When we started homeschooling we needed to name our school. This was very important to me. I wanted our name to be indicative of what our ideal homeschool would be. Because of course, our homeschool would be the best! I would be the perfectly patient, parent who graciously opened up a world of knowledge to her children who, in turn, would eagerly soak up the fountains of instruction spewing forth from my lips.
You know what’s next: then we actually began homeschooling! Like a lot of well-intentioned moms, I set expectations so high I’m sure even Charlotte Mason could not reach them! Nor would she care to, if you are familiar with her philosophy.
I was in a tail-spin.
So I put the brakes on. We were nearing the end of the school year anyway so I put everything on pause. It was ok to do that, I told myself. She’s a young kindergartener, anyway. The next fall I chose to be a part of an umbrella school. No need for our own name now and I had some support.
I was still in a tail-spin.
My first-born, who cried at age 4 because she wanted to learn to read, was not co-operating. In her mind, reading a list of three-letter words was not reading. She basically refused to read those little readers. They were pretty boring. Not like the books I read aloud to her. I plowed on. She cried. I plowed on. She cried. Wasn’t I supposed to teach her to read when she was five?
Then my whole world changed.
A friend invited me to a seminar. I was introduced to the idea that the education of children did not have to look like public school: that each child could learn at their own pace, on their own timeline. I sat there, crying, when the speaker talked about having a quiet time every afternoon for the whole household, even moms. Because we need it, too. What a concept! Back in the olden days of public school we even took naps during half day kindergarten! Where had that concept gone?
A fresh breeze blew through our homeschool that day.
I bought several books that encouraged a different mindset. A mindset of approaching education in a way that was actually good for those we hope to educate! I highly recommend, For the Children’s Sake, by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay . You can get it here:
I was revolutionized after reading this book.
It has been 15 years since that day. My oldest, who hated learning to read, has finished her first year of Bible College. She loved it. She loves learning about the Bible and encourages me to read some of her college books! One “down”, two to go!
How does this bring me back to naming our homeschool? It’s all in the name. After that path-altering seminar, our family moved. I chose another umbrella school for a year, but it was a bit of a drive to be involved and my children were still young. I then discovered how easy it was to be our own school. We needed a name: I prayed, read the Bible, and pondered for hours. Then it chose me: Selah Christian Academy. Selah: stop and think about. Selah: an interlude. I have this time, this interlude of time to influence and teach my children in the way they should go. Along the way we need to be sure to take the time to stop, think, pray, and meditate. And smell the roses and giggle. Snuggle. Learn to read when we’re ready. Explore opportunities.
Our homeschool path changed a bit when my oldest became a senior in high school.
We once again joined an umbrella school so she could graduate with friends. The hardest part for me? Giving up the name: Selah Christian Academy. That was our identity! But you know what? It wasn’t my children’s identity, it was mine. Selah was for me, not them. That truly only just hit me as I sit writing this. God gave me selah: a time to raise my kids, yes, but also a glorious tool for my own growth, the idea that I need space in which to rest, an interlude, a stillness, a selah.
What then, after I gave up the name of our school? Within two years God watered a seed he had planted in me years ago. I’m writing a blog! The name of my website? SelahSeeker. Now, more than at the beginning, I purposefully not only seek times of selah, but also look to recognize those times when they seem to be camouflaged.
Selah was for me, not them. That’s why it’s special.