Last week we were driving home from dropping Madison off at the campus preschool. The ride was calm as Adventures in Odyssey played quietly on the car stereo system. I found myself drifting after thoughts as the floated through my mind. During the hugs-and-kisses-and-see-you-at-lunch routine at the front door of the preschool, I had overheard phrases like ‘final day of preschool’ and ‘this quarter is almost over’ and ‘summer break’ from the other moms and teachers gathered there. Those snippets passed through my mind as I exited the roundabout to our house. The car decelerated to take the turn, and my mind started accelerating as these thoughts formed with increasing urgency:
It’s almost summer.
I’ve taught Hunter for almost a whole year.
What if he didn’t learn everything?
The car rose over the bridge and swooped around the roundabout, mimicking the rise and fall of my racing emotions. Had he done enough? Is he really ready to be done with kindergarten? What about all those other things we still haven’t covered?
I stole a glance in the review mirror to see Hunter, calmly staring out the window in his classic ‘riding in the car’ pose – intently watching, listening, processing. There’s always something going on in that brain of his. I traced his profile with my eyes, the slope of his forehead and the dip of his nose and the leap off the button-shaped tip, down to his rosebud lips and dimpled chin.
Truth flooded in.
Does he love learning?
That one question triggered the reset button and wiped the slate clean. The whole goal of this year was to launch Hunter on a path to love learning. It wasn’t to see if he could learn to read or memorize addition tables or recite the history of the world. It was to introduce him to the wonder of discovering something new. It’s one of the reasons why we chose to do homeschool the way we have, letting him choose which topics to study as the year unfolded. Sure, we may have missed chunks of curriculum and skipped over some of the traditional methods of schooling. The tradeoff?
This kid loves learning.
The tick-tick-tick of the cooling engine brought be back to reality. The keys jangled as I pulled them from the ignition and tossed them in the center console. “Hunter, are you ready for homeschool this morning?”
His smile answered everything.