Find Joy. Seek Truth. Be Kind.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Interestingly I wrote this some time ago, and yet it is just as applicable today. How long ago I don't know, since I didn't date it. (Eye roll to self.) By the topics it must have been about 4 years ago! I'm posting it anyway because not only is it pertinent, but it's continuing timeliness is intriguing.

Balance is something I seem to find hard most the time. I'm one of those people who seem to throw themselves into something intensely for a while, and then do nothing for a while and then move on to something else. I can't keep my house clean and play with my kids. My garden grows full of weeds, then I threaten the roots of the desired plants by pulling all the over sized weeds that have grown up next to them. I ignore my houseplants until they wilt and then nearly drown them. It does evolve a certain amount of hardiness in the plants that survive, but I'm not sure it's the best method for children. I'm working on this--having the children is motivation, since they need consistency, and are consistently needy.

In their own way the children are also not consistent: They are clingy one day, independent the next, one day oatmeal cookies are wonderful, the next week, disgusting. Their interests change quickly also. Dinosaurs, electronic, airplanes, plants, gerbils, ... if I think I know what is their favorite topic for the moment I'm wrong. But there is one thing I can count on, their curiosity and enthusiasm. Is it their fault if I'm a step behind on the topic?

Without intention we seem to do “unit studies”. I don't design the studies, no outlines, designated projects or topics. But a video, commercial, or book might spark an interest that gets explored at the library. A pet might beget a project like the mini-pond in our front yard. A question about steam has lead to a discussion of the ideal gas law, Avogadro's Number and the history of chemistry, all supplemented by Internet searches. (It also postponed bedtime, which may have been the point!)

Maybe balance needs to be considered over a larger length of time. Maybe it isn't an absolute. A day or a week, or even a month isn't enough. We need years to look back and see if our lives were balanced enough.

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