Recently I heard somewhere that if one spends 10,000 hours doing something, he or she will be an expert in that area. So I went online and looked up that fact, and apparently it’s true. There are even books written about it and a few breakdowns of how many hours you would have to work or study each day to get to 10,000 hours.
Another little pearl I’ve heard and believed is that control is an illusion. We can not control what something or someone will become. We can not change the past. We can not even control our own lives- if we could, we might live forever and never get sick.
So knowing these 2 little trinkets of information, in addition with my dream of becoming a great writer, a knowledgeable health concious person, a great parent, and a master in the area of homeschooling, I ponder. In my meditation I see that even though I have spent over 10,000 hours parenting and homeschooling (if the calculations on About.com are correct), I am no master. I am just as teachable, still have so much to experience, and still have as much to learn as I did on the day I became a parent and the day I became a homeschool mom.
Last night I sat down to work on my preschool/kindergarten program. I already have our next year planned out and it is very specific to our needs, but I wanted to design a program that could be used by families looking for a tweak-able, yet solid program. Although I know what the average kindergartner should know by the end of the year, kids are so different. There is no cookie cutter, one size fits all plan. For example, girls begin to grasp certain concepts and cognitive activities way before boys. Boys tend to be more open to the ways of certain types of learning than girls. Knowing this is making my development of this curriculum difficult. Books that were highly recommended flopped with all three of my boys, yet books we sought out were a huge hit. At first I felt guilty for not making my kids read the “list” books, but in the end they enjoy reading. This also is changing the development of the curriculum. So I decided that all I can offer up in this preschool-kindergarten plan, is a well written schedule, as well as advice to the mother about how she should not feel bad if she drops a few things to replace them with better suited ones for her family. I have read and own several curriculums for this age group and am so displeased with the quality and contrived activities, along with the lack of explanations for the parent as to “why” we are being made to do certain things. I have since gone on to website threads and learned a little bit about the methods and why the authors chose them. What I learned was that even though some of the writers had degrees in their field, what they planned was for a certain type of kid… their own. Unless you start out totally comfortable homeschooling(some of my friends have), most moms want a starting point. They want to know how much time they should send doing things each day. In what order should the alphabet be taught? How should addition and subtraction be introduced into a young ones mind? The plan I am writing is the one I wish I would have had in the beginning. I am taking the best of everything I’ve come across and combine it with my conviction that learning should never be dumbed down, nor should it be painful and tear jerking for the child. (I’ve heard stories from moms of children who have begun to cry when they pull out the math-history-reading-whatever book)
What this showed me was that even if I am technically a master, I am actually not a master of anything. Not even my own home (if you read yesterday’s post, you’ll see I’m struggling with my little J-Bird). As a follower of the Lord and a home for an indwelling Lord, He is my Master. My definition of “mastering” a skill is held up to the light of a Person who is a Master. I am well on my way to becoming a “master” in the field of holistic nutritional health… if I follow the path I’ve been on it will only be about 2 more years, according to the world’s definition. But I feel like there is always so much to know, there is always so much that’s changing and alive. How can we ever nail down a subject? Even writing… look at how our language has changed in the last hundred years alone. Everything on earth embodies Christ and He is a living being. All things are changing at all times to live according to the Father’s plan.
Lately I have been looking to the future instead of remaining where I am. I have decided to stop concerning myself with what “will be” when the kids are older and I want a career. In the meantime I do have interests in areas other than being a mom, so I am cultivating them out of love for them, rather than to reach mastery. Some great advice was given to me recently and this is probably the only ‘planning” I’ll do. I was told to not blog everything, but keep my best pieces of writing and my best stories private. If I write something that I feel could be an article for a homeschool magazine or a submission for a writing contest, I was told not to post it. I decided to take that advice and begin to keep a portfolio. Other than that, I am in the present. I am working on things that relax me and bring me joy now. If they bring me money or work later, so be it. As for mastering a subject, I think the “world” needs to revise their standards. Maybe meeting a true Master might change the definition. It did for me.
Thanks for reading!