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August Angst

Written by VP Admin
August Angst

AHHHHH! August! What does that mean? Panic? Pain? Squeeze in a few more sunny days at the beach? It’s the stark reality that this train is running down the track and careening to the start of another school year. Are you ready? Am I ready? No … I never feel ready. For me, August seems like Sunday night when I know that Monday morning dawns early.

So – how do we put that together? The joy of homeschooling with the angst of starting another school year? Poring through that great Veritas Press catalog, then actually implementing its contents. With my husband as my biggest cheerleader, I homeschooled our five children – a band of four unruly boys and one tomboy daughter. How did we accomplish that? How do we do anything in life? How many times do we review the spelling words, memorize capitals and continents? How many late nights cramming to finish that library book? How many broken test tubes anown up volcanoes? How many shattered windows from those home-made trebuchets? And all those endless Saxon math problems! I can’t even do math – I teach English! Many times, we could not even find the math book!

And that was only shaping them academically. How about spiritually? How do you pray against all that testosterone in one home? When will this tomboy show just a few manners? How can my own son miss so many transitions in his paper while I am teaching that concept to my own Veritas Press students? How can you have a discussion about Beowulf while shooting paper clips at your brother? How do you live through the pain of watching your child make unwise decisions that affect the whole family? Or the embarrassment of hearing the headmaster of our local Co-Op tell me my challenging child needs to leave–only for about a year or so? Really? Where is God in all of this, anyway?

I love the expression by Paul Tripp: “God is in the mundane.” God is in the crunched test tubes, lost math books, and broken souls. God is in the sleepless nights and the “A+” papers. He designed the struggling student and the National Merit Scholar. He slowly and faithfully taught me the blessing that His mercies really are new each morning. He gave me the blessing of knowing my children’s learning styles … who needs more hands on and who needs to hang upside down while reviewing Latin. Which one needed quiet to think and which one thrived in noise and movement. He gave me the contented mom’s heart with my son’s college request: “Mom, can you proof read this paper before I turn it in?” He gave us peace with the difficult decision to stop homeschooling two of our sons and enroll them in the local Christian school. God ministers to hungry souls who crave His presence and rebukes the rebel dodging Him.

He is slowly and faithfully growing our unruly band into soldiers for His army. He is faithfully growing you and your band of soldiers in your home, at their desks, and even during Beowulf discussions. Soldiers who are gritty, determined, homesick and hungry. Soldiers who stay the course and fail tests. Soldiers whose God holds them and their parents in His hand.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.

We do have a faithful God. Wow! September is coming. I think I am ready. How about you?


Carol Stoltzfus

Carol earned her B.A. in English Education from Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio and later earned her M.A. in Psychology of Reading from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. She has had the privilege of teaching English and writing to students of both middle and high school grade levels in the public, private and home-school settings. She loves to plant and nurture a love for the fine art of grammar and writing, helping students build sentences, paragraphs and papers. She, and the love of her life, David, live in PA and are very involved in their local church where she ministers through teaching, hospitality and supporting her husband's elder ministry. Their four sons and one very well-protected daughter, have all been home-schooled throughout much of their education. Some are finished, while others are still enjoying the adventure. In her spare time she enjoys God's creation through running, swimming and of course, eating fine dark chocolates. See her video HERE.

If you are interested in learning more about the Grammar and Writing Transition courses that Carol teaches, you can find them HERE. Or if you'd like to view other courses that are offered, you can find them HERE in the 2015-16 course listing.