I started talking like a Russian as we drove closer to the school. I always do that when I drop my kids off in the morning. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the result of some emotional scar from my days as a below average student. Or maybe I’m just trying to give them one last laugh before they walk through those double doors and into their classroom.
Me In My Best Russian Voice: “Have gud day. Crush opp-oh-zee-shun.”
I’m sure that there are plenty of nice Russian people. But whenever I talk like a Russian, I always say something about crushing the opposition or breaking someone. I know for a fact where that comes from. Drago. Rocky IV.
My kids didn’t laugh when I told them to crush the opposition. Well, they kind of chuckled. It was one of those courtesy laughs people give preachers when they fail at an attempt at humor. I’m used to that laugh.
Here’s what my youngest son told me.
“Dad, we don’t have any opposition. But we might have a puppet show!”
Each day, when one of us picks the kids up from school, my wife and I find out whether or not they had a puppet show. Or if they crushed the opposition. My wife usually leads them in more thoughtful conversations than I do. That’s because she’s nowhere near as good as me at talking like Drago.
Here’s a question that she always asks our boys at the end of their school day.
“Did you hear any words at school today that you don’t know what they mean?”
This always leads to good parental conversations.
One day one of my sons gave us a nervous answer.
For a second, my wife and I had thoughts of our son reciting a line or two from Pulp Fiction.
He didn’t. Instead, he just said the word. Here it is.
I’m not sure if he thought that was a dirty, Pulp Fiction word or if he just didn’t know what it meant but he seemed relieved when we gave him the definition. We told him that a coincidence is when things happen at random, with no planning or for no particular reason.
I loved his response.
“But that can’t happen. There’s no such thing as coincidence since God is in control of everything.”
I was so happy that I almost started singing Amazing Grace in a Russian accent.
There’s a point to all of this.
If you have kids and you are not homeschooling them, you aren’t doing your job as a parent.
Now, before you throw your iPhone across the room and send me a virus or report me to the FCC, hear me out. If your kids, like mine, leave the home everyday to go to school, they still need to be homeschooled. What I mean is that they need to be learning things from you that they can’t get at any school.
They need to learn how to laugh and enjoy their day, even when that day involves a Science test. That’s a lesson that is best learned in the car from mom or dad.
They need to learn how to read. If your kid goes to school outside of the home, and that school is not in the district that I grew up in, there’s a good chance that he will learn how to read. But he needs more than that. He needs to learn how to interpret, analyze and think critically about what he is reading. Again, those are lessons that are best learned from mom and dad.
One of my favorite things about the body of Christ is that there is room for all sorts of different educational philosophies. In my church alone, we have parents who send their kids to public schools, homeschooling parents and private school families. If every single family in your church educates their children the same way and shares the same philosophies of education, that’s probably not a good thing. A church where everyone is the same is typically more segregated than it is unified.
But, regardless of where your kid learns his reading and writing, he needs to be learning at home too. And that’s more than simply helping with homework. It means dropping what you are doing to ask questions, answer questions, raise new questions and even have a few laughs. Trust me, these lessons will stick with your children.
My son was wrong.
He was wrong when he said that he doesn’t have any opposition.
Everyday, your kids and mine face opposition that could keep them from becoming the men and women that we want them to be. Even the best educational environment cannot fully protect them from that opposition. A good church will help them to fight against it. But the primary equipping must come from mom an dad.
In the home.
Or in the car.
The Russian accent is optional.