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2009 is coming to a close – at least it isn’t very fair away. Are you starting to panic? Are you starting to push your children for no other reason than to get this finished?
Though we need to take stock and do all we can do to keep ourselves ‘on track’ we also need to remember a few things.
- We need to stay ‘on track’ with God’s plans not our own. We need to ask ourselves why do we feel we are not where we should be? Have we been slack and therefore need the self discipline to pull up our socks, or have we simply been living life and stuff happens, learning happens but it happens differently than we planned. We need to discern are we in a different place because other good learning has happened? It would be helpful to list that other good learning to keep our focus on the right balance.
- Learning happens 24/7, 12 months of the year, for life. I was saying to my daughter just last night that I feel a sense of relief because of this mindset – she doesn’t have to know everything by the time she is 18. She doesn’t have to know everything this year! If I do my job well she will be able and interested in learning new stuff for the rest of her life. I need to focus on what is the most important for the now and not be distracted with anything else.
- Check my purposes – Am I pushing my child to finish just so we can tick it off as finished, just so we have something to show the moderator or grandparents, just so we can do the right grade level next year? If this is our reasoning, then we need to reconsider. Our goals should not be just to get the work done; there is no learning bonus in that. The question we need to ask of a unit study, or class, or curriculum is – “Is my child learning?” If there is learning happening then that is a great thing, if there is no learning then you need to consider your options but I doubt rushing through it will be one of them.
Interestingly, these three points have more to do with our heart as the parent than they do with the students work/study ethic. We need to do a heart check.
The one other lesson that I remind myself of at this time is that just as lessons and learning aren’t dictated by ‘school hours’ neither is the discipleship lifestyle dictated to by the calendar year. Just because the calendar changes from 2009 to 2010 there is no real cut off date that says we need to get things done by. Life rolls on just the same. Our children’s character, interests, and learning goals just roll on from one year to the next. So I need to be true to my beliefs of discipleship and ask myself, “Why have I an end of year deadline in my thinking?”