It’s like I’m back in Dr B’s class at UTK and I’m paralyzed because I can’t come up with a brilliant analysis of a book that I just finished reading for the paper that’s due tomorrow. It’s past 10 and I know I am not able to focus well on anything deep after 10, but the other option, getting up at 5am to write just isn’t realistic. This is just a blog, and I don’t even know if anyone reads it…why the reluctance to write? Because I don’t have any brilliant analysis of my day to present? or any funny stories to tell? Or maybe I do but I really can’t think of anything right now except how tired I am, how many things I have to do and the current time. I just read True Vyne’s blog and I must admit I was inspired. So, here’s a blog entry, just for the sake of getting my fingers moving and putting something on the page.
Today started early with the Chinese-English tutoring exchange and we never really got focused on schoolwork again until 8pm. That 2 hour session on Tuesday and Thursday mornings really takes a lot out of me. I worry that the 2 students I’m supposed to be helping with English are really benefiting from the lessons. #1 is definitely learning Chinese well with my student’s mother as his tutor. Our 1 to 1 exchange somehow seems to be benefiting me a lot more than her. I don’t have enough brain cells left over to think too deeply about lesson plans, goals, or materials. I made a crude lesson order to follow every time so I can just plug in materials, but it’s not exactly systematic and really can’t tell if what I’m doing is effective. The dilemma is the same as that of our own homeschool–do we teach ‘to the test’ or the local syllabus, or do we teach for the sake of imparting knowledge and building interest in people and things and ideas, and most of all in knowing God? This boy I’m teaching is in the system, but I fear the system is already squeezing the love of life out of him and it’s only been a few months. His mother is eager for him to keep up with the Joneses (or the Tans, as the case may be) yet I know she sees this is not a good way for a child to live and grow. I want to let her know she has a choice…but homeschooling probably seems frightening to her, partly due to her own lack of English skills. She knows the Lord and loves Him and wants to give everything for Him, yet her son suffers spiritually and physically under the constraints of the worldly system he has entered.
We, on the other hand, have chosen the way out of the system’s daily pressures, but we still feel we must prove something to this society which looks at homeschooling with much skepticism. We are not the first to go down this road. I pray we can learn from others how to strive for excellence and to work hard without being drawn into the frenzy of the rat race.
I am always longing for a simple life–where ‘things’ don’t rule, where people matter more and where God matters most. I long for order and organization that flows from a peaceful desire to keep life unencumbered. I long for a homeschool that will build up these 2 little men entrusted to our care into men after His heart. I suppose I will always feel I am just figuring these things out as long as I am on this side of eternity.