My son Paul graduated from The Lang Homeschool in 2008. Here’s what I said at his graduation. History is always relevant, especially personal and family history.
We’re proud of Paul. We’re proud of him for accomplishing the things he has accomplished. We’re proud of the way he represents our family and we’re proud of his determination to be a Godly man.
The day to day business of home schooling can seem tedious and unrewarding. Work is work, whether in a public school, private school or at home and our kids are no more enthusiastic about school work than we were. But like all work worth doing there is a payoff and the harder you work, the greater the reward. Paul has learned this and a quick look at some of his achievements tells us he has learned it well.
As far as I know Paul is the first Lang in all of history to earn a black belt in karate. His modesty will compel him to say it’s a junior black belt but that doesn’t change the fact that it was the highest rank available for his age or that he was the first in our family to attain it. Several years ago Paul was invited by Eduardo Ramirez to show his computer animations to his computer graphics class Eastern University. He has participated in the national Shakespeare monologue competition as well as the Philadelphia Shakespeare Company workshop. All of his math and science requirements had been met before his senior year so we encouraged him pursue the direction he will follow after high school. For starters he chose to write the first draft of a fifty two chapter novel, which he is currently revising. It’s good. He also wrote, illustrated and graphically designed several chapters of a graphic novel. He then tackled a history project to present to a home school history fair. He wrote a research paper about an obscure era in Korean history. Then he wrote a script and filmed a documentary. And oh yeah. He is learning Japanese.
These are just a few examples of what Paul can achieve when he’s doing something he loves but there’s another side to the coin. Like both his parents Paul is mathematically challenged. We sent him to a very demanding tutor and it was a painful experience. Our intention was for him to just survive it so his math requirement could be met but by the time the year was over the tutor had decided to give him credit for an honors course.
It has been said that today’s parents are more concerned with raising accomplished people than good people. Paul hasn’t really given us such an option. Character and the desire to serve his heavenly Father have always been his top priorities. The first thing that Paul wanted to be when he grew up was a missionary. We had seen Charles Wormsley’s magic show and Paul was so impressed that he wanted to be a missionary magician. Magic has gone by the wayside but Paul’s devotion to the truth of the scripture and his desire to share the love of Christ has only intensified. This comes across in everything from the themes and content of his stories to his participation in missions trips and the way he treats the people around him.
We know that when people meet Paul they are seeing the best characteristics of our family.
People have many reasons for teaching their kids at home. Academic excellence, shortcomings in the public school system and the desire for greater control over a child’s development are some of the better known motivations and they were certainly considerations for us but I think the real reason we teach our kids at home is because we want to have that time with them. They’re our favorite people. They are also God’s gift. As Psalm 127 reminds us, “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them.” We can only speak for our own family. Paul is just the latest example of the wisdom of our decision to follow where the Lord has led.
We have a lot of people to thank for all their help and support. Friends, tutors, the church, youth leaders and other home schooling families have all been indispensable. We especially want to thank other home schooling families for the benefit of their experience and the simple support of friendship and the church because ultimately our job as parents is to “raise our children in the nurture and admonition of the LORD” and prepare them for eternity.
The proverb says a wise son is a delight to his father (and mother). Paul has made us very happy. Thank you.