Simple Organization for Homeschools

Simple Organization for Homeschools

Bethany LaShellBy Bethany LaShell6 Minutes

Excerpt from Simple Organization for Homeschools by Bethany LaShell

The Time Factor

Does it take you half an hour to find the grammar book each morning? Do the kids spend five minutes finding and sharpening a pencil? Have you ever found three copies of the same book lying around because you had no idea you already owned it? (Yes, I know someone to whom that has actually happened!)

Here’s a little parable to illustrate my point. Behold, a mother went out to teach her children. And as she taught, some lessons fell by the wayside, and the dirty socks and lost library books came and devoured them. Some fell on messy desks, where they did not have much space, and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of thought. But when the days were long, they were forgotten, and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among unorganized papers, and the papers sprang up and choked them. But others fell on sharpened pencils and yielded three-point paragraphs, some ten-point paragraphs, some six, some four. She who has ears to hear, let her hear! (A very liberal retelling of Matthew 13:3–9.)

Today’s busy lifestyle fosters an instant mentality. Hungry? Hit the drive-through and you can be chowing down dinner in less than five minutes or throw an entrée in the microwave and sit down with the family in under ten minutes. Ready for a new book to read? With one mouse click, you can have it delivered to your electronic reader in seconds. Kids suddenly develop a new interest in butterflies? No problem, hop on the Internet and download an instant unit study. All those things are good, right? Well, in their proper places and with proper balance, they can be. I’ve all too often been guilty of substituting unhealthy fast food for healthier, home-cooked meals, and I love the instant gratification I receive from downloading and reading a new book from the comfort of my couch. I totally get the “I want it, and I want it now” mode. But, is that the best model for our educational endeavors? In general, it takes about thirteen years of education to produce a well-rounded young person. That’s not very instant.

A Homeschooler’s Parable

Let’s take a quick look at a few different analogies and scriptures to illustrate a more long-range mindset. Homeschooling is a marathon, not a sprint (even if your current plan is just to try it out for just a year). “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1 NKJV). Don’t we want to be able to say, as Paul did, “I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7 NKJV)?

When we plant a garden, either flowers or vegetables, it takes a few months for the final product to be ready for consumption. Sure, we may see bean sprouts in a few days, but we have to wait much longer than that for the whole plant to mature. “See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain” (James 5:7 NJKV).

Finally, think about cooking using the microwave versus using the Crock-Pot. It is possible to cook an entire meal in the microwave in a fairly short time, and it is possible for that meal to be fairly tasty. I don’t know about you, but I rely on the microwave when I’m running behind and didn’t plan far enough ahead for anything else. Compare that microwave meal with the scents of a roast with all the trimmings simmering all day in the Crock-Pot. Yes, it took a while to thaw the meat and chop all the vegetables, but that mouth-watering smell wafting through the house all day is incomparable. Rushing through that meal would not do it justice. We leave the table with a feeling of satisfaction. Homeschooling, in this case, is the Crock-Pot.

Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established” (NKJV). Let’s stop for a moment and ask God to bless our time of preparing to get our homeschools organized.

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