Friday, February 25, 2011
Is it enough? I keep asking this question.
When I asked it aloud to two of my Teacher Lounge friends, one of them asked, "What else do you think you should be doing?"
What a clarifying moment!
I don't want to do more. I am tired as it is. The to-do list is over-whelming at least it is when I dare to look at it. Most folks I know feel the same way -- busy and tired. Our 21st century American culture breeds stress. I'm not unique in this. But what is it that I'm really trying to ask?
I didn't know. The question kept creeping back in even after the clarifying moment.
"Am I doing enough?"
Most of it comes from homeschooling. Are we doing enough math? English? science? history? Art? Phy Ed?
I needed a better question. A better question will lead to a better answer. I disagree with the adage that there are no bad questions. There are better questions than others.
I remind my children of this often. When I hear from them, I want to know that they have thought about what they need. They need to come up with some possible solutions before they ask me instead of simply relying on me to guide them in everything. I want them to think.
I needed to think. If I am not doing enough, than my solution will be to do more. My time is limited. I can only do so much. I don't want to do more.
So a better question would be: Am I doing the right things? Am I doing the best things with the time that I have?
This leads to other questions, especially in light of homeschooling. What skills do they need to have? Can I assess their math and English skills and make sure that they are at grade level? What skills do they need to be successful adults? What kind of character traits are we building? Am I focusing the bulk of our time on the really important stuff?
One good question has lead me to more questions that help me to make decisions.
The accusatory "Am I doing enough?" question only seemed to stir up the guilt of falling short.
I like this new angle better. "Am I doing the right things?"
Though I don't really have any more answers than when I started (I actually have more questions now!), I am on a more peaceful path. It is a better path because it's headed in a more acheivable direction.
I would love to hear your insight. Have you had a clarifying moment lately? Have you asked a better question? What are some of the guiding principles you apply in your family to decide what activities to participate in or not?
I am linking up with Company Coffee today, join us in the conversation.