For the past few months, I have been thinking it would be fun to name our homeschool. When we are asked where our children attend school, we answer, “We homeschool” or “They do school at home”. While there is nothing wrong with not having a named school, I thought naming our school would give the kids some pride in attending a school they helped to name.
Coming up with a name hasn’t been easy. We wanted a name that was symbolic of our family and values, and that had a tie to our faith and home (since it’s the physical location of the school). I put the naming project aside for most of the fall simply due to busyness and lack of inspiration.
Today, we were finishing up our math work and I felt we should try to brainstorm a few names together and see if anything stuck out. Our list included Chicken Academy (J) and Monster Truck School (C), among others. When I told the kids I wanted the name to reflect something about our family and home, C said “tree, we have lots of trees”. And as it turned out, the perfect name was right outside the window to our school room.
When we moved into our house last year, I was certain the tree outside our living room was dead. The bark was peeling off everywhere and it had a large crack down the middle. But, come spring to my amazement, big beautiful leaves appeared and it was one of our favorite trees to picnic under. We had some friends over in the early fall and when seeing the tree, Mr. Friend said it looked like we had a sycamore tree. The peeling bark is just the way sycamores grow and wasn’t because the tree was unhealthy. Hearing sycamore made the kids and adults remember the story of Zaccheus, who climbed a sycamore tree to see Jesus over the crowds (Luke 19).
So today, as we looked out at that tree, the idea for Sycamore Academy was born. And with it, a school moto: planting seeds of learning, rooted in faith and love. When I think of teaching my children, the idea of growth and image of seeds and trees often comes to mind. While we are planting the seeds, it will be up to them to continue to grow in knowledge, kindness, compassion, determination, and faith after their few years under our roof have passed. And it couldn’t be more fitting that the sycamore tree helped a man see Jesus and come to love him, a hope we have for our children as well.
We still have to get N’s vote before we can finalize the name, but I am pretty sure he will love it. I am hoping to design a school logo for a print for the school room and shirts for the family. And now, I am off to make lunch for the students and headmistress of Sycamore. Have a wonderful day!