Readiness of the Heart, Soul, and Mind

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I met an elderly lady a few weeks ago, who told me about her two adored twenty- or thirty-something-year-old grandchildren. She used an expression that other old timers around our neck of the woods sometimes say when they speak of a young person’s career choice. I’ve forgotten what the career choices of these grandchildren were (this was a one-time casual encounter), but the expression I’m talking about goes like this: She’s making a nurse or he’s making a pharmacist or she’s making a teacher.

Three years ago I shared with you a true story about a homeschooled girl who “made a nurse.” I’d like to share it again today, as an introduction to a more important lesson I want to share at the end.

The Girl Who Made a Nurse — In her Own Timing

A homeschooled teenager (I’ll call her Jill) struggled with high school math. After a year of Algebra, her mother decided to quit the struggle. Her daughter graduated from high school without any math beyond Algebra I.

Jill had no interest in college, so she found a job at a local business. In her early twenties, she decided to enroll in a community college. Her lack of math experience caused her to be placed in a remedial math class. Jill continued her studies there until she graduated with honors. She was then accepted into nursing school.

Nurses Float in the Rose Parade. The Jon B. Lovelace Collection of California Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith's America Project, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.
The Nurses’ Float, decorated by registered nurses from across the United States, in the 124th Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, 2013. Photo courtesy the Jon B. Lovelace Collection of California Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America Project, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

By the time Jill was 27 years old, she was working as a nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit of the Mayo Clinic.

There is an appointed time for everything.
And there is a time for every event under heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3:1

For Jill, there was a time for math. It just wasn’t at the time people expect. We know that children learn at different paces when they are small and would never intentionally make them feel bad because their pace is different from most other children. Are we willing to extend the same grace and understanding to our older children, too?

Jill’s story was about educational readiness, but educational readiness is not the only readiness that matters.

As you wind down the fall semester and start gearing up for the spring, I encourage you to think about the opportunities available to your children. Perhaps it’s 4-H or a sports team or an online class or a once-a-week tutorial or dual enrollment at the local community college. I have witnessed each of these opportunities — and many others — be wonderful opportunities for a homeschooled child. I have also seen good sounding opportunities turn into disasters.

I encourage you to prayerfully consider that when it comes to a child’s heart, soul, mind, and body:

There is an appointed time for everything.
And there is a time for every event under heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3:1

 

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