Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
— from “Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood,” William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
Each new baby is a person, unique and hand-made by God. When I consider homeschooling my children, I often find myself wanting to put this and that knowledge into them, as if they were empty jars. This poem reminds me to respect the person and to ask myself, how can I offer them the knowledge they need without detaching them from who they are? How do I preserve that uniqueness that lies around them like clouds? Which ideas do I present to them, and which ideas of mine are only intended to make them more like me?
Dear Lord, grant us wisdom so we know how to raise your little ones so they do not entirely forget their home in You. Amen.