You can’t see the forest for the trees

Do you know that old saying? Do your children? When we say, “we can’t see the forest for the trees” we’re talking about perspective; about the ‘big picture’.

That makes sense, doesn’t it? When you’re standing facing hundreds of trees directly in front of you, it’s hard to grasp the big picture- the forest that is made up of all those trees.

Homeschooling is the same way. When we’re faced with the hundreds of ‘trees’ that make up each subject, each hour in the teaching day, each assignment and each test score it’s difficult to see the big picture. We easily lose sight of the ‘forest’ that is made up of all these individual hours in the form of a complete education, a mature worldview and a clear sense of personhood and purpose that well-educated children possess.

I’ve said so often that homeschooling is a marathon- not a sprint. We put one foot in front of another. Do it long enough and we’ve completed a marathon. But on any given day we so easily forget the ‘forest’ that’s before us.

Take a moment now to roll out the future in your mind. I want you to see your son or daughter as a mature man or woman. Watch the way they serve the Lord with their gifts and talents. Now watch the way they treat their spouse with dignity and respect- the way they nurture and train their own children. Now ‘see them’ as they offer wise counsel to their friends. Imagine them in jobs and careers where they not only know the ‘what’ of their job, but they also grasp the bigger picture of ‘why’ they’re doing what they’re doing. They have a sense of purpose and they’re pursuing it with a passion born of confidence. That’s a pretty beautiful ‘forest’ isn’t it?

Talk with your children today about the big picture. They too need to be reminded why we’re doing all this every day. It’s not just to pass a test on Friday or to be able to get into college. It’s about becoming the man or woman the Lord wants them to become. It’s about finding their purpose- their destiny. It’s about becoming a mature adult and taking their place in the world someday.
Give thanks that the hundreds of individual ‘trees’ you deal with every day comprise a rich, vast ‘forest’ which is a worthy goal.

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    donna said,

    So true! There are many days that I wonder if I am the best teacher for my child…especially when we are out with family and it becomes apparent my child does not know something..others feel he should know…like the months of the year..or days of the week, or they mispell an easy word. I feel like we are under a microscope and my kids must be perfect little know it alls.

    If a kid who goes to Public school is unknowlegdeable of some trivial piece of information..people laugh it off….oh those crappy public schools 😦 But if I am hometeaching and my child fails to get the right answer I am scrutiinzed and looked at as if I am such a falure. It just puts more and more pressure upon me as the parent. I admit there are days I want to give up. It is nice to read such a positive perspective. I will remember this saying you have posted. Thanks 🙂

  2. 2

    Sandra said,

    This is a great post! Thanks for the reminder.


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