This post was written for Latter-Day Homeschooling.
“So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha.
And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.
And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?
Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.”
-2 Kings 5: 9-14
We all remember the lessons and talks about how it is just as important for us to follow the little commandments as it is to follow the big commandments.
And yet, for me at least, it’s the little commandments that are the hardest to keep.
But this is a homeschooling blog, not a confessional.
Homeschool is magical! It really is. But the magic ONLY happens when we are doing the little, every day things that are seemingly unimportant.
The magic happens out of nowhere, when the kids are sitting, quietly working while I’m cleaning up. Not on our field trips to the zoo, not on our family vacation to Sea World, not during the FHE lesson I spent three weeks planning and preparing for.
It happens during the mundane.
We spend some time every day where they sit quietly and work on things that they don’t need me for. And more often then not, that is when the magic happens.
I’ll give you an example.
Lucy, while reading the Old Testament Stories said “I don’t understand something, why do the Israelites want to stay slaves instead of dying in the wilderness? Isn’t it better to be free?”
As you can imagine, our lesson plan flew out the window and we spent the next week learning about agency, political revolutions, slavery and current events. We also talked quite a bit about how people in today’s world choose to be slaves without realizing it.
In any other educational system, no teacher would have been able to push his/her lesson plan back a week in order to fully explain a single question from a single student. If they had, no doubt they would have been stressed the entire time and had to rush things in order to get back on schedule. If the teacher had decided to restructure her lesson plan in order to answer the question later on, the student would no longer be as interested as they were when they first asked the question.
See? Mundane turned Magical.
I’ll give you another example.
The kids were coloring while listening to a Christian based history audiobook and I was cleaning the kitchen. The author, who is not a Latter-Day Saint, took the position on Adam and Eve that is often taken by non-LDS Christians. That their choice to leave the Garden of Eden was selfish and wrong.
I stopped the audio, got out the Book of Mormon and we spent the next hour exploring 2nd Nephi and discovering why the author was mistaken. We were all brought to tears as the Spirit testified to us of the great love that our first parents had for the people of the world and the countless blessings that came from their sacrifice.
We would have missed out on that moment if I hadn’t been doing the mundane, every day checklist of school work.
We have been taught to always strive to keep the Spirit in our homes. It’s because of times like this that I know that even though we might sometimes be distracted with housework and reading lessons and running errands or bath-time, the Spirit is always waiting, watching the happy chaos, waiting to be called upon to help us teach.
We don’t have to always feel a burning in our bosom or have tears of gladness in our eyes to know that the Holy Ghost is with us while we teach.
And that is why homeschool is Magical.
It must be nearly impossible for a traditional school teacher to keep the Spirit in his/her classroom. The Spirit is easily driven out by stress, texting, offensive language and the like. And let’s please not forget the fact that God isn’t allowed in public schools in anyway. They can’t teach with the Spirit. No wonder they have to stick to lesson plans and schedules. Without the Holy Ghost as their guide, they are completely lost. Strict lesson plans and schedules are the only direction they have.
But WE can have the Holy Ghost guide us. I like to think of Heavenly Father and our Savior as our administration and the Holy Ghost as my teacher’s aid.
I’ll go about my day and my plan, following the curriculum that my administrators have instructed and when I hear my teacher’s aid whisper in my ear, I drop everything and do what he says. Knowing full well that my administrators approve.
Mundane to Magical.