Where to Begin
Where to begin?
A beginning. A starting over.
Just fragments. Just brainstorms.
Begin: to start, to come into being, to complete the first part of something.
What if we are always beginning, and in that way, are never beginning?
These are the kinds of things that roll through me this evening, when it is dark and quiet and a thunderstorm is coming softly. The fan in my room is circling its small space, affecting the whole room with soothing wind and white noise. My desk is filled: folders and notebooks, envelopes and bills, homeschool booklists and books themselves.
It looks like I’m in the middle of something. In some way, I suppose that I am.
It’s called life.
The school year is beginning again, but life doesn’t start and stop, so as I plan and think over our next school year, I am hesitant to say that we are about to begin. Truly, we already have. Though some things are new, the whole is a continuation.
More than anything, with the next season of homeschool coming up, I didn’t want a list of lesson plans to follow, but something to stand on. Sure, I look at various curriculum and I dream about what will bring peace and abundant excited wonderful learning for all subjects, but I’m starting to think that it doesn’t really matter what we use.
We just need books. Yes, all the best literature. But activities and lesson plans? I’m not so sure about those.
As Charlotte Mason says, Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.
As Paul says,
“Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing.
Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude.
Tell him every detail of your life, then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ.
So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind.
And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always.”
This is what we need. While we listen to The Pilgrim Stories, and read The Life of Fred and American Tall Tales. As we learn about George Washington and then the Civil War. As we begin to put history into our own Book of Centuries. As we frequent the zoo and learn to bake. As we observe the natural world around us, can we Rejoice in the Lord always? As we begin some things but mainly continue many others, can we Rejoice together, remaining focused, stopping the distracting thoughts that seek to sway us into areas we are not called?
This is not a practical blog post, though sometimes I wish I had that gift.
This is Haiku the Day Away, where Motherhood is Poetic. This carries fragments and unfinished thoughts, because while we can be fooled into thinking we are beginning, we are actually surrounded by continuum.
Continuum: a continuous sequence in which adjacent elements are not perceptibly different from each other, although the extremes are quite distinct.
As we continue this year, I hope to share with you our progression in education; the atmosphere, the discipline, the life of rejoicing in learning together. It’s not all about homeschool. It’s learning and it’s life.
My readers, I offer no help. Just stories. Just a place for conversation, where fragments are allowed because sometimes we just don’t know, because though we think we might be beginning something new, we all have a past that brought us here, where a desk is filled and a fan is spinning and it’s dark and quiet and that thunderstorm has subsided but predictions say it’s coming. Tomorrow, the sun will come up and show off for us again. We will begin a new day, but simply continue many other things.