Out of the Greenhouse, into the Garden: A Perspective on My Son’s Graduation

Jun 4, 2014

I want to express the gratitude I have to the Lord Who allowed me to have these eighteen years at home with my son. Some moms see their kids only a few hours a day, and their teachers have them the remaining hours. Some teachers get to teach them only one subject, and then the bell rings and the students rush out the door. But for me, it’s been a full-time job: 24/7, K-12, “reading, writing, ’rithmatic,” plus respect and responsibility. Sometimes youth leaders and Sunday school teachers are given the responsibility for all the Christian training in a child’s life. But I’ve had the pleasure of “training him in the way he should go” and taking him from Genesis to Revelation in a Bible curriculum. It’s been a privilege and a challenge.

I don’t take credit for what I’ve done. God planted the seed of desire within me to homeschool before my son’s birth. God watered and fed the sprout during his preschool years. And He formed the first bud when my husband came home and asked, “Have you ever thought about homeschooling?” As with all plants, homeschooling has had seasons of beautiful blossoms and seasons of dormancy. Blooms burst open when the phonetics clicked, and he began to read. And elementary math became the stem that supplied food to the leaves of algebra and geometry. Yet leaves fell off when I feared teaching chemistry and twigs cracked when well-meaning folks questioned how he would learn Spanish from me when I don’t speak the language.

As it is with plants that are raised in a greenhouse, the time comes when they must be removed from this controlled environment. My son will be set out to weather the scorching sun of hundred-page reading assignments and the bitter cold of long semester projects. Professors who don’t even know his name now, will soon be pruning his branches. His classroom will be full of new faces—other types of flowers, even thorny ones and weeds—not the familiar face of his brother. Yet the master Gardener who has lovingly nurtured him all of his life will continue to watch over him and supply his needs. He will be the one in the next four or more years, as He has been over the past eighteen, to feed his love for learning, to water his mind with clear thinking, to provide sunshine for new branches (new subjects) to grow, and to weed out the distractions of worldly dorm life. At the season’s end, He will be the one to cut the flowers of concentration and determination, deep and lasting friendships, and my son’s personal relationship with Him; and arrange them in a vase called a college diploma!

God has been with us every step of the way in our journey of homeschooling. He’s made it clear to me that my calling was to be my job for these eighteen years. I didn’t set out to teach algebra and atoms when I started addition and a unit on air. High school wasn’t in my plan, but it was in His, and He has provided. Daily He gave me understanding and words and object lessons. I am humbled and bow in awe at His amazing provisions. Teaching chemistry was my greatest fear, but God provided a way through a co-op class and a wonderful curriculum, and now my son is pursuing a career in chemistry!

So, our greenhouse doors are open. This strong plant is ready to be moved outside. He truly is ready. He will take his place where all may see. I am so grateful for having been a mere apprentice under the Master Gardener in His greenhouse.

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