Simplicity Not Complexity

I was just taught a lesson by my 11 yo son. 

I've started interviews with my kids each Sunday.  They've been so excited about it, actually.  In preparation for my interview with JW, I had him read a some parts in A Thomas Jefferson Education.  When I asked him what he learned, he said, "I don't know, but I can tell you one part I liked."  :-)

He said, "You know the part about Simple, not Complex?  Well, in Ranger's Apprentice Halt (one of the main characters) is always saying how you need to have a simple plan because if it's too complex and something goes wrong it's really hard to fix.  But if it's simple then you can fix the problem quicker." 

I've been thinking a lot about my  boy and how he seems to have lost something this past year in public school.  But, this conversation showed me of two things about myself:  1)I'm watching him too closely and 2) I am the queen of complexity!

Watching him too closely:  sometimes as parents we (I) tend to watch our children while holding our breath.  I tend to watch their choices of today and assume that their tomorrow is based on that one day.  Yes, we do need to keep a check on them, but a daily check is a bit too much.  This reminds me of a quote from Elder Maxwell:

 Patience is a willingness, in a sense, to watch the unfolding purposes of God with a sense of wonder and awe, rather than pacing up and down within the cell of our circumstance. Put another way, too much anxious opening of the oven door and the cake falls instead of rising. So it is with us. If we are always selfishly taking our temperature to see if we are happy, we will not be. 

There's that word patience again.  :-)  I know I need to trust the process both in parenting and in education and not over-obsess about day to day. If we are constantly checking to see if our kids are "going to turn out right," they just might not!  (I'll be writing more about control sometime soon here).

As for the complexity issue....  This year has been so great for me in learning to be simple in my educational plans for the kids.  Pregnancy and a new baby have necessitated simplicity.  And I think it really was our best year yet!  Now that JW is going to be home again and my baby is born, I find myself wanting to create yet another complex schedule or curriculum plan.  STOP!  I need to take this lesson from JW and remember to keep it simple! Putting too much in the plan only increases my level of stress and feeling of a need to control (them and time).  

So, thank you JW for that great lesson! 
I will try to remember & apply!


  1. This is SO what I needed to read this evening...because I completely AGREE! I have felt such a pull for simplicity too, and with the upcoming birth of another baby to adopt, we definitely need to keep our focus small and simple! I love the scripture that says "By small and simple things, are great things brought to pass!" Thanks for the words of wisdom today! :)


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