Last night I finished re-reading Ralph Moody’s LITTLE BRITCHES: Father and I Were Ranchers. I say re-reading because this was a read-aloud we enjoyed when I was homeschooling my son, Jonathan – then 10. Having recently loaned it to a young friend interested in horses, I found myself cracking it open once again when it was returned – just a quick look. Well, you know how it goes with a truly good story – I was drawn into it immediately!
My title is borrowed from Zechariah 4:10, a reference to the attitudes of certain Jews concerning the rebuilding of the temple. What was the source of their attitude? The rebuilding process was arduous at best and life-threatening at worst. And from where they stood, it didn’t look like it was ever going to be completed. Or, if completed, it would never measure up to the presumed goal of the enterprise, namely, replication of the original temple.
There is a similar undercurrent I sense when communicating with parents struggling to teach their students at home. The smallness of any single day’s work can seem insignificant when made to stand against the enormity of the grand task. Worse, at those points of real struggle – when the pace slows to barely a crawl and frustration is the primary theme of the day – the entire academic enterprise can seem in danger of capsizing. Do not despair!