Sunday, July 18, 2010

Watered Down Orange Juice or Orange Juice in the Water...

About a year ago, maybe two age sat in church listening to a sermon on how we needed to be getting the real juice, making sure that what we were learning wasn't watered down, but that it was the real thing.

The sermon illustration was in terms of watered down fruit juice vs the real thing. The sermon bugged me, not least because in this church the Gospel and Scripture had taken second place.  I left the sermon with the distinct feeling the problem wasn't that we were watering down the truth, the problem was we distrusted the "living water" and saw it as corrupting the truth. Yes I pushed the metaphor further than was ever intended. With the Woman in Samaria, Jesus presents himself as the living water, that which quenches all our thirsts.

Last week listening to the podcast series on doctrine from Mars Hill (Mark Driscoll) he made comment on psychology as a distortion of how we see the world. Mmm. Lots to think about.

Yes I still work on forgiveness, but I also work on being careful with my I statements, providing rewards for good behavior, withdrawing privileges when the kids are disobedient..etc Just below the surface are lots of psychology based ideas. I'm still working through this but I can see that psychology and its roots in humanism and self, are never going to answer the problems of a fallen human being living in a sinful world. I need to look at the depth to which I relate to the world from a Christian worldview, compared to a humanistic worldview with Christian covering.

Initially this compassionate and caring mum is at least starting to unpack some of the guilt of trying to discipline her children, and being afraid of doing lasting damage...and the frustration of not being able to motivate (should that read manipulate them into doing what I want them to do.) and the confusion of living life in a world of grey, especially where love, authority, grace, and forgiveness get mixed up with preserving self confidence, rewards, roomtimes, family conferences, consequences and punishments.Too much of our days are spent working through the negotiations and explanations that try to create ownership in the kids about what they need to do, and the kids second guessing what we need to say, so that we can do what were were always going to do without mum realizing for at least a while longer. .

Sometimes it really would be a heap easier if I only had to work with the simple right and wrong, a yes is yes, a no is no, a maybe means I'll think about it carefully  and an assignment just needs to be done the way mum asked for it. Maybe it really is just that simple, maybe or is that hopefully the reason why I find myself head to head with strong willed children.  Something to work on, something to work through.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pondering the Homeschool

After twenty plus weeks of running a school year of busy-ness and newness we are all a little jaded. Its been a big step up. for some of my children a struggle to focus on learning not playing at learning. We dived into the Veritas Press history and bible curriculum, and I have to say that in so many ways I love the ideas that this curiculum pulls together. I love the cross over in thoughts and ideas, the reformed basis to the questions. The pondering.

But its busy. Our days struggle to find a balance of learning and growing. The space to stop and think and enjoy is lost in acquiring facts, getting it write, finding the next part of the equation. The worksheets give nuances at times that the kids miss on their own. So do the discussions in omnibus. But in the business there isn't room to grow together and enjoy the beauty. 

I've enjoyed this morning looking at this post and seeing the possibilities..journaling reflecting processing.  When we went through Bible college the information in its own was good but there was always a sense of so what, what does this mean in our lives, what are we really learning. In other words we were encouraged to grow from what we were learning, not just gather information.

Classical education has always been about the idea of seeking truth, beauty and virtue. Its there in all the curriculum that we use, and yet its hidden by the business.  When we combined everyone's studies that was what we were focusing on, the reflection, the beauty the good in what we were learning. I could listen and interact with my children and see all of that journey. as we have separated them out and leaned more heavily on curriculum it is harder and harder to have that sense of what are we learning as opposed to what information are we collecting. Maybe we need both. I really don't want to add in extra to our already burdened lives.

I want to being in more freedom and peace.  Its a case now of pondering how.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Its been a long time since I've blogged... a very long time. In the earlier parts of this week I've come to wonder if blogging is something useful, or something distracting. I haven't necessarily missed the world of cyberspace as the world around my desk descended into chaos. Another learning journey that didn't quite hit the mark. I am getting a smaller field of what does and doesn't work both for me and for my family.  So after a 20 week experiment with curriculum that I love. yes mostly i do enjoy the mix of Veritas, classical writing, Latin, Greek and maths that make up our lives...I'm back to fine tuning. Not changing the content but definitely the delivery.

So for the next week I'm looking at a return to the old units, having one or two per week per child, and then being able to  amend what we do according to our learning. Running the Omnibus straight for my eldest has proved to be more of a challenge than either of us need.  I need to take a teaching not a student role and manage her work more. Doing the next thing isn't going to get us through this one.  For one she isn't getting the creativity. And were ending up in a bogg where she has to do narrations for all her reading and then written answers to all the discussions because discussions require a level of thought that just isn't happening on the spot. So we're looking at modified Omnibus for her. Hopefully without me having to work through more than I am already doing.

Simplicity if definitely a bonus if we can achieve that.