Friday, May 12, 2006


This post, at the Bonny Glen, is such a beautiful summary of how connections happen, work, and happen again (and again.) It sums up a living, breathing education, and what I love about homeschooling: instilling an excitement for and love of learning. I want to instill a love of learning about all things true, good and beautiful ("Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." -- Philippians, 4:8) and I hope that this love affair will continue throughout my children's lives.

And, I see Lissa's post as connected to her most recent post on "Nitty Gritty." It's certainly true that life and homeschooling can resume so quickly after the birth of their baby because having older children is such an enormous help. But's it's also true that the Bonny Glen can pick up their routine where they left off because they're all excited to do so. They love learning, they love reading together, and they love to explore the world. "School" isn't just checking off a bunch of boring boxes in a workbook ... School is Life. Life is School. They're connected. When we lose sight of the fact that they're connected, then "school" becomes nothing more than "that thing to get out of the way so I can get to real life." But, when we keep "school" connected to "real life" and it becomes a way of life.

This reminds me of the first time I taught Anne-with-an-e what the word "allusion" meant. She was very young and we were reading a Clifford book together. There was a storm, and through the window Emily Elizabeth saw a witch riding a bicycle, "just like in Wizard of Oz movie!" I told Anne that when a writer deliberately reminds us of a scene from something else, it's called an allusion. The term stuck. And so I had a 5-year old who said things like, "Mommy, this book has a talking pig. Do you think that's an allusion to Charlotte's Web?" And those kinds of comments continue ("Mom, do you think J.K. Rowling read the Narnia Chronicles? Because some of her stuff reminds me of them.")

Mind you, my kids are not especially brilliant. We just talk a lot around here. But, I've found that when we talk a lot, the payoff in words, ideas and connections is worth all the chatter time (and, of course, I love our chatter time.)

When they're young, you point out the connections and provide your children with names and labels for those interesting, intricate ways in which ideas are woven together, build upon each other, and inspire new thoughts. When they're a bit older, you encourage them to keep making connections. And soon, one happy day (it will be much sooner than you think) they are pointing out so many connections that your brain will start to hurt. But it's a good kind of hurt.

And you say a silent prayer of thanks that a word like "allusion" is not just an excruciatingly boring term from a meaningless grammar class. Allusions have become a part of real life; they have meaning. They're exciting, compelling, and worthy of lots of chatter.

They're connected to us and to our lives. And isn't that what a living, breathing education is all about?


1 comment:

WJFR said...

Good post, Karen, I see those things happening in our house too and realize more and more how important a part of life it is.