Posts Tagged ‘getting it all done’

en: Portrait of William Butler Yeats by John S...
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“Education is not filling a bucket,

but lighting a fire.”

– William Butler Yeats

When I read this quote again today, I could not think of a more timely encouragement.  As we wind down this past year of school (we go year-round) and prepare for the upcoming one – I need to hear this.

When I drift too far off the trail, I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself to “educate” my kids.  I picture myself in that old infomercial with the Ronco rotisserie that came with that flavor injector device.  (Am I the only person who remembers this thing?)  Separate that skin and shove in the garlic!  If I just get the right tools, I can jam those little bits of information into their bodies and end up with perfectly seasoned educated children.  Voila!

But, then somebody pees on the floor (talking about the 2-year-old here – not me), so-and-so wants a snack, the baby just woke up, I need to order labels before the next farmers market . . .  And of course, my fabulous educational tools sit on the desk.  And I feel like I am failing my kids.

So, when I heard that quote today, I felt myself relax.  It isn’t about my tools, it is about their passions.  It isn’t about what we didn’t get done today, it is about what I taught them about learning.

No, I am not an unschooler (I am not that brave), and yes, I do use resources to teach, and I make a lesson plan, and we do actually (miraculously) get it done almost every day.  But, what I need to remember is that checking off those little boxes I make as a plan is not the goal.

Teaching them to love learning when I am not there handing them their little boxes is really why I do what I do.   Not just getting through any given Wednesday, but lighting the fires that will burn for their entire lives.

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