The “Focus and Align” class held over in the Read Aloud Revival Membership site helped my husband and I form a bit more of a vision for our homeschool journey. Sarah made us think about what we wanted our children to remember about homeschooling twenty years from now. I’d never really thought about it that way before.
Here was my train of thought scribbled out on my worksheet from the class:
I want the kids to chase wonder, pursue holiness, encourage others, study God’s word, pray, appreciate beauty (especially of nature), cultivate their virtues, love and serve others, be readers and thinkers, and expand their horizons. I want the kids to remember our liturgies as being “steeped in Christ“. (Thank you, Ashley, for the beautiful way you put that in your post about liturgies.) I also want the children to pursue Truth, Goodness, and Beauty and immerse themselves in those three things.
How this translated into our Rule of Seven:
1. Enjoy beauty:
Whether it be in beautiful art, a radiant sunset, a melodious song, or simply a single blade of grass, beauty leads to God and His Creation. Were it not for beauty, I never would have found God, because my conversion story involves astounding Swiss country landscapes and the awe of the towering, snow capped Alps.
2. Explore the world:
Knowing your world and seeing how others live builds empathy. Travel across the globe, strolls through museums, touring science centers, romping along on nature hikes – it all counts toward building appreciation for others, and the world we live in.
But this rule, Explore the World, also means Expand your Horizons to us. As in, “Don’t limit yourself.” It is closely associated to Rule Number Five.
3. Nurture relationships:
In my husband’s culture, you kiss and hug when you greet people. For an introvert, that’s pretty hard to do. Nevertheless, it’s considered extremely rude if you don’t, and my children struggle with this. So my husband stuck this rule in. Nevertheless, it also applies to sibling relationships since those last a lifetime. I pray our children will always be close friends.
4. Do meaningful work:
Make your work count, be it chores or school, or your job. Do it unto the Lord. Bring Him glory through what you do. Carelessness in math is unacceptable, as are chores done halfway (and my frustration with this fact is what prompted this rule).
5. Pursue Passions:
Dream and do what you love to do. Don’t limit yourself because of fear of failure.
6. Read excellent books:
Life is short. Pick the quality reads. Discourage the twaddle. Reading the classics and other well written books will provide ideas on which to ponder and thus create thinkers.
7. Converse with God:
I left the most important for last on the list so it would be the last thought on the mind every time we looked at it. Pray, read your Bible, sing hymns and psalms. All these things lead to Jesus and are part of our communication with God. Conversing with God implied being in a relationship with God (because I will argue that you can go through the motions of praying, reading the Bible, and singing hymns and psalms without really having your eyes on the kingdom of God) and thus why I chose the wording.
So there you have it. Our Rule of Seven.
And this is our hope: to train our children to be thinkers who make wise choices grounded in Truth. We aspire that our children pursue their passions, explore the world, and delight in their work. Moreover, we desire that they be responsible, caring, empathetic people who nurture relationships, being a reflection of God’s love on all they encounter.