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Homeschool Organization for the Disorganized

Homeschool Organization for the Disorganized


Some think that a chaotic home means you can’t homeschool. John Clark disagrees, and encourages you to focus on establishing something more important first.

Somewhere along the way, many people came to believe that organization equals good homeschooling, and disorganization equals bad homeschooling.

Almost all of us have spoken with friends who have said things like: “We tried homeschooling, but it didn’t work for us. We’re not organized enough.”

That’s a shame. Because homeschooling is not only for the systematized, any more than Christianity is only for clergy. Homeschooling is for the disorganized as well.

Being “organized” is a talent. But if I had to list the most important elements of effective homeschooling, it isn’t even near the top of my list.

Instead, it would include things like charity, faith, hope, perseverance, prudence, fortitude, and wisdom. The top of my list would have things like Dad being involved, a mother who loves her children, and a supportive parish priest.

Don’t get me wrong: organization is on my list—but so are good erasers.

Maybe it would be nice if everyone were well-organized. But due to their upbringing, personality, and a host of other factors, some people will never be very organized.

That’s OK. That means that if you have to quiz your daughter in Spelling Grade Five while there is a pancake on the floor, so be it.

If you take your daughter to the library knowing full well that there are dirty dishes in the sink, that doesn’t make you a bad person.

Most of us will probably never be as organized as we’d like, but if we homeschool anyway, what we may have instead of organization is an enduring peace.

Now that my children are becoming adults, I am increasingly confident that homeschooling them was the right thing to do, and that knowledge gives me peace.

You can be pretty disorganized, yet have peace; and you can be well-organized and have no peace. For instance, those suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder are often incredibly well-organized, yet peace eludes them.

Organization is an exchangeable asset; peace is not. Think about it this way. Finish this sentence: “Well, I don’t have peace in my life, but I do have —–.”

I have no idea what to fill in there. Any word we put there looks out of place. (And if I had to choose a word, it wouldn’t be “organization.”)

Now, fill in this blank. “I do have peace, but I don’t have ——.” What difference does it make which word you use to fill in the blank?

Parents, please don’t stop homeschooling because you are disorganized. Chaos does not disqualify you from your mission.

Homeschooling is a calling.

And the stories of the saints teach us something about callings: God often calls those who are uniquely unqualified for their missions.

Why should homeschooling be any different?

About John Clark

John Clark is a homeschooling father, a speechwriter, an online course developer for Seton Home Study School, and a weekly blogger for The National Catholic Register. His latest book is “How to be a Superman Dad in a Kryptonite World, Even When You Can’t Afford a Decent Cape.”
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