Homeschooling at Mach 10 With Your Hair on Fire

On this date, September 28, 1924 two US Army planes landed in Seattle, WA after completing a new around-the-world flying record- 175 days. This was unbelievably faster than the first circumnavigation of the globe by Magellan and his crew 400 years earlier. Though Magellan himself died on the trip, the 18 survivors of the original crew of 237 returned to Spain on September 6, 1522 after 36 months of sailing. So let’s see; in just under 400 years the round-the-world trip went from 1114 days to only 175 days. Pretty impressive!

Ahhh… but man had just begun to travel! In 1933 Wiley Post completed a single pilot record by flying around the world in only 7 days. In 1949 A B-50 SuperFortress flew around the world in 94 hours- less than four days. 25 years later the SR-71 Blackbird was flying at 2193 miles per hour, which would translate to an around-the-world flight of about 11 hours. Then NASA’s X-43 scramjet-powered flying surfboard flew at Mach 10, or about 7000 miles per hour. That could circle the globe in only 3.5 hours. Now the space shuttle non-chalantly circumnavigates the earth every 90 minutes for days at a time.

So what does all this have to do with homeschooling? Just this: We live in a world that is moving ever-faster. Since 1522 the time needed to circle the globe has decreased from 3 years to just 90 minutes. In every area of our lives we’ve seen a similar increase in speed- automobile travel, internet download speeds and so much more.

So logically we expect our children’s education to accelerate as well. If children USED to learn to read by the age of 6, surely they ought to be able to read before they turn 5 now, right? If children knew their numbers, letters and colors by 5 years ago, they ought to know all of that before they turn 3 now, shouldn’t they?

No.

Why not? Everything ELSE in life has accelerated! Why on earth shouldn’t education speed up too?

Because human beings aren’t like machines. We can’t increase their clock speeds, add more horsepower, reduce our drag coefficient and make ourselves more aerodynamic. We can’t add fiber-optics to increase throughput speed in human minds. As humans we’ve been created in God’s image- and that hasn’t changed since the beginning of time. He (and therefore we) are the same- yesterday, today and forever.

Don’t allow yourself to be sucked into the “Sooner is better” school of educational thought. Yes, a child CAN be taught to read at age 4 but it’s HARD; hard for him- and hard for you. What was HARD at age 4 is doable at age 5 and downright easy at age 6.

In America we assume that faster MUST be better. A BMW or Porsche goes WAY faster than a minivan so it MUST be better, right? Well- not if you need to transport 6 children and a lot of luggage. No- it’s not even a poor substitute if that’s what you need- no matter how fast it goes!

Your children NEED time to be children; time to discover, time to explore, time to wonder, time to play, time to ask questions and time to enjoy family. Homeschooling offers NO PRIZE for finishing first! None! Nada! Zilch! Those who start fastest and finished first will simply be more tired and have nothing to do later- period. End of story.

Talk with your children about Psalm 23. The Psalmist talks about “lying down” and “quiet waters”. He says he “walks” through the valley of the shadow of death. It says NOTHING about racing, sprinting, jogging or rushing. It’s filled with words that suggest slow, deliberate and measured movement. Lead your children while focusing on PEACE instead of PACE this week! Give thanks that there is ENOUGH time to enjoy this season and that the Lord isn’t pressing you to hurdle forward blindly like the world around you.

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