Homeschooling and the Christmas TreeDec 15th, 2008 | By Jessica Parnell | Category: General Homeschool Posts, Lead Article
We are behind this year with everything Christmas. But we did finally get out and pick our tree this weekend. It was a beautiful day and as always a fun family outing. Our kids truly enjoy the search every year as we trudge through the grove searching for the perfect tree. I think they especially enjoy the fact that we truly do consider every tree that they point out. This can make for a long process, but we love their enthusiasm and what better way to encourage it than to take them seriously?
When it comes to art I am not a visionary. I cannot picture the final product until it is complete. Therefore, each year when we begin decorating the tree I am a little disappointed. It always seems so imperfect and the ornaments not quite balanced or the lights not placed just right.
The kids rush around selecting their favorite ornaments and placing them where they can best reach with no real semblance of order. I can barely keep up with reattaching hangers or unwrapping the ornaments as the three of them flit around the tree excitedly. And sometimes the place they choose to hang a particular ornament absolutely seems to be the wrong place for it (especially when they put multiple ornaments on one branch and the branch drops to the floor).
This year, I began to philosophize (something I seem to do more and more of as I get older) and drew some correlations between our Christmas tree and my children.
You see, I am one who clearly sees both the good and the bad in my kids (despite my attempts to think more positively). You will almost never hear me say “My kid would never do that!” But I don’t always handle the bad the way I should.
How does this all relate to a Christmas tree? I began to consider each of my children and their specific traits. Each one, good or bad, contributes to who they are. Beautiful ornaments add to their beauty immediately; however, misplaced ornaments can make them look less than perfect. But if they learn from them, those misplaced ornaments can add an element of beauty that would not have been there otherwise.
Just as each ornament added beauty to the completed tree, each decision, experience, and lesson learned adds to who our children will become. The question is, am I contributing to the beauty within my children?
If we keep our focus on what God has for our children in the future, rather than on the empty branches of today, we can be more effective in building the beauty of their character. Isn’t that what really matters?
When our Christmas tree was complete, it was beautiful despite all of my misgivings. And when we dimmed the lights and lit the tree, what we saw was breathtaking!
How does relate to homeschooling? More and more, we are finding that parents are choosing to homeschool in order to build character. But sometimes the day to day pressure of homeschooling causes them to lose that focus.
So this Christmas, my encouragement to you is to remember that your child is a work in progress. The lessons you teach-both and academic and moral, and the interactions you have are all contributing to the person they will become. Are you contributing what you want to contribute?
My desire is to focus less on the bare branches of today, and more on the beauty of tomorrow.
Additional homeschooling posts:
Art Requirements for the Homeschool
Many parents find themselves at the end of the school year and realize that they forgot all about the need to cover art in their homeschool program.