I have been sitting in chairs for over forty years. During those forty years, I have sat my posterior down in many different chairs. All those many years of sitting, and you know what? I cannot remember breaking one chair. Well, maybe one of those cheap resin chairs that had been sitting in the sun for too many years, but even after that, I don’t check every chair I sit in before I sit in it. Maybe a few times I am cautious, but for the most part I don’t check the sturdiness of a chair before I place my rump down. Why is that? I trust the manufacturer, even though I’ve never met him. I trust the structure of the chair, even though I don’t know the technical details of building a chair. I trust myself enough to know what can bear my weight. I think the way we plop down on any ol’ chair can teach us a lot about how we homeschool our children. It really comes down to trust.
Trusting the manufacturer. When we purchase a chair, we are generally saying that we think the manufacturer did his job. We believe that the right materials were used, the engineering was correct, and the laborers who put it together knew what they were doing. Think about this: the One who created us knows us. Psalm 139 says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. He knows when I sit down and when I rise up. He understands my thoughts from afar. He is intimately acquainted with all my ways. Wow. That is our manufacturer. He knows me and still loves me—dents, quirks, and all. Additionally, He knows my children and put them under my care and in my household and my home school. I struggle so much with this but God reminds me every day that He placed me with my children to guide them to Him because I am the best teacher of my children. That is all. I need to point my kids to the Savior who knows and loves them. I trust Him with my salvation and I need to trust Him with my kids. I need to trust His building plan for my life and for theirs and for us, which includes homeschooling. Ultimately, I don’t need to second guess my ability; I need to trust the Manufacturer.
Trusting the structure. Ok, I don’t know a whole lot about how chairs are put together. (I can follow the instructions from IKEA, though!) I have a general idea of how it works but I have never engineered a chair, built a chair, or even researched how to build a chair. Usually, I just sit on one. I guess because, for the most part, the structure and form have rarely let me down. Classical education is the same way. It is tried and true. When I first started out, I didn’t understand it completely—still don’t for that matter. I am still learning but I do trust the model. After attending my first Parent Practicum, I had a general idea how it worked but I had never researched it before. I sat down anyway. Not only has it held me and my family up, it has given me support and comfort like I never knew could exist in education.
Trusting myself. This can be the hardest part sometimes. It really goes back to the other two. Since I trust the manufacturer and the structure, now I can sit and rest. Now, I have to sit. I have to sit. I have to trust that it can bear my weight. I know my God can bear my weight. The weight of homeschooling (much like my own weight) can fluctuate sometimes daily on my mind. However, I have a God who can hold me up. I have to sit. Just like there are many types of chairs, most having the same form, all three of my children are different but they all have the same manufacturer. The classical model has borne the weight of generations before us. It really comes down to me. I have to sit. Am I going to trust? Am I going to sit?
When I am looking for a place to rest my tired bones, I just sit in the nearest chair. If I am really tired, I will settle for an old stump. However, what I prefer is something a little more comfortable that has a nice view and that fits and that will allow me to rest. Of course, sitting with friends, well, that is the best! So, come, sit with me.