A few weeks ago as we backed the truck out of the driveway, I was delighted to see the first blossom on the Carolina Jessamine vine that grows around our mailbox on the curb. I had noticed several buds a couple of days before that, but somehow that first blossom is always a special treat.
A few hours later, as I was helping our youngest child get ready for bed, I walked into her bedroom and witnessed another “growth surprise”: she has definitely outgrown her pajamas! When did that happen?
The truth is that growth is occurring all around us. We just don’t always see it, because it is happening down deep, out of sight, like the flowering vine. It had been growing for weeks, preparing to blossom. But I could not see that growth until the bud finally opened into a bloom.
Maybe one of your children is like that vine. Remember, just because you can’t see a dramatic change in him (yet) doesn’t mean he’s not growing on the inside. Be patient. Keep a watchful eye for weeds that might choke his growth and make sure he is getting the full benefit from the sunshine and rain of great ideas. He’ll grow under the surface, and one day you will see the beautiful result burst into full bloom.
While You’re Waiting
But what do you do while you’re waiting? Sometimes it seems like that is the hardest part: waiting to see the results of the growth that is happening down deep. That was Toad’s problem.
Do you remember the story of Frog and Toad in which Toad wanted a garden? But once he planted his seeds, he became so anxious that he fretted and fussed himself into exhaustion, waiting for those seeds to sprout. To him, the waiting was “very hard work.”
We chuckle at Toad, but in some ways we sympathize with him too. Sometimes waiting can be very hard work. So here are some ideas to help while you are waiting to see signs of growth.
- Remind yourself that you cannot force growth on your own timetable. When you try to control a child’s pace of growth, you run yourself ragged and end up frustrating both yourself and your child. Relax. Let it go.
- Concentrate on the things you can control: providing the right atmosphere, pulling the weeds, and nourishing the plant. God made plants and children to grow in the proper setting, so focus on providing that setting and leave the growth itself up to God and nature. Trust the process.
- Celebrate any growth you see in your child. Make a note of that word any. You may be hoping for and watching for growth in her reading skills. Don’t become so focused on that one area that you miss the flowers that may be blossoming in other areas. She might be growing in her ability to control her temper or in her acceptance of new foods or in her ear for music. Watch for any growth and celebrate it!
Growth is what life is about. Growth is what education is about. Both are very individualized processes with very unique results. May you find much to appreciate about each beautiful plant that is growing, even now, in your home.
If these reminders about growth have been encouraging to you, watch for the announcement next week of our new calendar journal. It’s all about A Growing Time.
Revised Book Lists Now Posted
Those of you who are looking forward to the new editions of our first three history/geography/Bible lesson plan handbooks will be happy to know that we have finalized the book selections and posted the revised book lists. Our goal is to have the new editions of all three studies available before fall 2013, but we thought you might like the book lists now so you can take advantage of sales and convention pricing to start collecting the titles you will need. Use the links below to view the revised book lists and the additional page of Suggestions for Where to Find the Books for your convenience.
- Revised Genesis through Deuteronomy and Ancient Egypt book list
- Revised Joshua through Malachi and Ancient Greece book list
- Revised Matthew through Acts and Ancient Rome book list
We are revising these three handbooks because they all use the Oxford First Ancient History book, which has gone out of print. The current handbooks will still be available in e-book form for those of you who have that book and want to continue using it. With the addition of the new revisions, everyone will be able to use whichever lesson plans fit their families best.