Tuesday, February 01, 2005


"Strewing" is a favorite term of homeschoolers, especially unschoolers, which describes the habit of oh-so-subtlely leaving books lying on tables and counters and in the car where unsuspecting children will find them.

The quote is from Melissa Wiley's blog

I've been thinking upon strewing as February comes upon our family. February, with six feet of snow outside our log home in the Sierra National Forest, and one Suburban with a LOT of mileage on it, can hit with a double whammy of homeschool blues, and cabin fever combined. The learning timetables so carefully put together in August are hard to even look at. The kids are thoroughly tired of their math books.

Maybe it's time to do things a little differently for a while. When my teenagers were young, we used to have a "Teach Yourself" month in February. It gave us a chance to step back from the daily routine, and for me, it was a time to watch my kids and follow their interests.

Maybe it's time to look in the art and games closet, and on the bookshelves, and try some "strewing."

God does this, I notice. Yes, he plans a regular routine for us and puts "anchors" in our day (another homeschool term). We get hungry and eat, we get tired and sleep. We wake up, sooner or later (later with some of my teenagers!) every day. But he also makes every day, week, month and year different from the one before. He "strews" many blessings in our paths.

Homeschool "strewing" focuses on childrens' interests and talents, and sometimes even discovers or sparks new interests and talents. In a similar way, God's "strewing" of new things in our paths actually sets or defines our paths in ways we can't imagine.

February seems like a cold and sterile time. We know that under the snow, seeds are waiting and ants and wasps and small mammals are too. Even though it seems hard to believe that spring will ever come, we plan our gardens and sprinkle seeds for the little birds and squirrels brave enough to weather the Sierra winter with us.

When cold and quiet times come upon us, we can wait and pray and prepare, and keep sprinkling seeds. Spring will really come.