Monday, February 1, 2010

Organization Defined and Explained

Many people ask, “Why bother to organize? It is too much work!” That has an easy answer: organization equals peace and consistency! In addition, I think that it is much less work to teach in an organized space than to try to find space and tools to teach every day. You reap what you sow: sow peace and efficiency into your homeschool to reap peace and effectiveness. Have you ever seen a farmer’s field with crooked rows or several different kinds of plants growing in the same row? Neither have I! Farmers know that in order to harvest the best crops, they need to organize their fields.

Does it take you half an hour to find the grammar book each morning? Do the kids take five minutes to find and sharpen a pencil? Have you ever found three copies of the same book lying around because you had no idea you already owned it? (Yes, I know someone to whom that has actually happened!)

Here’s a little parable to illustrate my point. Behold, a mother went out to teach her children. And as she taught, some lessons fell by the wayside; and the dirty socks and lost library books came and devoured them. Some fell on messy desks, where they did not have much space, and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of thought. But when the days were long, they were forgotten, and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among unorganized papers, and the papers sprang up and choked them. But others fell on sharpened pencils and yielded three-point paragraphs, some a ten-point paragraph, some six, some four. She who has ears to hear, let her hear! (A very liberal retelling of Matthew 13:3–9.)

What is organization anyway? Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, defines the word organize as “to form into a coherent unity or functioning whole; integrate; to set up an administrative structure for; to arrange by systematic planning and united effort.” Some synonyms of the word organize include classify, categorize, group together, plan, order, establish, and methodize. While the Bible does not use the word organize specifically, it does have an admonition about ordering one’s house, “Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40). Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.”

Q4U: Does organization terrify or excite you? Were you confused by what organization is or by its purpose?