I have a self focusing, point and shoot camera. What I love about it is the ability to focus in on one small area and get an amazing picture, like the ice picture above dripping from the pine needles. I even love how everything in the frame outside of the focused area is blurry. What I don't like about my camera is that many times I want everything in the frame to be focused but won't notice that my camera picked one spot to focus on and the rest will be blurry. Often I don't notice until I download the picture that my camera focused on a lamp and not on the people around the lamp!
My approach to homeschooling often mirrors my problems with my camera. There is so much to be done, so much I want to do, that in trying to do it all I either completely lose all of it or I become inadvertently focused on the wrong things.
The goal this year was to stick to those academics that are most important so that we have time to live and move in an effective way in the world. I want my teens to learn to help others, to be involved in areas of ministry. But then life gets busy and I lose focus and I am doing the next page and the next chapter and start to panic about the amount of content and not the quality of learning.
So, I am again going through our subjects and deciding what is most important and what can be released. I am attempting to prioritize learning what to do with the material over how much material I can dump into them.
I want my kids to learn to research, think, reason, process, assimilate...then communicate both in writing and orally. I need to control the time we spend and budget our time wisely so that we have time to engage in the people and world around us in a way that is vital and gospel centered.
There's no automatically focused homeschool lens. A curriculum doesn't know us personally and it can't lead us. It is a tool. It must be led. It'll focus us in the wrong spot 9 times out of 10. It's time for me to pray and get ahold of that lens again and refocus it in the right places.
That's my job tonight. I'll let you know how it goes!
"These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, "so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. ~Deuteronomy 6:1-2