Monday, November 04, 2013

Peace in Simplicity

A kid-built tent city
Anyone who reads my blog knows that I love Pinterest. I am an idea girl, and so I love finding new ideas and inspiration!

Recently, I have been more self-disciplined and don't just go there to browse. I make sure I only go there when looking for something specific-- and that has been a huge help in reducing how much time I spend online.

One of the things I use Pinterest the most for is for my homeschool. WOW!!! There are so many great resources for teaching my kids out there! I also find inspiring articles and quotes that keep me excited and motivated.


There is a danger lurking in all those amazing homeschool boards, pins, and ideas that anyone can fall prey to if we're not careful...

"Comparison is the thief of joy"

If we were all as fabulous as our Pinterest boards make us appear to be, we would no longer need to pin, read, save, or go back to that wonderful website again and again. I'm sure there are some awesome women out there who have done everything you see on their boards, but I don't personally know of any. And I'm definitely not one of them!!!

There are days when I will start to follow someone's homeschool board that is full of all kinds of systems for organizing papers and lesson plans, and though it all looks like it's so easy and orderly, I begin to get a tiny knot in my stomach. As the panic in my throat rises, I take a deep breath and look elsewhere.

Complexity = Burnout

"I wouldn’t give a fig for simplicity this side of complexity… but I’d give my right arm for simplicity on the other side of complexity." ~Oliver Wendell Holmes
I don't believe that the amount of papers I have in a file cabinet or that my children have shoved in binders is a good indication of how "educated" they are. But when I ponder on that idea, I realize that philosophy is exactly what the outside world thinks! 

Of course, this doesn't mean that we don't have papers in files-- we do! And my kids each have their own school binder (as do I) that we use to store important things we are learning about.

The difference is that I know don't need a complex system in order to homeschool well. And let me tell you, I have tried MANY filing systems, planners, and organizers over the fourteen years I've been homeschooling! I've even created all kinds of spreadsheets, folders, and planner pages that in the end, just got thrown out in the midst of us getting down to the real business of learning.

Cui Bono?

If we feel that we must serve or follow a system or we're not homeschooling "right," then we are completely missing the joy and liberty that homeschooling can bring to a family! Any "system" or philosophy we use should serve US, not the other way around.

Whenever I get paralyzed by the dazzle and shine of someone else's fabulous plans, I have to ask myself: Cui Bono? Who benefits when I try and shove my square little self into someone else's round hole?

NO ONE. Not me, and especially not my kids. So while pinning uber-organizing filing systems may help me look like the amazing homeschool mom I want everyone to think I am, it does absolutely nothing for my mental health or for my efforts to teach and inspire my kids.

Ahhhh! That's better.

True Education

True education can-- and never will be-- accurately measured by the amount of paper clutter anyone stores. True education can only be seen in the character of a person's life, in their devotion to God, in their defense of truth, in their treatment of others, and in their love of learning. 

I love this quote by Albert Einstein:
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution."
Those who have strong imaginations and a thirst for knowledge are the truly learned. They can adapt to any situation, and are not afraid to try new things, to experiment, and even-- yes-- to FAIL. But they are the people who get back up, dust themselves off, and try again. And again. And again.

The process above is called learning. And we, as parents, have to be careful in how we tread. Again, "Cui bono?" Are we teaching our kids in a way acceptable to others so that WE will look good? Are we so caught up in the idea of "proving that homeschool works," that we forget why we're homeschooling in the first place??? (I think we all know it isn't for the Jones', folks!)

So yes, while all the organizing and filing of papers can make the world think we're doing things "right," (and might even make us moms feel like we have it all "together,") it will never-- NEVER-- result in a better education for our children.

Love, Mama Rachel

1 comment:

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