Monday, January 21, 2008

The homeschooling center

Since it’s Martin Luther King Day, the kids had the day off from public school. Because my husband George is a self-employed general contractor, he took the day off to be home with them. OK, he really took it off because he wanted to come with Jacob and me to the homeschooling center, and the home where he was supposed to work was on the other side of town. All the driving didn’t seem worth it. Ah, the luxuries of being self-employed.

The homeschooling center is a bit of a drive from our house – about 10 to 12 miles. The owner, Marcia, came to the center just to meet with us and show us around. The center was closed for the day because of the holiday. But Marcia took time out of her day to meet with us.

The homeschooling center, which is a building that looks like an old house, is Marcia’s ministry. Homeschoolers get together here for drama classes, Bible studies, to hear guest speakers, and sometimes for social functions. The classes that run vary greatly because there is no paid staff. Whatever volunteers propose to teach is what is offered. Geometry is not a regularly offered course. Marcia taught both her sons Geometry and is teaching this course out of the kindness of her heart – for just $100 for the semester (January – June)!! This is definitely a ministry, not a money-making proposition.

Marcia loves to talk, something I learned during my initial call asking her whether Jacob could join her class. She talked for about 45 minutes, volunteering all kinds of information, from textbooks recommended for the sciences to making mission trips count as curriculum or extracurricular activities. My choice. As I’ve often said, when you listen, you learn; when you talk, you just repeat what you already know. I learned quite a bit from her.

After a detailed tour of all the rooms, including their small library, we got down to business: Can she or can she not take on teaching Jacob Geometry? He had brought his current Geometry textbook, and I held my breath as she flipped through the chapters and asked him questions about what he has covered in his class.

“I think that you’re pretty much where we are. You’ve had some things we haven’t, and we’ve covered some topics that you haven’t, but you can catch up on those.”

I released my breath. Praise God! One course is in place. Now to buy the textbooks…

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What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
— Albert Pike, Scottish Rite Freemason (1809-1891)