I made eight Memory Work packets for us for this school year (you’ll find them in the sidebar if you’d like to use them also). I’m planned that we will do one set of Memory Work a month for four months, and then we’ll take a month off for Christmas before we do four more.
But here is the part that may surprise you: I don’t care if we finish it all.
You see, I decided how much I think we can do, but I might be wrong. I can’t foresee illness, emergency, or things just taking longer than I expect. But if we accomplished only one packet all the way, we will have learned a new poem, a new folk song, a new hymn, and a new section of the Book of Philippians. Those little bits are worth the work even if we don’t accomplish more than that.
You see, if you learn one hymn a term (whether you have two or three or four terms), you’ll know more hymns at the end of the year than you do now. If you learn one poem a year, you’ll graduate with more poetry furnishing your mind than most of the population. If I look at one painting a week for thirty weeks, that is thirty paintings. But if I look at one painting every week for thirty weeks every year for 12 years, that is 360 paintings stored in my memory for later.
We aren’t called at all to do everything perfectly. We simply expected to work faithfully. If we want to learn these things with our sons and daughters so that their minds and ours are well-furnished, we just need to try. Perfection isn’t required or even expected. We just have to do the next right thing.
I was scrolling through Facebook this morning, and I saw, once again, five different homeschool moms asking “what are your must-have’s for homeschooling?”
Here are the Must Haves that I see:
1. The Belief that parents are the best teachers for their children: You have to believe that the fact that your child is yours makes you the best teacher for him or her. This is the force that will keep you going.
2. Time: You have to be willing to make teaching your children a priority in your day, laying aside your own desires for a time in order to invest in your children.
3. Determination: You have to consistently determine that the best thing for your family is for you to pass on knowledge that you have to your children. And once you need to pass on knowledge that you don’t have, you have to be willing to learn that information yourself or connect your child with someone who already knows it.
Whether you homeschool with hundreds of dollars worth of curricula and co-ops or the 1970s Saxon texts ($2 used), a library card, and paper and pencil, these are the three things that you Must Have.
Everything else is ice cream.
At the Read Aloud Revival, I have been part of a Master Class called “Focus and Align” in which we were encouraged to create a Rule of Six. These are the things that bring us balance, that make our home work, that make us who we are as individuals and as a family. This Rule of Six is the road of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness that we travel on the journey to Wisdom and Virtue and Jesus.
Here is the list of things we want to happen in our home. every. single. day. (Note: I said that they are things we WANT to happen. We try. And then we try again.)
- Worship and pray.
- Seek beauty and grace intentionally throughout the day
- Converse; treating others as we want to be treated
- Care for each other and for our home and our stuff
- Memorize poetry, scripture, and other things
- Talk about stories we have lived and those we have read.
- Math and Logic; Chess and Legos
- Write down something… anything … with care
- Make art to look at, to eat, to use.