If you grew up in the 70's and have children yourself now (especially boys!), you are probably very familiar with the original Star Wars movies. Standing in a wrap-around-the-building line at the original Cine Capri theater in Phoenix, I waited with my father and brother to watch the premier and didn't even have a clue that Star Wars was to be one of three films, later turning into even more films. I am sure I would have been very confused if future me had told 1970's me that I was really watching the fourth film in the franchise.
Over the recent Memorial Day weekend, our boys watched all three movies for fun; not fully appreciating how lucky they were not to have to wait years to see "what happened next" to all of our galactic favorites. As a young girl, I found Princess Leia fascinating. Yet, as a homeschooling mom, I confess that Yoda is now my favorite...well, Chewbacca too. But since Yoda talks, I'll go with him for now! Little did George Lucas suspect that when he created the character of Yoda, homeschoolers could eventually glean encouragement from his "words of wisdom" so many decades later. For our purposes, we will look at three well-known "Yoda-isms" that help keep us on track during our homeschooling journey.
First, Yoda advises that, "You must unlearn what you have learned." This can mean different action items to different families. For example, if you are a product of a typical school environment yourself, be willing to let some go of those preconceived notions of what a successful school experience looks like. Issues like when, how, and what you should teach are up to you now and not left on someone else's doorstep to decide. Also, if you are bringing your children home from a public or private institution, be prepared to set academics aside for awhile until you reestablish your relationship with your child. I know that some of you are gasping right now, but when we are not with our children day in and day out, we really only know part of who they are. So get to know your child all over again, redefine priorities for them, and connect with them in a new way as both their parent and their teacher.
Another piece of Yoda's legacy is reflected by the words, "Do or do not. There is no try." Often times we are our own worst enemy; shooting down plans before we implement anything or never quite exiting the bondage of our quest for the perfect curriculum. So be willing to "do" many different things before the ideal pattern or balance is achieved. We also must remember that each season our child passes through is but a breath and once they leave each one, we will never get that time back. So "do" more with your children and worry less about what doesn't get done when you are involved in worthwhile "doing".
Finally, Yoda reminds us that we need to "Always pass on what you have learned." Remember that a huge benefit to home education is doing life together and we need to allow our children to witness how we prioritize decisions, handle crisis, and resolve disputes. In many ways, values are "caught more than taught". So allow your children to "catch" your values by enabling them to have a front-row view to the ups and downs of daily living and learning within the context of a Christian home.
Happy learning and "may the force be with you!"
Homeschooling since 2000, Carol shares in her blog observations, confessions, information, and musings that help provide perspective and inspiration for homeschooling moms.