Season of Re-education
& Renewing of the Mind
an Overall Plan for
by Barb Shelton and Susan Hitchcock
One of the homeschool moms who is doing this season, Susan Hitchcock, (who wrote a couple of other items here at my website) wrote to me recently sharing her heart about putting herself through this season. I'm just going to put it here so that you can glean from what she shared. This is not supposed to be your plan! I'm sharing it just to give you an idea of what one mom (of 6 children) is doing for this season...
I have sensed that if I don't make some kind of 'schedule' with this studying, I'm going to continue going down 'bunny trails' [albeit good things to study from God's word!] and NEVER finish this course! So I've divided the reading materials and have scheduled a certain amount of time for this each day. Here's my plan at this point:
~ First, I plan to set aside two hours a day for reading, prayer, and study. Here's how I'm planning specifically to use that time...
~ I'm currently reading one of Fenelon's letters a day (from Let Go), so I'll have that done by the 20th of this month, and have scheduled to write in my syllabus on that day. (That link takes you to a blank sample page from the course syllabus; not one of Susan's!)
~ I will have Wisdom's Way of Learning (WWOL) all read by the 27th, and will write in my syllabus on that day regarding that book.
~ After this, I think I will start the three child training books. I will also divide these as well....making goals for when they are finished and when I will write in the syllabus.
~ WRITE DOWN what intrigues me and then when I have some extra moments to study, I will go back to those. I know you encouraged us to let it SINK IN, and the way I want to do this is to write or type certain phrases or certain scriptures and have them in front of me at the sink, in the bathroom, as I'm walking the dog, etc.
When I read WWOL, I will think of a word or a scripture and then go off and use my daily 2 hours to study that instead of studying the actual book. This is a GOOD thing to do since it solidifies the teaching of the book in my heart and soul but what I also plan to do is...
I would like to be accountable to you in this. (See the "Regarding Accountability" section below!) I will send you a short post saying that I did finish on the 20th and on the 27th and did write in my syllabus.
I hope this doesn't seem that I'm trying to fly through everything. [As for Susan's "flying through everything," I told her "It doesn't seem that way to me at all. I sense that it's her attempt to MOVE through it; not FLY through it!] I JUST know me too well and realize that I'm easily led to other things. I've already done that with some thoughts that I wrote in my syllabus on the book Dumbing Us Down:
"True Education brings MEANING where it
should be ~ relationships! Being able to relate properly to family and friends. To enjoy seasons and nature. To find satisfaction in simple
ceremonies and rituals. To pursue your curiosity. To show compassion and service to others. To love solitude. To be a proactive individual
~ BARB'S COMMENTS ~
Susan's plan looks absolutely wonderful! In fact, I'm hoping she will share her "key points" with ME; I'd love to have them, and post the reminders for myself!!! (And, you know me, I'll probably add a "Key Points of the Course" webpage here! ;-D )
The only thing I'd give for advice is in Proverbs, (the Living Bible): "You can make your plans (Phase 1), counting on the Lord to direct you (Phase 2)." So let's break that down: I told her she should:
"Phase 1" - Go ahead with your plan; it looks really good!!! I'm sure the Lord is directing you in it!!! Making plans is a good thing in and of itself. It indicates that you are placing a very HIGH value on this, and that delights my heart like I can't even tell you!!! I KNOW it delights the LORD even more! But...
"Phase 2" - ...because there may (will!) be days when things won't work out as planned because the Lord had a "Plan B" for that day, it will be vital to be flexible! That's why I believe the "counting on the Lord to direct" you clause is in there! Maybe "RE-direct" you would be the better translation of that word! "Direct" means "to show the way" or "lead." So you've got the "plan" or the GOAL, but you need to allow the Lord to "show the way" to it, to "lead" you to it. It may very well be that many, or even most days, you will be able to follow your daily goals, but if it's not feeling right for that day, or it feels too heavy, then you need to be flexible. What's that verse? "Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be broken?" That's not actually a Bible verse, but it is certainly "biblical wisdom." :-)
~ ANOTHER MOM'S RESPONSE ~
Another homeschool mom, Laura, had been reading about Susan's plan and had this to say: (I'm starting her on yet another color!)
"I've been reading how this woman online has a plan for reading through all the season of renewing your mind books in a short amount of time. My, I personally don't know how she could absorb all the GREAT information that's in Wisdom's Way of Learning and your books, as it has taken me almost a year to get through Wisdom's Way..."
