Too Numerous to Count

During my summer evaluation, I realized that math has been getting short shrift in our homeschool. This is kind of odd, because I absolutely love teaching (and learning) math. Maybe, I thought, since I am less confident with teaching language arts, I’ve overcompensated. In an effort to swing the pendulum back towards a center point, math is moving up front and center! I’m planning a series of posts (as time allows) describing some of the things we’re doing this year to implement change, everything from schedule ramifications to how the older kids are helping tutor, from Friday Fun Math to my favorite homemade drill tool.

First, a quick story about God’s goodness in providing what one of our sons needed in the way of math preparation.

By the end of the past school year, I was pretty unhappy with Jonathan’s Advanced Algebra teacher. She just wasn’t giving him enough oversight, and so while he was able to readily understand new concepts on his own, he was not spending enough time making those concepts really stick in his longer term memory. The problem was, the teacher that I was frustrated with was me! (This is one of the serious drawbacks of homeschooling!) A strong math background is critical for Jonathan who is likely heading towards a career in computer engineering or programming. Tim and I made plans for Jon to take a solid online math class next year but also felt he needed to spend time this summer strengthening his skills.

Then – not for the first time in our homeschool history – the Lord brought about a math opportunity from out of nowhere that knocked my socks off. (The first was when I was in a similar despair about what to do for precal for Andrew, who was also heading into engineering. In a miraculous way, Eric Wilson entered our life and offered to tutor Andrew in return only for dinner and time with our family. We came to love Eric greatly and he was a wonderful teacher for Andrew.)

This time the opportunity came when my editor, Mary Pride, asked if anyone in our family would like to try out a precalcululs class from a new online program sponsored by a prestigious prep school in New York state. Normally the summer session would cost $875, but since I would be reviewing it, it would be free. Were we interested? You bet! Jonathan welcomed the chance to hone his skills, and enjoyed the self-paced work which also included live class time and ready access to a great teacher. So Jon was able to take a rigorous full year honors precalc class in just seven weeks. Yes, it was fairly intense, but the summer immersion helped him strengthen his math knowledge, and just as important, his mathematical reasoning skills.

What a blessing! Sometimes it surprises me when God drops sweet gifts like this into my lap, at times when I wasn’t even asking yet. Why does He even care what goes on in our puny homeschool? And yet He does. If this is how he cares for us in something relatively insignificant, think how much more He cares for us in ways that have eternal consequences. I am amazed. And humbled.

Psalm 40 : 1-5 I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many will see and fear and will trust in the LORD. How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust, and has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood. Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done, and Your thoughts toward us; there is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, they would be too numerous to count.
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