Creating and Preserving Life Margins

In my closet, I have a box of old letters from my middle and high school years. They are intricately folded and full of the silly ramblings of girlfriends and the awkward advances of a boy or two. Every square inch of these letters is filled, making them difficult to read. Sentences twist, curl and crowd into the margins along with stickers, song lyrics and doodles.

Unfortunately, it’s easy to let our adult lives look like the crowded pages of our childhood letters–with not a scrap of white space to be had.

It can be particularly tempting for homeschoolers to fill up the empty spaces in our days. We feel like we have more time, so we should be doing more. We want to participate in every worthy endeavor, to squeeze the last drop out of every learning opportunity.

Yet I know something now that I didn’t know back when my girlfriends and I were writing those cluttered letters. Clean margins are essential to making a legible document, and also to creating a nurturing home life.
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Navigating Homeschooling Detours: What to Do When the Road Gets Rough

My oldest son likes to use our GPS to map out trips. Even if we’re just going to the grocery store, he gleefully plugs in coordinates and calls out eager directions from the back seat.

Things don’t always go according to plan though. More than once we’ve followed directions to the letter and found ourselves staring at a clump of trees where a road should be.

Often our educational journey is like that as well. We carefully plan out goals. We try to be intentional about the learning choices we make.

We choose wisely what books and ideas we chase after, and as a result, our choices take us just where we hoped to go… until they don’t. [Read more...]