Sunday, March 25, 2007

Weaving the fabric of life

One of the best homeschooling articles I've read in a long time...

When I was in college, my friend Jimmy pointed out the design flaw in the campus sidewalks. The sidewalks went all the way around the grassy quadrangle behind the chapel, but the students had worn footpaths diagonally across the grass, taking the most direct routes to their classes. "They should have waited to see which way people would walk, " reasoned Jimmy, "and then laid out the sidewalks."

When we moved into our present home 8 months ago, I thought I knew just what I wanted...a schoolroom. A whole room to keep all our books and materials and plenty of workspace. I staked out the front sitting room as the boxes were being carried in. Having sacrificed an entire room of the house for educational purposes, my husband was constantly chagrined to drop in during the day to find us sprawled all over the living room sofa reading aloud, or spread out across the bar in the kitchen doing math or handwriting.

Finally I realized that I had laid my sidewalks around the quadrangle. Confining lessons to the schoolroom prevented me from working in the kitchen, switching the laundry, or keeping Abby busy with playdoh or pouring water while supervising the older two as they worked So last week, we disassembled the schoolroom, turning it into a sitting room. Now, instead of being a house with a schoolroom, our physical surroundings really reflect the reality of homeschooling...the lines between academic learning and "everything else" are blurred, even cease to exist.

Christians say, "Lex orandi, lex credendi" -- "The rule of prayer is the rule of faith". It means that what we do (in this case, in liturgical worship) reveals what we believe, and what we believe (our doctrine) shapes what we do. The same is true for all of life, including homeschooling. The fact that we homeschool, in itself, reveals something about what we believe -- about life, family, children, and education. The physical arrangement of our home, our daily schedule, and our priorities must be shaped by that same belief --or, as we discovered, life gets bumpy.

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