The Hidden Art of School Planning

It is summer. Well, almost. The natives are restless. The teacher is thinking of next year or if she is a homeschool mom she may be considering cleaning the bathroom. This summer I am reading Edith Schaeffer’s The Hidden Art of Homemaking.

I came to know of Edith through her daughter Susan Schaeffer MacCaulay, who also introduced me to Charlotte Mason with the book For the Children’s Sake. Ideas have consequences. Susan grew up in a home with a mother who saw homemaking as an art, a hidden art. Edith had a way of seeing truth, beauty, and goodness in the home and a way of taking responsibility for making it so too.

Susan took that way of seeing into the world and when her daughters landed in a PNEU (Charlotte Mason) school in England Susan recognized the school for what it was: a beautiful place for ideas to flourish. Susan then wrote a book and an educational movement was born. But more importantly than any movement, homes and schools became places where ideas could flourish – ideas such as truth, beauty and goodness.

This summer just might be a good time to look for hidden art in your home and in your heart. Edith says that one idea sparks another.

In a few days I am headed to the beach. Because of my reading, because I am thinking about a way of seeing, I have decided to pack my much neglected nature notebook and a few colored pencils and a palette of watercolors for my trip. I am no artist but drawing is a way of seeing and I want my eyes to be open to the ideas that God has hidden in the universe.

And while I will certainly work on my Audrey Hepburn impression with floppy hat and cool shades (not having been given the long legs, I rely on accessories), I will also be looking for inspiration in making my home a place of hidden art: a place where good books and good coffee and good music spark all kinds of efforts by me and the children. Some of those efforts will be mediocre (Anything worth doing is worth doing badly?) but who knows what wonderful ideas our endeavors will be sparked and what fruit this hidden art will bear when we return to our formal studies in the fall.

Sumer is icumen. Time to open your eyes and taste and see that the Lord is good. Time to make a little music, write a verse, draw a picture, plant a flower, make a meal, sew a pillow, dress up, and dance, all in preparation for next year.

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