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The Last Lesson Plan

It is printed. The last lesson plan for the last week for the last child in my homeschool.

When my oldest was 5 I filled a notebook with his lessons plans for his entire school career-what we were going to use each year until he graduated.

Yes, I did that.

Planning is such a wonderful thing unless you put too much stock in it. I planned to homeschool all my children through all their school years. And now suddenly it is finished, a few years short of that lofty goal. Life works like that. Things change.

You nurse the last baby for the last time, you change the last diaper and you don’t even mark the occasion. It passes unnoticed in the whirl of family life.

But sometimes we get to mark the occasions of motherhood, even if only quietly in our own hearts.

For the first time in many, many years I will not be spending my summer planning out 180 school days. Surprisingly, I find that refreshing. I always found planning so secure and sure and real. If you plan it, it will happen. Only we all know that it doesn’t exactly work like that. If you plan it something will happen . . .

As a homeschooling mother, that is the thing I always envied about “real” schools. Their plans just kept chugging along. Is that a blessing or a curse? Both I suspect. This is a fallen world. Our little Utopias were never meant to be, our choices fall short. When my plans fail, I am forced to speak to my Father. I am forced to remember that I see through a glass darkly. I am forced to acknowledge that it is finished and I didn’t do it.

This week Alex will finish the plans I have for him but he will spend his whole life studying the lesson plans his Father in Heaven has written in His book. Those mysterious, beautiful plans not slaved over by me.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

My career as a homeschooling mother is over. Mysterious, beautiful plans await me in my future too even though today they are blurred from my vision. What shall I do? What shall I do? Quite exciting, really.

The last lesson plan is printed but none of my students have graduated. My 9 students still participate in cultivating atmosphere, discipline, and life every day, as I do. It truly is a long haul for each of us.

Tomorrow will not be so different from today. Schools and homeschools will fade but learning will continue day after day, year after year. That was the real plan after all.

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