There is not time each day for more than One Thing. I know, we homeschooling mamas thrive on our super powers of accomplishing above and beyond. That is not what I am talking about. The One Thing is your most important objective for the day. It is done well, completed well, and brings soul satisfaction.
There are many side jobs and yay-I-finally-got-to-that jobs and those that shove their way into our days, but the One Thing must be your focus from the moment you put your feet on the floor and, if you live life fully and freely, should be rather constant yet ever changing. Organized chaos, if you will.
That sounds like something you would not wish to touch with a long stick, but if we honestly observe living fully in any manner the bookends are rigidity and bedlam. Organized chaos is allowing life to flow while setting ‘shipping channel’ that guide you safely toward your destination while allowing the freedom of movement, shifting, living a full yet relaxed life. Let me note that by ‘relaxed’ I do not mean that you will have time to sit around eating bon bons; simply that you will allow yourself to lay down your stress of being perfect.
Back to The One Thing. It takes dedicated focus to discern and decide what that will be each day. As homeschoolers most of us immediately conclude that it must be lessons. What if it were not? What if lessons were sometimes The One Thing and sometimes not?
Catch your breath. I am not advocating anything less than the ideal home education that fits your family. What I am suggesting is that lessons not reign supreme at the cost of all else. Sometimes they can be the side job that is completed but not the one that you made certain was fully attended to and completed to full satisfaction. Lessons were simply accomplished while you focused on a friend in need, a birthday girl, chores, a dedicated job, neighbors, adventure.
Remember the Bible story of Mary and Martha? Who made the better choice? It was so counter-intuitive. So counter-cultural. And yet, it was the proper One Thing for that moment. Accomplishment, worksheet worship, textbook consumption often overshadow and rob our joys that proffer themselves along the way. They gently nudge our hearts. Do you trust that in choosing a non-traditional day of learning has value? All of life should be learning. All of learning has value. Trust that your wisdom to discern between a wasted day and a different day when your One Thing does not leave that mentally satisfying paper trail and allow the joy of releasing your plan of what must be each day to what might be each day.
For our family, we homeschool year ’round which allows us to ebb and flow with our days. Three days a week our One Thing is lessons leaving two days each week to shift our One Thing out of my controlling hands. Boy, I do love controlling my universe, but it is not always good for marriage, children, family, personal stress, rest, joy, learning, etc.
- Be open to adventure and opportunity as they knock. Our children will learn so much about being flexible, laying down anxiety, embracing life in all it’s colors and glory.
- Be open to not knowing or planning all of your days. Begin talking about possible adventures with your spouse, children, friends and see what comes forth–and go with it.
- Know that what needs to get done will get done. You will no more allow your child’s education to fall by the wayside than you would allow them to swim in the deep end of a pool without knowing how to swim or being at their side. It’s not the homeschool way- it would be that far side of the curve–bedlam. Nobody signs on for that.
- Be open to change from within. End each day with praise and start each day with possibility releasing your day into His hands for His glory.
- Rest and know that you are enough with no need to move mountains in a day. They will move one shovel full at a time as you take pleasure in your days with focus on embracing fully that One Thing.