I should interrupt, really I should. At least that is what I keep telling myself. We were supposed to start our learning day over twenty minutes ago. Yet here we are, the girls working on completely different artistic endeavors all while my son is working off his excess energy from breakfast. I pace back and forth, asking myself this important question, “Should I interrupt creativity for ‘real’ school?”
Let’s face it, those arithmetic lessons do need to be done. At some time. The question is when. I’m looking for an easy answer. Here we go… When the Lord leads. There we have it. But, easier said than done.
My OCD, get-it-done-and-out-of-the-way nature wants to interrupt. My desire is for them to complete that list of tasks I’ve set before them so I can feel secure in my teaching and parenting. No one is going to say we haven’t finished our learning or that we’re behind. No sir! Plus, aren’t I supposed to be teaching my children the value of work ethic; showing up on time, completing tasks in a timely manner, and all that jazz? (sigh)
I’m sure this is a dilemma I am not the first to face. Nor will I be the last. It’s a struggle to find balance between what needs to be done and when it should be done. It’s all too easy to allow tasks to control our day and overlook the beauty of each moment.
Perhaps what I need to be asking myself is, “Might this be what ‘real’ learning looks like?”
Instead of focusing on being behind, and that list of to-do’s waiting for us, maybe God has a bigger plan. What if He is using this moment to reach my children’s hearts, and doing a work in them? It might be that this project is bringing peace to my child, opening their minds to receive when formal learning begins. I do know one thing for certain. If I carelessly interrupt this moment with shouts of frustration and commands to get a move-on, I risk losing a teachable moment for good.
The truth of the matter is, at some point, they are, indeed, going to need to tackle that arithmetic work. I’ll wrangle them to the table and ask them to knuckle down. Just not yet. And when I do, instead of shouts, I’ll gently pat them on the heads or kiss their ruffled hair and remind them we need to get started soon. I’ll give them a moment to adjust their minds and hearts, commending their hard work and rejoicing in their creativity. Then, we’ll work through those lessons which build them in other ways.
As for teaching them proper work ethic and timely deadlines? Occasional moments taken to explore creativity are not going to ruin them. They see deadlines lived daily, both through their father’s work and homeschool opportunities. Work ethic is a way of life. If anything, it is these moments our children need most. The understanding that life is not all about pushing papers. It’s about embracing each moment and giving it to God.
I’ve got this down, right? Never again will I stress over starting on time and finishing X number of pages. (ahem) I wish. No, the bug still bites. But, I am inspired to give this area of our learning over to God. My desire is to finish. If that is also God’s desire… awesome! More importantly, God’s will needs to take precedence. If that means book work, that’s fine. If not, that’s okay, too!
May we stress less about what our learning looks like to the world, and even ourselves; focusing more on hearing God’s call in our day. When He directs our learning, we can never go wrong.
“Let the wise hear and increase in learning,…”
~ Proverbs 1:5a
Your Turn!: We talk about our children being creative, but are you inspired to be artistic?