No more lazy mornings. No more pool days. No more unscheduled free time.
A new school year has begun, and my family hasn’t gently eased into it. We’ve jumped headlong into the busyness of carpool, homework, football practices, and less sleep. I’m already missing the far less demanding days of summer as I practice multiplication tables with my 9 year old son and quiz my 11 year old daughter on European countries. Those are fairly easy tasks, so I was patting myself on the back until, that is, my 10th grade daughter entered the scene. I noticed her reading an AP World History textbook, a college level course. The text was difficult, and Hannah was literally using a dictionary website to aid her as she read. Everything within me wanted to ignore her need for help….to convince myself that she’s old enough to handle it alone….that she could figure it out. My wiser self prevailed, however. I told my son that I wouldn’t be able to attend his football practice that evening, and I made plans to read all about the history of mankind with Hannah.
Two hours later, we finished chapter one. We stopped several times along the way to define words and phrases or to put the ideas in context. It was slow, but effective. We also noted how various bible stories fit with the material. The textbook, of course, didn’t include bible stories, but as we read I was able to weave biblical events into the timeline that the book covered. Our time together was incredibly beneficial for Hannah as she gained a much better understanding of the subject simply because she had a partner, but even more importantly, Hannah was building an better spiritual foundation.
I’ll be honest. I could find 10 other ways to spend my time rather than reading an AP World History textbook. Much more fun ways. In actuality, however, I’m thoroughly enjoying my time with Hannah. We’re both learning a lot, and when our brains get tired, we find ourselves slipping into goofy-mode and laughing at my poor pronunciations of neolithic vocabulary words. Most importantly, I’ve found another easy way to further disciple one of my favorite people in the world.
Here’s my challenge for us as parents: invest yourself into the lives of your kids. All aspects of their lives. Teachable moments are found in car rides, late night chats after football games, in morning routines, and yes, even in homework. They are never too old to benefit from your influence.