Your plate is full. You don’t need more to do. But if you homeschool and occasionally ache for beauty, consider this question: “Are you making a beautiful homeschool?” First, we should agree on what beauty is and consider its divine source. You see, beauty is not a feeling, but it evokes feelings. Beauty is not a thing, but it is found in things. Beauty is not the same for everyone, but it is universal. So, what is beauty?
Beauty is an attribute of God.
Beauty is an attribute of God, created by Him, for Him, and found in Him. Beauty was present in the garden of Adam and Eve before the fall of man. As sin entered the world, beauty was dimmed, it was tainted—but it was not destroyed! Beauty survived the fall. It’s everywhere—from the setting sun and flowering cherry tree to the bright eyes of children and the crooked smiles of the elderly. Though beauty is most often a delight to our eyes, beauty can be discovered through multiple senses. It can be seen, heard, and felt!
The significance of beauty is that it is founded in absolute truth. It comes from a personal Creator that cares for His creation. And since man is created in the very image of God, who is beautiful, we desire beauty; we yearn for beauty; and we seem to genuinely need beauty. Beauty is designed to draw, inspire, calm, and satisfy. So, I go back to the question, “Are you making a beautiful homeschool?”
Are you making a beautiful homeschool?
I doubt any of us would score an A+ on an assessment of beauty in our homeschool. Most of us have too much noise, too much stuff, and too much commotion in our lives to find beauty in every corner of our routine. But I propose that most of us could “up our grade” with a little extra attention to beauty in our homeschool. Let’s get practical and talk about little ways to help you see, hear, and feel beauty in your homeschool!
On a surface level, how beautiful is the space where you homeschool? Have you designated a cozy, tidy, inviting place to homeschool? Can you see your countertops or a path to the back door? I never had a home large enough to set aside an entire room for homeschool. So, learning took place in the heart of our home around the kitchen table, piled up in the recliner, or sprawled on the floor. I did set aside one storage cabinet in the corner of the dining room to store our school books and supplies. Since school was “everywhere” from 9 to 2, it forced us to pick it up at the end of the school day and straighten those pillows and throw blanket on the sofa one – more – time. Now, the kitchen wasn’t always spotless, but we focused on the living area — every – single – day – to maintain a sense of order. I encourage you—strive to “see” a beautiful homeschool.
On another level, how beautiful are the sounds of your homeschool? Are you adding sweet sounds through music, laughter, read-alouds, or singing? Are you providing quiet corners for independent study? Do you need to curb the disrespectful tones, the name-calling, or the sass? To combat the noisy nonsense in our homeschool, I resorted to fining our kids (and myself) 25 cents for rude remarks and disruptive behavior during school. I kept a running list—and saved it! Here’s a few, which I hope you can relate to. Heather: “prompting Kyle to evil”; “Calling Kyle an idiot”; Kyle: “arguing about handwriting”; “throwing pennies’’; Ashley: “squealed at Kyle”; “flicked Heather”; Mom: “vulgar talk”; “being mean!” You get the idea. We needed boundaries to control the tone and the noise. I encourage you—strive to “hear” a beautiful homeschool.
On a deeper level, how beautiful are the relationships in your homeschool? Are they warm and affirming? Does every member of the family feel loved and valued despite their shortcomings? (You just read about some of mine . . . I was fined for being a “mean mom?”) Our society has never been shallower then it is today – due to the influence of social media. Now more than ever, our children need to feel a deep connection to God, home, siblings, parents, and church. Carve out special moments and special occasions to celebrate the ordinary milestones that mark our lives. Personally, we went big on birthdays; big on playing together; and big on family photos and tribute videos documenting first steps, new bikes, Easter outfits, and graduation at nearly every grade level. Let home, and homeschool, be a positive place – overflowing with the love of life. I encourage you—strive to “feel” a beautiful homeschool.
In closing, our lives are messy, and it is easy for beauty to be snuffed out. But because beauty is rooted in God, take a stand for it. Wipe “the sticky” off the counter (as we Southerners would say), put on some Mozart, and snuggle with the child that’s pestering the family today. That, my friends, will make your homeschool a little more beautiful today. I encourage you—strive for making a beautiful homeschool! I pray you see a glimpse of God Almighty in it and that you’re inspired to pass some beauty on to the next generation. They need it!
Because beauty is rooted in God, take a stand for it. ~Linda Lacour Hobar
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
For a little more homeschool inspiration, please read my blog, “Keeping the ‘Home’ in Homeschool.”
For the sake of the Mystery,
Linda Lacour Hobar