I started teaching two language arts classes at our homeschool co-op this year. Wow! Are those kids smart! I'm going to have to stand on my head and spit nickels in order to challenge them. In the meantime, I have each of my middle schoolers starting their own blog for a journal. I can correct and edit their work from home. I'll add comments about grammar in the margin. I did this with my own children, and it was really nice for them to have instant feedback.
You all know how much I adore my own children. That just comes with being a mom. But God has done something marvelous in that he is allowing me (in a very limited capacity) to love and challenge other people's kids.
It's not a responsibility I take lightly. I know how picky I am with my own; I assume those parents are the same. It takes the right about of prodding, finesse, challenging and encouragement to be a good teacher.
In a homeschool co-op, you have a whole different scenario. We have very talented, gifted, and motivated parents entrusting their children to you. These are not the sit-on-the-sideline kind of parents. These are driven, godly, motivated people. They want you to love on their kids in just the right way.
In reflecting on this phenomenon with my mother, I said, "Mom! I'm not just teaching them. I have to care about them and love them too!.. and I wondered.. would my heart be big enough? I already have five children to love. "
She just listened and I could tell she was getting weepy on the other end. (My mother loved on other peoples' kid for 30 years of teaching)
I continued, " Mom! Do you know what happened?"
silence.. a few sniffles.
"My heart just got bigger. It got big enough to love each and every one of them."
Praise the Lord