The etymology of procrastination is worth examining: the word comes from the Latin pro (forward, on behalf of) and cras (tomorrow). Therefore, at its root, the word means pro, or on behalf of, tomorrow. Remember the maxim of the slacker: Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow? If this exactly your issue, then here’s a free online homeschool tip that you can use: Create a routine.
I am sure that most of you, like me, have fought hard to overcome a perpetual desire to relax and procrastinate when important tasks loom. Those of you who have never battled with procrastination, well, your problems are obviously of another sort. I recall several college classmates who transformed the practice of putting things off into art. Do you remember the person in your dorm hall who wouldn’t begin a term paper until the night before it was due and somehow still got an A? That type of successful procrastinating makes it tempting for most, if not all, of us.
In contrast, we find encouragement of a different sort from the German poet Goethe: “Cease endlessly striving for what you would like to do and learn to love what must be done.” I can sure do with a little more Goethe, and I am forced to reason that my children must need his advice, too. Many voices, not all of them bad, call for our attention. Sure, there are the typical scoundrels calling for us: hours of mindless TV programs, online surfing and chitchat, and other forms of “entertainment” that do little to exalt our minds or souls (no wonder Christopher Wren called TV “chewing gum” for the eyes). But there are some good TV programs available, too, including some unusually good programs on the History Channel. We must admit, too, that amidst the ocean of drivel on the Internet there are some exceptionally good sites and resources.
The Best Free Online Homeschool Tip You’ll Get
Rejecting good things for what is best can be sorely difficult. For instance, should the family stay home or take off for a church service or activity? Finding a routine guides our daily work, for the routine answers the questions of what we should do before they come up. Yes, we are going for a walk this afternoon—we always do. Yes, we will start homework after dinner—that is our routine. Establishing a routine that works well is an ongoing enterprise that keeps answering the question of what must go, stay, or be added. Make this free online homeschool tip work for you today.
Once we have created a workable routine, another challenge becomes clear. How do we maintain momentum, energy, stability, and peace? At least part of the answer comes from Goethe: we should love those things we must do. Once our daily tasks become beloved tasks, the routine become less routine. This, I believe, is something we can pass on to our children, like an attitude, for Goethe is encouraging a mind-set, not an activity. If our children see some measure of joy as we cook, clean, mow, and repair, they are apt to find it easier to love (in a manner of speaking) clearing their plates, bathing, and doing homework. Strange as it is, they usually grow up to be like us.
Education, after all, is largely a matter of routine. Nothing is mastered without regular visitation, review, and study. And education never stops. If we can, we should cast the work our students do as a labor of love—a lifelong love—and we should love the work they do, too. Education will have its high moments, its epiphanies, breakthroughs, and moments of joy—much like a marriage. But the larger tranquility of a good education comes from its regular labor of worksheets, translations, and reading assignments, in the same way a good marriage grows on preparing a meal, raking the lawn, and taking a walk.
Once we have created a routine and learned to love it, we can also find yet even further comfort in knowing that a regular part of our routine must be to break from it. We call these breaks of routine by various names, such as “dinner out,” “weekends,” and “vacations.” These can be holy days in their own right, those special routines that are special largely because they are not daily and because they are a ritual of celebration. We celebrate with the most poignant joy when our work is done (the hay is in the barn, the homework is all done—let’s go to dinner). Put another way, when we work well, we rest well. Check us out for other free online homeschool tips that you can apply every day!