Homeschooling Rocks

Tomorrow’s a pretty big day for me, for any of us crazy enough to homeschool in Pennsylvania, because tomorrow is the deadline for submitting our annual portfolio. In addition to this¬†sampling of reports, math problems, tests, artwork, and spitballs we’ve produced all year, we must also include a log of what we’ve taught each day, a list of reading materials we’ve used, and a letter from an evaluator who has reviewed the portfolio, interviewed the student and certifies that an appropriate education is occurring at home, or Chuck E. Cheese, wherever the case may be.

The real over-achievers of the bunch will also develop an outline of proposed educational objectives for the next academic year, attach it to the required afadavit, get it notarized, and personally deliver them to the Superintendent’s office at the same time as the¬†portfolio, even though these latter documents aren’t due until August.

Then there’s me: a certifiable over-achiever with a terrible tendency to procrastinate, which means I’ve been trying to tackle all of the above in the past 72 hours.

I realized I might have bitten off more than I could chew when, sitting at the doctor’s office yesterday with three kids and eight shots between them (did I forget to mention that current immunizations plus a yearly height, weight and vision screening are necessary, too?), I was fully prepared to shove my kids onto a big, yellow bus – any big, yellow bus – at the end of the summer.

But then I started thinking about rocks. My son played with some today at the pool while the girls swam and I tried feverishly to get some work done. I quit long enough to watch him stack them one by one in the back of his red and blue dollar-bin dump truck, stopping only occassionally to get a taste of one or two, then unload them and begin the mound-making process again. He did this until his sunscreen wore off, when the shade fell across his piles. And while I drove the twenty minutes of highway it takes to get home, I remembered some ancient stones I’d read about recently, when Joshua and the Israelites were crossing the Jordan River into the Promised Land.

So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the LORD had told Joshua; and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down (Joshua 4:8).

They did this so the stones could be set up as a memorial, so that they could teach their kids about the great things God had done, so his amazing work wouldn’t soon be forgotten. These rocks weren’t the kind a fourteen-month old could stick in the back of his toy truck or in his mouth and suck on. Undoubtedly, these were mighty big ones, heavy enough to hurt when lifting and large enough to leave a lasting impression.

So as I tucked each poem into a sheet protector and snipped each picture and selected each test score, I thought about these stones. And when I finally finished, a beautiful memorial lay before me, begging me to worship God and thank him for all we accomplished this year. Though there were days that seemed downright awful, and despite the monumental task of pulling it all together, this portfolio serves as proof of God’s enduring grace and strength in our schooling, in our home, in our lives.

And so I pray:

Lord, thank you for these reminders, for these stones that we’ve piled up all year long as a testimony to your incredible work in our lives. Help us not soon forget what we’ve learned about you and the world you created. Let this portfolio serve as proof of your presence in our past and give us hope for what’s to come. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Some photographic highlights of the year…

On Top of the World

Look out libraries of the world: Lilla's learning to read!

Fossilizing a Fern in Plaster

Releasing the Butterflies!

Kindergarten Graduation!

Planting a Garden

Exploring Nature


  1. A beautiful and worshipful way to view the past school year. Wow, who knew homeschooling could lead a person to praise God!! I’m loving your writing!

Leave a Reply to Megan Cancel reply