If I re-titled or subtitled this, it would be “Reflections over Cornmeal Pancakes and Stop Signs”. However, my commitment when I wrote the first blog was to get back to you with what I found out, so I thought to label it “part 2” in order to close the loop—at least for now.
I have asked myself repeatedly, “How did I pile so many things on our plates?” After a couple of weeks of semi-normalcy, I was able to remember that I actually had good intentions: my husband and I wanted to continue to develop skill in those areas that the children have interest in, and we wanted to be fair to each child. These aren’t bad goals, and in fact, when I reflected upon our original intent, I felt quite proud.
As a long-winded trail down my mind’s path, let me say that during the school year we use Making Math Meaningful (David Quine’s Cornerstone Curriculum), but I found it lacking for our needs with measurement skills. So for the summer, I chose the Keys products—the right length for a summer day, and very simple in its presentation. The other day, we had great fun trying to measure the width of a stop sign (I never realized they were so tall!), and then I started thinking. The lesson was sealed in my mind by the time the kids made cornmeal pancakes on yesterday, part of a health/ nutrition segment on our yet-to-be finished study of the human body. (Sounds strange, but they were delicious!) In trying to reach certain goals, I hadn’t allowed for the learning that occurs when kids aren’t actively engaged in a workbook. I had forgotten about Charlotte Mason’s masterly inactively.
Thinking about this more over the past few days, I also began to reflect on how I’ve spent my own time thus far this summer. For the sake of time, I’ll skip to the revelation: I’ve not taken the opportunity to just sit and do little or nothing. It’s no secret to me that, for most of my adult life, I can identify far more with Martha than with Mary from Luke 10:38-42. Being incorrectly taught that Martha was “bad” and Mary was “good”, that admission bothered me until a few years ago. I now realize that their behaviors weren’t as much a reflection of their hearts as of their heads. If I were a total Mary, I wouldn’t be able to accomplish much of the work that still has to be done around this place, and I’d constantly fight a spirit of laziness. Mary, however, had her priorities in order, and that’s where my work was lacking. She understood that the most important thing was to be able to hear from God; I’ve been too busy praying “on-the-go” prayers while I haste in doing my thing, and I’ve managed to pass that on to the kids.
I’ve already begun to think about next summer. We’ll still have our activities, no doubt; as I stated earlier, our reasons in enrolling in those activities were valid. I, like Martha, just didn’t have my priorities in order.