My husband-clone, first daughter sat on my lap with her feet curling around my legs as I played with her wisps of blond curls. “Alpha, beta, gamma, delta epislion, zeta, eta, theta….” She was four and I was consumed with the notion that if I homeschooled her she simply had to speak four languages. Greek, Latin, Spanish and English. Keeping her home, teaching her about God. It had been a calling. I know that God had placed homeschooling on my heart. But I live in the capital of the free world. My husband has a Ph.D. in Biology and Computer Science, not one of my extended family has less than a bachelor’s degree and if I was going to homeschool, my daughter had to prove me right. She had have the best education, which I thought must be Classical.
It happens almost every time. I hear from God but do not listen. There were two trees in the garden, the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The second tree is the one of striving. It is the tree where we “go at it on our own”. The tree where we grasp, grab and take. We must have it! Now! It is all there in Genesis 2:8. We know what happened when Eve wanted more, when walking with God, hearing from God, conversing with God in perfect unison, in a perfect place, wasn’t enough. She grasped for more. She wanted to do it on her own.
The other tree. The one we don’t discuss so much in Sunday School, is the one I know that God wants me to sit under. It is the Tree of Life. It is His tree. That is the tree where we hear from Him and we wait. He is our supplier. He has far too much integrity to give us a mission without proper equipment. We drink in His Word. Our roots grow deep soil of the bible, spending time with Him and waiting.
I did not wait on God with husband-clone daughter. I strove, I fought, I loved that little girl and held her close and taught her much but it was learning for the sake of learning. She was the super star of memory work. She did it all! I deserved a homeschool mom pageant sash. It was of no purpose because it was not of God.
God gave me special needs boy next. He broke my heart. Special needs boy could not learn. He screamed all day for years. There would be no pageant sashes awarded to me for special needs boy. There would only be looks of disgust with my apparent lack of parenting, if only they could listen to husband-clone’s memory verses, then they’d know I’m a good mom. Oh the stripping God allows. Oh the pain, the horrible pain. The tears and sobs of years of difficulty. Then the great beauty of realizing that I needed to lean on the Tree of Life, to drink it in to raise my hands in praise to the God who is the Tree of Life.
As I sat under the Tree of Life, God gently showed me how wrong I had been. I had been pursuing education. I had been pursuing the world. I was good at it too. Pride. He placed a new type of learning on my heart. I had no name for it, just a yearning. The learning focused on the sweetness of God’s Word, praying before choosing each subject, linking biblical truths, linking everything together into a tapestry. Submitting in prayer before decisions. Memorizing because it is profitable for drinking in God’s Plan for our children and links that bring us constantly to the Tree of Life.
The new learning, it turns out, wasn’t so new after all. I was shocked to hear that others had been given this calling as well. Lots of others. How is it that I hadn’t even heard of it! Hebraic. It sounded so not-really-Christian. So old. But it was as if I was blowing dust off of a forgotten trunk, slowly lifting the lid and discovering a great treasure.
Hebraic education places God first. Education is about glorifying Him. It is a process of discovery! Unearthing the gems God has planted in each of us. Hebraic education steers us toward self discovery for the good of others, for the purpose of glorifying God. It promotes quietness of spirit, patience, self control, working hard and diligently. Great intellect is gained by developing a love of learning, a yearning to know, to discover, to find out more about God’s creation.
That’s when God placed Eden Hope Academy on my heart. A co-op that integrated timeline, Spanish, music, memory work, great science and art all into a God-inspired bundle. Not, God-inserted, God-inspired. God is part of every aspect of Eden Hope. His Word is not scattered about to placate our need to be called Christian. We worship Him. Teach the children to link events in history to what God says in the Bible, to think about how He orchestrates every event, every moment.
Special needs son thrives with Hebraic learning. He loves to learn about the bible, he integrates his thoughts about David into his own sheep. We discovered that he is a great farmer. He cannot read, or write but he can help a goat through a difficult birth and even perform successful surgeries! He thrives. He absolutely loves Eden Hope days. Strumming the ukulele builds his confidence in music, it also stimulates his gut and builds mirror neurons,– basically occupational therapy! He sings the Spanish songs and will shout out a Spanish word he overhears at the grocery store. He thrives at Eden Hope.
Husband-clone daughter is almost fifteen. Hebraic teaching emphasizes learning life-skills. She wanted a pink I-phone. I thought it was ridiculous. But she rarely asks for anything. So, I bought her one on Craigslist. My stipulation, she had to start a business to earn it. She and her best friend, and her friend’s brother, are building an Asset Forfeiture App for law enforcement. Eden Hope Academy Asset Forfeiture — a bit of a mixed metaphore but it has a ring to it! They have schedule meetings with police, created a detailed VIN diagram, read copious books on evidence collection and App development and are planning their first trade show. They are well on their way to App success! Beyond Spanish, Advanced Anatomy, Algebra and Western Literature, all God-centered, she is learning the fundamentals of business.
Hebraic learning is Christian learning. It is pointing, linking, discovering, memorizing, learning, mentoring, shepherding children to Christ. Eden Hope Academy is still young. God continues to pour His vision into it. Our symbol is the Tree of Life. It is to remind us every day to listen to God, to give Him our days and to follow Him.