One of the lessons that Peter and I have learnt early on in our family life (be that as a Christian, as a parent, as a homeschooler) is that you need to discern between principle and practice. A principle is a truth for life that is based on your belief system, it is applicable to many situations – because it is a truth. A practice is how one person, one family has worked out that principle in their life and it may or may not work in your life.
Never is it more necessary to discern between the two (principle/practice) than when we are trying to find a way to homeschool our children. The internet is full of information on different philosophies and practices. If we just grab hold of this practice and that practice without knowing the why behind it (the reason, the thinking, the principle) then we have no foundation to build our homeschool on. We are building on other people’s thinking, we are building on sand. And just as the man in Jesus’ parable – when the storms come, the house built on sand will crumble.
We need to do some thinking for ourselves. Not only do we need to know what we are going to do today – we need to know why.
Everyone knows the benefits of consistency but practicing it is harder than just talking about it. With so much informaiton coming into our homes, with so many commitments filling our days, and without thinking about the principles we want to live our lives on cosnistency goes out the window! We are blown around like a leaf in a storm always grabbing hold of the latest whizz-bang idea to help us through our day.
When we know the principles behind our actions it is like an anchor – when things challenge us – be it a situation or new informaiton we have something to weigh it up against. – our principles. This isn’t to say that we don’t take on new things, or that our thinking doesn’t change but when change comes to us it needs to be a considered change – we need to know why we are changing and how we are changing.
What are the practices you hold onto dearly in your homeschool? Do you know the priciples behind those practices? Do you agree with those principles?
Do you have other principles you wish to live by and the practices you hold onto limit your growth and change towards them?