The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.
Parts of a whole, the whole made of its parts.
If you’ve ever watched a child meticulously put together a masterpiece – be it LEGO, paint, treasures from the earth, or any other medium – you see a wonderful relationship between parts of the whole and the whole itself. You see the different types of reasoning- one inductive, the other deductive- working in-tandem with one another. You know that once that masterpiece is formed, the child has a choice to keep it and enjoy it for a while, or destroy it and build something else. Neither way is more correct than the other. It is a picture of a master artist forming some kind of relationship with his or her masterpiece creation. Analysis, synthesis, evaluation all rest on the underpinnings of knowledge and understanding. So, to know is to understand, eventually. And this gradually leads to a fuller, more complex relationship with the whole made of its parts. The parts need not be fully understood before creating the whole, but something of them is understood, where creating is concerned. Components are waiting to be understood better. Layers are added, and the unity of knowledge in all its glory is displayed.
The unity of knowledge. What is it and who holds it together? God is the Master Creator. He is the One who holds all His creation together. If one aspect of truth is learned, then it is God’s truth. And later, this truth can be connected to that truth, and so on. We find that God’s web connects content areas and brings us into a fuller understanding of His world and His work throughout all of history.
We are homeschooling. What is our REASON?
Maybe the brick-by-brick metaphor is trite or cliché, but I am homeschooling with this image in mind: a boy imagines something very “awesome” in his mind. He hand-picks the individual pieces to create this amazing vehicle or scene or robot. Experimenting with various pieces leads to more creativity and problem-solving. He knows what he would like his end-result to be. He stays focused and works through all the frustration. He is making something out of LEGOs.
I am like this boy.
I am homeschooling my children with the end in mind, trying to make the most out of the pieces I have in front of me, the wonderful gifts that have been given to me. God is the only One who truly knows what the end result will look like. So, trusting Him, I press on and reevaluate when things are not working for our family. I try new things, scrapping other ideas. I am dedicated to the Master’s plan, whatever shape or function that will end up taking. This requires prayer. This requires seeking.
He has perfect knowledge. He has infallible understanding. He can analyze and synthesize and evaluate in His inherent holiness.
We are homeschooling. What is our REASON?
My REASON is quite simple. I want my children to experience the fullness of an education that points to Him in almost every aspect of what they are learning. I want them to experience TRUTH, BEAUTY and GOODNESS in the relationships formed with the people and places they encounter. I also want them to have a childhood full of family love, and quite frankly, to be able to spend time with them when they are at their best. My hope is to learn and grow together.
Remember Jesus’ words: “The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher'” (Luke 6:40).
I do know that I am no perfect teacher. I need help, like everyone else. My prayer is to be the kind of mentor/teacher my children need, albeit flawed. I can only conclude that God put these children in my life with a purpose in mind. Besides Him, I am the number one expert on my children, and I keep on growing in this area. But I also know that I will point them to THE Teacher. I know I desire to point them to Jesus.
He is the embodiment of beauty and light. I am holding to the brick He has placed in my hand right now, and I know I can depend on Him to guide it to where He wants it to go, right now. I trust He will decide to deconstruct and reconstruct and make my creation better than I could have ever imagined. It will not always look pretty in the day-to-day. Like my wise friend once said, “There’s always going to be a gnat at any picnic”. We will have our little struggles and our big ones. Nonetheless, there will still be a picnic!
Our homeschool is a little brick schoolhouse. We are homeschooling, brick-by-brick. It is a schoolhouse of many colorful shades of brick red. We are eclectic. We love outdoors and exploring and wondering at the great, big world. We are dedicated to learning the story in His-Story. We thrive when we do not take ourselves too seriously. We are a hodgepodge gaggle of vibrant personalities. We need help – no, I need help- in adapting to the ever-changing landscape of challenges in motherhood and homeschooling.
We can learn from each other, you and I. I am not starting a website/blog to showcase the “should’s” and deliver advice. I am here to talk and learn and honestly, to document for my posterity and for my own memory’s sake. I am here to try to add beauty and order to a chaotic world. My family is just one tiny dot in an ocean of homeschooling families. I know we are nothing special, and there are so many wiser people who have come before. But I do have a song to sing. Can I share it with you?