English: The Israelites Gather Manna in the Wilderness. Illustration from the 1897 Bible (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This week I am in the thick of school planning. You may think I have put it off rather late since we officially start school August 13 but I like to wait until after the annual Circe Conference to do any real planning. This is because I know I will come away inspired to pursue ideas more than curricula and, in fact, I am already regretting a few early purchases, items that give me the feeling that the children are doing “something.” That “something” sure feels productive and even the children like the feeling of checking off the boxes on their school lists but those ‘somethings’ are more about school than ideas and no one ever said, “School has consequences.” If they did our imaginations would not fill in the blank with good things, would they?
At the conference my vision is renewed. You would think after a couple of conferences my vision would be intact but it never is. As with all good things you only get enough for each season. You can’t store up vision, or carry an extra supply in case of emergency, any more than you can store up righteousness or even prayer. We have to turn to Christ each day for our sanctification and we have to stay close to a source of wisdom to have vision. We live in a dry and thirsty land, especially when in the land of school. We are constantly tempted to utility and when we lack vision utility seems like a pretty good deal. It is only in the clear fresh air of ideas that we begin to understand the stultifying effect of utility.
In our culture we can never quite escape the little monster who sits on our shoulders chanting, “Teach, teach, teach. More. More. More. No matter about learning. Teaching is the thing. Bigger, better, smarter, cuter, cleverer. Blackboards and bulletin boards, lapbooks and memory tricks, manipulatives and catchy songs, fun lectures and group think.” He is a clever imp. If he can just keep us frantically pursuing test scores and success and financial gain and approval, we might not notice that we are know-nothings. We can fill the idea gap with Facebook.
And that is why I wait until after The Circe Conference before planning my school year.