~ An Analogy for
A Season of Re-education
& Renewing of the Mind
by Barbara Edtl Shelton
Everyone in any given culture is immersed in that culture's ideas and attitudes whether they have ever studied them or not. They're just there, firmly in place in their minds and hearts, never to be changed much, except by concentrated focus on doing so.
As we approach homeschooling, we will naturally be bringing with us all sorts of preconceived ideas about what "education" should look like. So if the "old" is not exposed, the "new" will be nothing more than a "cheap ~ or, more likely, expensive ~ imitation."
I liken the whole process to a stitchery. We all start out, as parents starting to homeschool, with a fully completed stitchery ~ our idea of "education." If we want God to give us His picture, we will have to submit our stitchery to a rigorous "make-over" process. First, all the old threads will have to be pulled out. No need to totally cut them up or discard them all, God may use some of them in the new tapestry picture He will be creating. But at this point they do all have to be pulled. This is where books like Dumbing Us Down, The Great Escape, Home Education Myths, The Right Choice: Home- schooling and my "Out of Fear & Burnout" tapes come in handy. (And Better Late Than Early and For the Children's Sake for the younger ones.) These will help extract all those long-imbedded, tenacious threads, one by (stubborn) one.
As the threads come out, we find ~ what's this?! ~ we still have the original print stamped onto our canvas! This will need to be bleached and washed clean and new so that God will have a fresh clean canvas on which to create a brand new painting of His own design. "Secrets of Solitude," "Let Go," "A Time to Seek God"... all of these will help with the "bleaching" to make your canvas "whiter than snow"! ~ if you go through it with God!
In the meantime, you may be in need of a "temporary canvas" so the kids have some sort of picture to "do" during this time. Many husbands think there was nothing wrong with the old canvas, so why put it out of commission? This is why I created the "jumpstart plans." (The Homeschool Jumpstart Navigator for Younger Children (ages 4~12), and the one for Sr./Jr. High which is now contained right in the new edition of Form+U+la as well as the Guide-a-log.) You may use several "threads" out of these jumpstarters later, after you have learned and unlearned some things, but the jumpstart plans are mostly just to be a temporary canvas; a "bridge" to something better.
Alright, the canvas is ready for the "new," but now what? There are several things God will be doing, exciting and fun things, most of which He was not free to do before. Some will be a bit scary at times, and He will be doing them in a unique order for each one. I'll just identify them so you can be aware of what will likely be happening to you at some point...
For one thing, God will begin teaching you a variety of new stitches that you had no idea were so easy or so beautiful! And many of these stitches He will directly teach your children, or have you involved in doing with them! He's the "Master Tapestrar" so no need to fear that your tapestry will be anything less than lovely and perfect for you!
He will also be showing you a new variety of yarn and thread types ~ there's an unbelievable array of textures, thicknesses, colors and combinations you never knew existed! And you'll learn about the various needles and hoops to use, to keep your canvas nice and taut, (the organizing and child discipline books) and to keep from "poking" yourself or others.
To encourage you along the way, He will also allow you to see in-process stitcheries of a few who have allowed God to start from scratch on their canvases. But be aware that, even as He shows you these beautiful patterns, He does not want you to be trying to trace or copy their patterns onto your own now-blank canvas, no matter how "perfect" they look! He's just showing you that it can be done without the world's pattern, and will then help you do your very own! All the other books in the "Season of Re-education and Renewing of the Mind" will contribute in one way or another to all this, many in several ways. The main one that will contribute to or touch on almost every aspect is Wisdom's Way of Learning.
Well, it's time to get out the scissors, bleach, yarn, and... your walking shoes! You're in for a wonderful journey!
See this page for an overview and intro to
Barb Shelton's Homeschool Course (for Parents).
See the "Season of Re-education & Renewing of the Mind" area
for a detailed and complete description and outline of the course.
I got the 8-sided, blue and gold
star hoop from:
...the hoop, floral wallpaper, and embroidery floss from:
and the gingham wallpaper from:
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