Have you ever thought about how you choose what activities your family participates in? This fall my oldest started preschool at Oak Grove Classical Academy. This school takes parental involvement seriously and before school started we attended a “Family Education Weekend” where they talked about the ideas behind classical education and gave us tools to implement these principles at home.
One idea from the classical framework is the idea of “multum non multa”, or in English “much and not many”.
Basically, pick what you want to be good at and focus on that. Choose to go deep and not wide. Translation—don’t spread yourself so thin that you can’t do anything well or enjoy life.
This new season of life with places that we have to be is a refreshing change for me. It’s the first time in 4 years that I’m not solely responsible for my schedule—and I like that. But I can also see how if I’m not careful, we could quickly start spending all our time going from one activity to another, spreading ourselves thin without time to enjoy what we’re doing or one another. We already have preschool, music lessons, and Fish Factory just called with an opening. And my oldest is only 4!
This idea of “much and not many” has been marinating in my mind. I wrote it on my wall to help me remember.
I want to cultivate a rich life for my family by picking and choosing what is best for us, and not just saying “yes” to every good thing.
My children still need much training, both in simple ways like putting on shoes, and in deeper ways like learning how to love each other and our neighbor well. If we pack our schedule too tight with activities, we lose other opportunities. It’s a simple equation: there are only so many hours in one day and you can’t be in two places at once.
I’m sure different seasons of life will look different for each family. But what I especially want to be cultivating in my family right now is a love for each other and a love of learning. I think this works best when we choose not to run around all the time.
One example of how I’m choosing “much and not many” is by saying no to the swim lessons. Yes, it’s important to me that my children learn to swim and I had been on the wait-list for months. But, there will be other seasons of life when we can learn that. I want to see how our family adjusts to our current commitments and make sure we’re not spreading ourselves too thin. We don’t have to do everything right now.