in college than I needed. I understood all the formulas and patterns, but now that I teach it, I REALLY ‘get it.’ So much so, that I can teach it better every year. And while I loved history, I never really saw patterns of ancient governments reemerging in modern history. I hadn’t really studied leaders and didn’t understand how governments had been set up and run throughout the centuries. The real kicker is that I studied Writing and English in college. But my real knowledge of grammar came when I taught it. Year after year, the grammar of the English language has made more and more sense. Along with all that, I am able to discuss some of the great classics with my own kids. I have gone through Homer several times and can actually have a fairly knowledgeable discussion about his stories. The same can be true for any subject…when I taught piano lessons a number of years ago, all that theory came rushing back in and made perfect sense.
You see, we live in an intricately created and beautiful world…God’s story in scripture and beyond is a beautiful story of redemption and we continue to see his handiwork into our own stories. Studying history becomes a reminder of all the times that God’s hand has saved, ordained, intervened. As we look on creation, and consider the heavens, we should be awestruck at all that God has done. Studying the sciences and considering that God made all of this should blow our minds. I totally did not engage in my science classes in high school because I just wasn’t interested. However, I have been called on the carpet by my creator…NOT INTERESTED? REALLY? IN ALL THAT I HAVE MADE??? Yes, I recently realized that my lack of interest and engagement in what God has done is not right. My eyes have been opened to the beauty and intricacies of His world.
Homeschooling is hard work…we need to teach our children, keep records of our progress and cook dinner after a long day of schooling. Sometimes it seems like we can’t keep up, but what if we consider that we are in ‘school’ too. As we teach, can we experience that ‘wonder’ of what God has made and done? I have tried this method of learning with my kids and ‘redeeming’ my education and now that my kids are just about all ‘graduated,’ I find that my education continues. I guess I’m finally turning my coupon in and finally redeeming the ‘value’ of my education.