I wanted to include this mom's thoughts because perhaps they are yours as well, and you are wondering how someone is going to do the course so quickly. I have a few things I'd like to say in response...
First, I hope it's clear that Susan is setting goals for only a few books at a time; she is not going to have the entire course done soon. But nonetheless, she is moving through it quickly. But at the same time she is being careful to follow the leading of the Lord. In fact I just received this note from Susan just a couple of days ago:
"I've decided to 're-vamp' my week a bit. I'm going to take the week to PROCESS the WWOL truths. Not that I'll get it done in a week! But I feel I will be able to write my thoughts out and really meditate on it, if I give it some extra time."
So she IS taking time to process it. But even if she weren't, that would be yet another way to process it. By this I mean that, if the Lord leads you this way, you it is possible to zip through material, and still get plenty out of it. We might call this the "storehouse approach" as opposed to the "nibble 'n' process approach." In the "storehouse approach" a large mass of information is taken in at one time. The disadvantage, of course, is that one can't really process everything that one is taking in in such a short amount of time. However, the advantage is that you get an overall picture of everything. And you also gain a wealth ~ or a "storehouse" of information ~ from which you can draw later, as various needs arise; and then return to re-read and process as you so desire. Had you not even read it, you wouldn't have known it was even there. But there's also the possibility (especially with Marilyn's writings) that you wouldn't have even understood what she was talking about until the Lord revealed it to you! :-)
This is a good example of how different we all are, and therefore how differently God is going to lead each one of us. So what's the best approach?!?! How can a mom know what to do?!?! As usual, HEAR GOD! He will lead you because He knows exactly what you need, and when you need it, and how to best minister (it) to you! (And believe me, He wants to lead you even more than YOU want to be led!!!) I'm actually glad to have some differing approaches and styles to share so that no matter where you happen to be, you will not feel like you're under ANY pressure whatsoever to do it any certain way!
So I'm grateful that Laura came to me with her question so that I could clarify some things and release anyone from feeling like they have to imitate Susan or they won't be doing it "right"! In closing this "Another Mom's Response" section, I'd like to share the rest of Laura's thoughts with you"
"It's amazing, God even told me to "lay down" high school investigating for a month so I can get closer to Him and He can speak to my heart! Thank you for taking your precious time to write down what God has shown you; it's what I SHOULD HAVE been doing all these years (getting quiet and listening to the Lord) but didn't realize it due to the academic pressures from the home school community itself ! I pray that God will bless you (and your patient family) for spending all of those hours in front of the computer to help the rest of us along to prepare our children for what God TRULY wants for them."
~ REGARDING ACCOUNTABILITY ~
If you've read my "About our Ministry" page, you know it's pretty obvious that, having no staff other than just my husband and myself, I'm not going to be able to have very many moms be accountable to me. ;-) It's very clear to me that God has brought our ~ Susan's and my ~ lives together; we both know that this is a "connection made in Heaven"! This is a double blessing to me because, not only do I have the privilege and joy to be able to minister, but also, this connection is watering ME too! And through this association there has also been some ~ and is going to be more ~ good fruit regarding this course! For YOU! Like my being better able to know how to get it more fine-tuned and make it more understandable! Because I'm the initiator of the course, I don't know how it's coming across to those taking it! I can't both write and respond to what I've written! So the fine-tuning couldn't have come about via anyone other than someone intently focused on putting themselves through this season! You'll actually have more to thank her for than you realize!
Now this is not to say that any of you other moms wouldn't be just as much of a blessing to me, (or me to you)! In fact many of you have already been!!! But God knows my limitations, as well as the areas this course that need refining, and there are only so many "elective" hours in a day, so at this point, ONE "intimate accountabilitee" is about all I'm able to effectively handle. If you are desiring or feeling a need for accountability in this course yourself, I encourage you to pray for God to bring someone to your mind that will be a "connection made in Heaven" for you! In fact, because of the verse "My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus," I believe that if this is truly a NEED for you, then God has already chosen and prepared this person! You just now get to let Him lead you to find this "treasure"! Or pray that God will do for you what HE did for Adam in bringing Eve to him when he was ~ what? LOOKING for her? ... NO! SLEEPING!
And, just so you'll KNOW, I'm totally open to anyone writing to me! I can't guarantee how quickly, how often, or how thoroughly I'll be able to respond, but I'd love to hear from you ~ suggestions, your own process, ideas, struggles, etc. ~ and will do my best to respond!!!