A few years ago, I had the unusual privilege of watching my new granddaughter daily for about two months. My daughter and I were working on a project together, and she and her baby were at our house every day.

Watching the baby grow and make new progress in many areas has been fascinating for me. One of the most interesting phases has been the progress in recognition of specific people’s faces. Over the past two months she has gone from looking at anyone in approximately the same way, to knowing exactly who she is looking at. She has a special fascination for her mother and father and another specific recognition (if not quite so passionate) for her aunt and for her grandparents. She also knows if she is looking at a stranger — someone she has not seen before. You can tell this by her expressions.

On Valentine’s Day that year I also received a card from my youngest daughter that still sits on my desk. It says: “I think my life began with waking up and loving my mother’s face.”

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With these things in mind, I just want to remind you, that you are so important to your child. He knows you. He needs you for so many things. He loves you. At this time of the year, many homeschool teachers are beginning to realize they only have a month or so to complete their goals before taking a summer break. I think that it is good, at this time, to remember that the relationship with our child is the first reason we homeschooled.

As homeschoolers, whatever we do to finish out the year — whether we decide to complete the books or carry them over to the fall semester — it’s good to do all of our teaching in the context of calm, loving, wise relationships. Why do I say this? Because it is such a temptation to see the “end in view” and panic. “Oh, my,” we say, “we have to finish this book or these courses!” The panic of thinking we won’t get through causes us to put a different kind of pressure on our child than we have in the preceding months. As our fears escalate our voice becomes harsh and the tones demanding. Our child feels it and he either gives in or he resists but neither of these reactions follow the enjoyable path of learning and relationship that he has been used to.

I just watched a movie the other night and one line of the presentation jumped out at me. It said, “Fear leads to anger – anger to hate – and hate to suffering.” These ideas make a good case for resisting fear, calming down and being wise in all our pursuits and avoiding needless suffering.

As the “end of the year panics and fears” come upon you, see them for what they are — bullies. Realize all that you have accomplished and proceed with lots of love. That little face looking up into yours — is your child’s.

Blessings!

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