No more second guessing – I’m keeping my eyes on the path.
Mountain bike racing was my thing in my teen years. I loved navigating gnarly roots and steep drops on single track trails where one wrong manoeuver could send you flying over the handlebars.
Often my eyes would be drawn to the obstacle. The instant I looked at the massive rock in the trail my bike would smack it and over the handlebars, I would go. But when my dad rode with me his deep voice would remind me, “Look where you want to go.” Eventually, those crash landings built a determination in me to follow his advice. Once I trained my eyes to stick to the clear line it led me further and faster to the finish line.
Starting this new school year, his words still echo in my mind.
Look where you want to go.
I once heard someone say that homeschool moms are not a very confident bunch. I was almost offended and then I had to laugh. At this time of year, it’s easy to second guess what I’m doing, to look elsewhere. Have I planned enough? Am I too easy on my children? Too hard? But when I look at Mason’s philosophy and methods, I see where I want to go.
Year after year, Mason’s methods prove effective for accomplishing all of our character and academic goals. She inspires me to spread a rigorous feast of knowledge while nurturing the unique personhood of my children. Her ideas have helped our whole family to become students of divinity, soaking in His infinite ways and His amazing world.
On the bike trails, I had to keep pedaling in order to follow the path my eyes set upon. This homeschooling trail is no different. I must follow through to completion, exercise perseverance and fortitude. Sometimes this requires me to be uncomfortable and to pay closer attention to what God is teaching me.
Wendell Berry knew what this was like. In the poem entitled X of The Sabbath Poems he wrote of the effort that accompanies the anticipated future:
Whatever is foreseen in joy must be lived out from day to day.
Vision held open in the dark
By our ten thousand days of hard work.
Harvest will fill the barn; for that
The hand must ache, the face must sweat.
And as I cling to in hope, Berry goes on to say so clearly,
And yet no leaf or grain is filled
By work of ours; the field is tilled
And left to grace. That we may reap,
Great work is done while we’re asleep.
When we work well, a Sabbath mood
Rests on our day, and finds it good.
This homeschool trail requires much faith. The finish line is out of sight and the trail is sometimes full of boulders. Yet each year I sharpen my sight a little more and find myself leaning harder into God’s promises along this wild ride, somehow moving forward faster than ever.
2018 © Colleen Klatt
Colleen Klatt lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada where she homeschools her three daughters using Charlotte Mason’s ideas.