My friend Tresta says that the best ideas are the ones that follow her around, when she traces the same idea in different places. That’s exactly what happened to me this morning! Tonia quoted Wendell Berry on peaceableness and it struck me as very good homeschooling advice:
What leads to peace…is peaceableness,
which is not passivity,
but an alert, informed, practiced, and active state of being.
Maybe we begin by creating more margin in the schedule. We plan less because we know that things tend to take longer than we assume and good opportunities will come up. Like a spring cleared from debris, our days will fill from behind with good things.
Homeschooling isn’t simply about location–the same work being done in a different place. It’s a different model of learning. In World Enough and Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down, Christian McEwen says our society and the traditional model of schooling values “action over stillness, light over shadow, sounds over silence.” Through homeschooling we have the opportunity to craft rhythms and spaces that are “calm, unhurried.” This is where people can do their best creative work.
In planning our weeks and months for learning and rest, we can ask, where are the times of quiet resonance? Remember, Wendell Berry says this takes practice. Nothing in the dominant model of schooling values rest. But at home we can learn to become alert to the vibrant emptiness that will ripple out through our seasons and years.