As a homeschool mom there’s a constant struggle for designating specific “school times” through out the day. She is learning that education is a life pursuit, and at four can tell you that. I can’t tell you how adorable it is to have a four year old look at someone when they ask her about school and tell them, “Education is a life pursuit.” Every day, every moment, is a chance to learn something – and she is extremely aware of this as we stop to read information along trails, get sidetracked by research projects after asking a simple question, and discuss the scientific reasons things are happening in the kitchen as I cook. But sitting down for specific lessons, that’s a bit harder to grasp. We open our reading book and she thinks that crazy silly time shall commence. She has a stubborn nature she gets from me combined with her father’s joy of watching me fume with frustration, seriously, I get angry and she laughs at me. It’s a problem.
Someone from one of the homeschooling forums on Facebook gave us a great idea, though. Read Ecc. 3:1 before every lesson. Don’t know that one off the cuff? The “lyrics” were made famous in the 1950’s by The Byrds.
The concept of there being a proper time and place for every activity and emotion, is a necessary lesson to teach toddlers (and kids, and teenagers, and humans at large). Emotions, feelings, and attitudes toward chores can be intense. There is a time to feel those things and a time to suck it up and do what you have to do. Just like a gardener has “a time to plant and a time to uproot” there’s also “a time to weep and a time to laugh.” We end the reading of these verses with, “there is also a time to be silly and a time to focus on your lessons.”
Needless to say, both little girl and I were excited to find this book at the public library last month.
This picture is beautiful. It reveals art styles from all different regions, cultures, and time. It gives a child a great sense of the impact these words have on every human throughout history. Everyone must learn this lesson, the fact that everything has a time and place. That feelings can and will be embraced and (if we want to be overly bookish and quote An Imperial Affliction – a book by a character imagined by John Green in The Fault in our Stars) and say, “Pain demands to be felt,” but as every grown person has learned at some point, sometimes it can’t be felt right now. For a four year old, the wiggles must come out… but they can’t always come out right now either.
And everyone must learn this lesson. Whether you are from China, Russia, Germany, Egypt, or Ancient Greece. Whether you are Native American or from the heart of Mexico. Whether you hail from the Ukraine or Australia, Japan or England. Humanity is united in this one all encompassing lesson of life: “There is a time to mourn and a time to dance… a time to search and a time to give up… a time to love and a time to hate… a time for war and a time for peace.”