Garbage in, Garbage out.

Do you know that saying? Sometimes it’s abbreviated to GIGO. A play on the old accounting procedure, “first in, first out, or FIFO” it addresses the simple truth that computers unquestioningly process whatever input data you give them regardless of whether that data is accurate or not.

As homeschoolers we sometimes operate in GIGO mode. We unquestioningly begin processing whatever the latest homeschool convention speaker or homeschooling book tells us to process. We hear a speaker who paints grandiose word pictures of climbing the highest academic mountain- of having our children be fluent in ancient mythology, 3 foreign languages, philosophy, physics and Latin and we immediately go home and turn our homeschool classroom upside down as we begin to process the garbage that’s been input into our mind.

Or we read a homeschool book that preaches nothing but courtship, no television, no birth control, only a vegan diet of organic fruits and vegetables and only homemade clothes washed in homemade laundry detergent. We immediately begin processing the garbage that’s been input and not surprisingly- we get garbage back out in our life.

Now there’s nothing wrong with ANY of those things I’ve listed above- IF the Lord is directing you in that direction. But to mindlessly process every piece of mental garbage that is put in your mind will always produce garbage on the output cycle. Someone else’s revelations can never automatically become your revelations. The person the Lord is most likely to speak to about what he wants you to do in your life or your homeschool isn’t a homeschool author or speaker; it’s YOU!

Your children need to learn about GIGO too. They need to learn that if they allow garbage access to their mind, they’ll always get garbage out. They need to read great books, dream great dreams, think great thoughts, listen to great music, associate with great people and do great deeds. If they want to avoid garbage out, they have to avoid garbage in from the company they keep to the curriculum they study.

Today is a great day to talk with your children about GIGO. Challenge them to try making a delicious lunch out of mud and rotten banana peels, sour milk and dead houseflies. They’ll laugh at the silly images that recipe makes them see- but they’ll get the idea. You can’t make anything great when you begin with garbage. If you want to produce great things, you must begin with great things.

Take a look at these verses that have to do with the things which are in our heart and how they affect us; talk about them with your children today…

Mt. 15:18-20

Lk. 2:19

Mt. 6:21


3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Jill Spicer said,

    Beautifully written as always. Thank you for taking the time to write your thoughts on so many important matters.

  2. 3

    Sheri said,

    and lest we forget…by reading and studying and trying to keep up we often short change ourselves and our children. I need to add you to my google reader so I can keep up on this.

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