I have been researching famous home-schoolers for a couple of years now – you know, like George Washington Carver, Alexander Graham Bell, and the Wright brothers. One thing that I keep finding over and over: very few of these people had a liberal education. Most of them became intensely focused on one thing – and that’s usually what they became famous for. While we are still doing all of our core subjects, I am learning to feel less guilty when I allow my son an afternoon playing with clay models or building something in Google Sketchup. Who knows? He may be the next Frank Lloyd Wright! BTW, Do you think Mr. Wright would have enjoyed playing Minecraft?
To me, outer space shouts the existence of a Creator. I wonder why He made it so vast? Is it the perfect balance to keep everything livable on earth? Is it there just so we can discover it? To keep things in perspective for us, or what? Perhaps it is a combination of all these things. I know it serves at least one purpose: to give us an undeniable proof of His existence.
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Psalm 19:1-3
No culture has ever escaped God’s testimony of Himself.
Six months ago, I read a post about agenda-driven fiction. And I must say, I love what the author had to say.
As Christians, reaching others for Christ should be our only agenda. Our education, our career, our relationships, every decision we make should be weighed against what we are accomplishing for the kingdom. We don’t see many Christians today who are living a life exclusively for God. We get too wrapped up in ourselves, in our aspirations. A part of me envies the missionaries and others who are doing nothing but serving. I want to be a light in the darkness, but too many times, I want to do it on my own terms. Because I am only here for a short while, I want to meet my goals that I have laid out for myself. But since we do have such a short sojourn in this world, all the more reason we should be spending our time reaching others. How am I spending my time? What am I writing? Am I too busy writing what I imagine myself publishing in five or ten years? Something that I imagine will be admired by the world? Or should all of my writing material point to Christ? I agree with the writer of this post: if something that I write reaches just one person, the time I spent writing it will be worth more than anything I can earn writing a parade of best-sellers.
I have a really grown-up vision of heaven. In my mind, it’s not a place where people sit around all day playing harps and walking along the riverfront in white robes. (Although, there may be some of that, if that’s what pleases you.) But in my mind, it’s a thriving, bustling community with things to do – things yet to learn – and our Heavenly Father at the center of everything. You see, after the old earth melts with a fervent heat, God is going to create a new one (II Peter 3:10-12, Revelation 21:1-2). Now as a child, I thought that we were all going to live up in the sky somewhere in a place called heaven for the rest of eternity – but I don’t believe that anymore. You see, the New Jerusalem will descend from heaven to the earth. God is preparing that city as we speak (John 14:2-3, Revelation 21:2), but its final home will be on the new earth. People will inhabit the earth as it was originally meant to be inhabited. Now, imagine the world today as though Eve had never sinned. Imagine what society would be like. All of the creativity, all of the discovery, all of interesting ideas and inventions that have turned up in the past six thousand years, only without being corrupted by sin. No really – close your eyes for a moment and just think about it…Yeah. That’s what I’m talking about. I used to be afraid that I would be bored, and not have anything to do or to learn. But then, as I came to know God better and understand Him more clearly, I realized that the desire to learn was created by Him and instilled in me. He knows it’s a good thing. And if, for some reason, he does take that away from us (in case we know everything already, which I don’t find desirable at all), He will replace that desire with something better, more compelling, more able to keep us entertained and interested throughout the eons of time.
It’s been almost a year since I posted about empty nesting, but I just had another idea today, and thought I would update. I think that volunteering for your local Chamber of Commerce would be a great way to stay busy and benefit your community at the same time. I truly enjoy helping them out, and I get to meet lots of fantastic people and get in on some great events. Our local chamber could always use volunteers, and you can even serve on our committees without being a member. Of course, if you *do* have your own business, and you aren’t a member of your local chamber, you have no idea what you could be missing out on. Personally, I was blown away when I discovered all of the benefits of joining. I guess it’s probably different in every town, but you should probably look into it, if you haven’t already. Happy Homeschooling!
For years now, I’ve looked at it this way: Say you’re at work. It’s your last day of work for the rest of your life. Tomorrow, when you wake up, you will be a healthy, retired citizen with a bankroll that would make a millionaire jealous. Sounds appealing, right? Well, that’s where I am right now. In fact, if you are a Christian, that’s where you are too. We just have a few more years to go, and then…well, the rest! Eternity, and our Best Friend, and all the rest forever. Whenever I have a really bad day (whether it’s dealing with confrontational people or the loss of a loved one, or whatever), I like to remind myself of this: the time it’s going to take me to live the rest of my life on earth (be it seventy years or seventy minutes) won’t amount to a drop of water in the ocean of my life. I’m getting ready to retire! I can handle anything life throws at me because of that fact.
Okay, a question for my homeschool friends: I have a friend who is beginning to homeschool two of her girls, grades 5th and 7th, I believe. One of her girls is exempt (in the public schools) from having to learn science and history. It has something to do with a 504, which, I admit, I did not look up, so I have no idea what it is. What I did look up was this: unschooling science ideas. I was going to move to history after that, but I had no luck whatsoever with the science search and became frustrated. I thought it would be cool to give my friend a general idea of what unschoolers do for science and history, so she could work them in somehow even though they aren’t required. All I found where specific activities, mostly written by people who were bragging about what their kid learned on that specific day. I realize unschooling is supposed to be totally based on the interest of the child, but what if your child isn’t interested at all? What then? Surely there are things the parent can do to nudge the child toward learning science. What would those things be? All I can think of are watching documentaries and reading books on specific scientific ideas, perhaps a book about birds or rock formations, etc. Also I thought a book of science experiments might be handy to have around. But other than that, is there something a parent could do to make the study of science more readily available to their child? For history, again, all I can think of are documentaries and books. Luckily, historical fiction would be somewhat educational as well. I’m not an unschooler, so I’m clueless, but I think it would be nice to compile a list and have it available on my blog, so that other clueless people could begin to unschool with history and science, if they so desire. Any help would be greatly appreciated! I will pass the ideas on to my friend, and if I get enough response, I will repost, using all of your ideas, so that we can have a proper list all in one place.