Working on the Homeschool Assembly Line

On October 7, 1913 the world saw it’s first-ever assembly line. Henry Ford envisioned a great new way to improve the efficiency of automobile manufacturing. But at what human cost?

Oh, the financial cost began to plummet of course, but the value of a human soul began to parallel that downward course. Up until this date, 96 years ago- automobiles were assembled the way you might bake a cake. One or two men bolted wheels on, installed the engine, added the body, connected the steering wheel, hooked up the lights, etc. When they were finished after several days, they stood back and admired their craftsmanship. And then they began the task all over again.

Ford changed all that and today an assembly line worker is the right-side tire man (or woman) installing two wheels and ten lug nuts every minute or two until they retire. Efficient? Yes. Mind-numbing? You’d better believe it!

Is your homeschool a craftsman’s shop or an assembly line? Do you “build” each child uniquely, savoring the process of adding to their knowledge a little each day, working on every area using different tools and admiring the emerging young man or woman as they grow?

Or are you running an educational assembly line for maximum efficiency? Are you teaching every child in exactly the same way? Are you teaching every subject exactly the same way? Do both your math and your history lessons look identical: New concept on Monday, review on Wednesday and test on Friday? Have you become a specialist in just one style of teaching to the exclusion of the many other ways to teach successfully? At what price to your soul? And at what price to your childrens souls? There’s an old saying I love: “If your only tool is a hammer, pretty soon everything begins looking like a nail.” Do all of your children look like identical nails to you?

Variety, they say, is the spice of life. Doing something different is what makes the day worth getting up for. Mastering new skills and learning new techniques adds freshness to our schedule. Assembly lines slowly suck the Life out of us.

Near the very beginning in Genesis 1:26 the Bible tells us that the Lord had an idea: “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…”

So what is the God like? He’s creative and diverse beyond all imagining. When He set out to create beetles, he created more than 350,000 unique varieties. Wouldn’t ONE kind of beetle have been enough? Wouldn’t it have been far more efficient to make all beetles exactly the same? Wouldn’t it have been efficient to create one star, or if you wanted several stars to have created them all identical; develop a pattern and then crank ’em out! But that’s not God’s way. Scientists estimate (guess?) there are between 100 billion and 1 trillion stars in most galaxies. Our galaxy has about 200 billion and is pretty average. And how many galaxies are there? The best scientific estimate is somewhere between 100 billion and one trillion. (That’s a pretty wide range, by the way!) So do the math and you’ll find that there are likely somewhere between ten sextillion and and one septillion stars in the universe. Let’s don’t even THINK about planets, moons, meteors, comets and the myriad of other sky objects. Let’s look at those two numbers: 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 is 10 sextillion and 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 is 1 septillion IF I counted all the zeroes correctly.

And each one is unique. No two are alike. Every single one is different from all the others. If there are a septillion stars in God’s universe He created every one of them individually- one by one, shaping and forming it with his Words and speaking each one into existence unlike any other star out there.

And the same is true for the 10,000 bird species, the 25,000 fish species and so forth. And within each species, no two fish are alike, no two birds are alike and no two beetles are alike- any more than any of the septillion stars is alike. God is an incomprehensibly diverse and creative God- and you were created in His image.

Why not take time this week to ask the Lord about ways to be more creative in your homeschooling; ways to enjoy more craftsmanship as you work with each child individually, approching each subject and each day with a freshness and a creativity that reflects the God who created you. And ask Him for ways to take the soul-numbing assembly line out of homeschooling for both you and your children.

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3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Hey- Great piece! Loved what you had to say. I strolled over here after I saw you’re post sent a few over to my blog via the “possibly related posts.”
    Bless you- Theresa

  2. 2

    Jennifer said,

    Well said! It can become way too easy to get stuck in a rut, but I can say that with FIAR we haven’t had that problem. I’ve been able to really think outside of the box and allow my children to be creative and produce lots of individualized work. I can’t tell you how many people have told me that they can’t wait to see my Facebook or Blog posts about our FIAR studies. 🙂 I even have one homeschooling mom in our local support group who is going to purchase FIAR soon b/c she kept looking at all of our FIAR pics and posts online. Thanks for helping us moms by writing such a great curriculum!

  3. 3

    Mary Arnold said,

    AWESOME TRUTH! Thank you for never letting this message die.


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