Last time we talked about the things that can keep a student from developing passion. This post we look at the things that will open up opportunities for passion to develop.
Choosing to Live Purposefully
My husband and I made the choice years ago to live a life that looked strange to our friends. When the rest of the kids were playing T-ball, my son was going to work with his daddy, building things out of scrap lumber, looking at things under his microscope, and exploring the canyon behind our house. At a very tender age, he became consumed with questions about the world around him. As a young adult, those questions continue to drive him forward in his Ph.D. research.
When my daughter’s friends were enrolled tiny tots dance classes (among tons of other regular little girl classes), she was creating art projects from the huge stash of pipe cleaners, construction paper, paint, and fabric in our home. She listened to classical music as she helped me clean the house and loved listening to stories. As a little girl, she fell in love with creating things and solving problems. I wasn’t too surprised when she grew up to become an engineer.
Creating a life in which passion can take root requires a purposeful balance. Being too busy keeps us distracted. Our children never have time to wonder, time to explore something that looks a little bit interesting. As parents, we are too busy to notice a small spark that needs fanning into flame – a tiny interest in something that needs encouragement.
On the other hand, a life with little structure and no guiding principles often lapses into boredom and the pursuit of shallow entertainment. Children who are not exposed to challenges, to trials, to noble ideas never stretch and discover how exciting life can really be. To paraphrase Auntie Mame, “Life is a banquet and most poor fools are starving to death.”
The answer to this conundrum is to make careful choices, to decide to live purposefully. It is so very easy to fall asleep in the middle of life and let things just happen. We must stay awake. We must choose only the very best for our children and ourselves. We must be ever vigilant to identify the tiny things of childhood that could grow (with our help) into the consuming visions of young adulthood.
Copyright 2010 Home Life, Inc., PO Box 1190, Fenton, MO 63026-1190, (800) 346-6322, www.home-school.com. Originally published in Practical Homeschooling # 94. A Practical Homeschooling subscription is $19.95 for six issues. Used by permission.
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