The Internal Narration


We all have one. That voice on the inside that details the inner workings of your
mind like an incessant sportscaster intent on pointing out every obvious point of the game
(“it’s going to come down to the final play…” ‘nooooo, really?’).
I’m hearing that voice even today, and I’m actually grateful for it in a way.
The narrator of my mind is pointing out my inconsistency today – how I badger my teen about going to bed when I’m staying up myself –
how I am trying to create a piano curriculum for my piano students while divorcing my younger
kids from any overt educational structure, that sort of thing.
And yet I’m glad I have an inner critic / commentator. It reminds me that I’m not just of one
mind,barrelling down the same road out of ignorance or pride. It reminds me that I do have
choices, and just because I ignore the voice one day does not mean
I will be out of touch with it the next. Please understand that I’m not referring to the voice
of the Spirit, which I know I must listen to as a Christian. It’s that more human side of reflection that I know is
just a revelation that I’m more than the sum of my actions – I have a will, and it’s being shaped daily and re-shaped daily. It’s simply the discipline of watching my will match His will, and then enjoying the process.

On the homeschool front I’m still researching language arts resources, esp. handwriting and ‘basal’ type lessons. It seems that the Charlotte Mason approach, with its reliance on pure production (dictation, narration, copywork, etc.) suits my feeling that I don’t want my kids creating what they’ve never seen. If you can’t read or copy a great paragraph, how can you create one? Even so, I’m still trying to keep the creative side flowing, as I want them to continue to create literature examples (I love the book Poetry Speaks to Children – which I just checked out from the library.) and to continue to look to share knowledge as soon as they learn it. I am still convinced that the transfer of knowledge from one form to another and then from one person to another is the key to the retention of the knowledge itself. (Long words meaning, if you can teach it, you’ve learned it.)

As I mentioned, an hour long trip to the library has netted me more insights into my kids interests. While I do steer them on the way to more ‘structured’ work, my gut feeling is still to adapt my lessons to their interest, rather than the other way around. This interest directed learning is way harder on the planning, but the satisifaction my kids have with their learning choices is hard to argue with. As I discussed with my wife our educational philosophy, that idea of ‘when they are interested’ kept popping up. Should we push them into a subject because the ‘grade level’ is usually the determining factor? If so, shouldn’t all kids walk by 9 months, or talk by 20? When does the learning process become so predictable? I hold that it never does, and that is why public schools will continue to be hit and miss. Hit with the kids that are ready, and miss the kids that aren’t.

Lastly, I just finished the audiobook ‘Clemente’ by David Maraniss(sp). What a great person and character Roberto Clemente was – an individual. My inner voice is comparing us – would I ever be so great as to be revered as a great baseball hero and cultural icon? If I am faithful over what God has placed in my hands – my children, my wife, my ministry – then I believe that I am in the same league as a Clemente – passionate and uncompromising about what is important to me. My inner voice says that’s a good enough goal for a dad. Not to be a sports icon or social her0 – but to be a good husband and father. That’s a home run for me any day. Here’s to more pitches to hit tomorrow. God bless you and keep your eyes to the hills from whence comes your help.

AP

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