Friday, May 20, 2016

Beauty and Delight

At the Cincinnati Homeschool Convention, Sarah Mackenzie spoke about Beauty and Delight in the Ordinary, Chaotic Homeschool.  This was a beautiful session, and exactly what I needed.  Here were a few key points:

The definition of efficiency:
To be efficient means to achieve maximum productivity with a minimum of wasted effort or expense.

Homeschooling is NOT efficient.  Relationships are not supposed to be efficient.

20 years from now, what would you wish you'd been doing?  (Something to keep in mind as we make decisions about our homeschool or feel discouraged).

When things are going well, we have a tendency to add in a little more until things fall apart again. She said that being consistent while moving through a few important things looks very different from consistently trying to jam in too much.  What if we focused on less, but do those things well?

Relationships trump accomplishments.  Always pick your child over an accomplishment.  They are the images of God.  They ARE what we're doing that day.

How many times have we been waiting for that big, beautiful moment, but miss the small beautiful moments?  Those small moments are the most lasting and important.  After this session, I've learned to look for those delightful moments - sharing the delight in a fluffy cloud floating over head, having smoothies at the table with my children and delighting in conversation - those are the beautiful moments I would miss if I were only looking for our math facts to be mastered, or whatever my big goals are for my children.

She mentioned adding in small tweaks, shifting our focus with what we are already doing -

  1. Ritualize - what can you do daily that changes the focus of the day? Classical music in the morning? A morning hug as a greeting? Sing the doxology together? Light candles during meals?

  2. Read aloud - it doesn't have to be long, and it's OK if it looks chaotic. 5mins? 10mins? 15mins? Pick something from a good book list and jump in!

  3. Relishing - spend more time enjoying and delighting in your children.  Have a "Just because we can" day to do something unexpected.  Go swimming or bowling, or whatever sounds fun.

She also mentioned "Not many, just memorable".  As moms, we often think we need to do something regularly and make a habit of it in order for it to count.  Baking something special, going someplace special, doing something special - it only needs to happen once or twice, and your children will remember it as something you did often.

There were many more gems that can be mined - she has a wonderful book called Teaching From Rest, which I'm savoring right now. A friend that also went to convention summed this session up beautifully - complete with some soul-filling quotes.  Read her post here:

Cornerstone Home Learning: Convention Season: In Which I Begin To Cry (or Reflecting on Beauty in the Homeschool Life)




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