What’s Worse: What You Know or What You Don’t Know?

I have a “car book” that I read only in the car.  I finally finished it after 8 months last week!  Yeah!  I love historical fiction but rarely get to indulge in it.

In Ireland by Frank Delaney, a boy learns the woman who he thought was his mother is really his aunt and his aunt is really his mother.  So the above question was posed:  “Which is the worst, huh, what we know or what we don’t know?” P. 479

I started thinking about this in my own life.  As many of you know, I have struggled this whole year with my kids’ school and deciding whether or not to homeschool in the future.  If I hadn’t of homeschooled before, I wouldn’t be having this dilemma.  If I hadn’t of known there was a better option, I’d be quite content with my kids in public schools.

But I do know.  I know I can do a better job.  I know I can save a lot of money, time, and hassle doing it myself.  I know my kids thrive on the challenge at home.  I also know they are both acing public school because they know so much from what I taught them.  I know my oldest daughter questions all the time why public schools do things (for the 1% who can’t follow the rules).  I know I have a passion for teaching and learning and for teaching and learning the Bible that I can pass on to them.

But if I didn’t know all of this….I’d be quite content in my ignorance without some of the hassles of my mind.

The boy in the book–his whole world was turned upside down with his new knowledge.  He was frantic.  And 2 pages later is the best answer I’ve heard when a girl asks the boy:

“What’s the good news inside it?  There’s always good news wrapped up in bad news?”

For the boy, a lot was explained about his childhood: why his “mother” acted the way she did, why his “aunt” acted her way, why his grandfather left the family, etc.

There are many of these examples in my life and probably in yours:  where we know things we wish we didn’t and where we didn’t know things we wish we would have sooner.  For the former, homeschooling. For the later, BSF and things about the Bible I wish I had known sooner.

For me, the good news about homeschooling is there’s options in life.  I know I have choices about my kids’ education.  I know I can teach.  I know my kids can learn.  And I know homeschooling is a viable option for me and my family.

For me, I’d rather know.  I don’t like living in the dark no matter how painful or life-altering the news may be.

In the end, the boy found peace.  And so have I.

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The Magic Tree House Series

I have been completely remiss in talking about this series by Mary Pope Osborne–I guess because it’s just so popular I assume everyone knows about it.

My 7 year old was reading Eve of the Emperor Penguin out loud to me when I heard a part that I had to share with you all.

For those who don’t know, The Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osborne follows the adventures of a brother-sister team called Jack and Annie as they travel through time around the world in their Magic Tree House.  They are sent on Missions by Morgan Le Fay and Merlin of King Arthur fame and frequently have adventures in Camelot.  They are officially classified as chapter books but the later ones are much longer.

In this book, Jack and Annie are searching for the fourth secret of happiness, which is summarized in the end.  The third secret that spoke to me was this, “Every day he (speaking about Leonardo da Vinci–a previous book) felt happy when he learned something new.”

This is me.  Definitely me.  I’m like a kid in a candy store when I learn something new and every time I read one of these books I learn something.  The time periods are all historically researched and sometimes with real people such as Leonardo da Vinci.  You learn facts in the midst of history.

I guess this is why I love to read historical fiction too.  I like stories with characters that take me back to a period I would have liked to have seen, lived in, and experienced.

I guess this is why Isaiah speaks to me so much: a real person in a historical time.  And combined with God it creates an insatiable appetite within me to know more.

The website is amazing as well.  You can create an account and go on more “Merlin Adventures”, where you are asked questions and facts from the books.  My daughter loves this.  I’m not a fan of computer games but this site I allow my children to use.  I always help them with it but it’s fun, easy, and emphasizes facts from the books.  Learning doesn’t get any better when these elements are combined.

My daughter can’t get enough of this series and as a parent I cannot recommend these highly enough.  We always get the newest one from the library and we also devour the non-fiction Research Guides that accompany the series.

I wish I had these when I was a little kid (amongst many other things!).  Good thing I still get to be one.  This probably explains why I spend hours each day reading kids books with my kids.