What a Mess

I have five kids.  The house never seems to be organized.  Toys, crayons, and other random things are everywhere.  And no matter how hard my wife and I try; socks never get into the hamper. NEVER.

Even I contribute to the chaos. Sometime the dishes have to wait until the next day to get washed.  Papers I need to grade sit on the island in our kitchen.  Unread magazines pile up.  Movies checked out from the library are clustered by the TV. (Sometimes my socks are still on the floor on my side of the bed the next night.) Life is messy.

I believe that learning is the same way, messy.  Learning to walk is a repeated exercise in failure. A step, then a tumble.  And not any simple tumble, but a crazy fall.  And each tumble is different.  One time straight down landing on their bottom, another time a 180 twist with a face plant.

This weekend we had our first “wall art” incident. Four walls covered in straight pen lines.  Our family has gone through untold notebooks filled with scribbles.  Hands, arms, and even church clothes have been scrubbed free of children’s artwork.   Not to mention the mess kids make of the English language as they learn to read and write. Raising kids is a messy job.

But learning is a messy job too.

But almost every aspect of school fights against it.  Rows of desk. Quiet. Bell schedules. Grades. Unit of studies that are soon forgotten by students.

Organized.

Clean.

But we are messy people.  Our minds wander from thought to thought.  Our bodies like to move. Think of how we get Spring Fever, especially with this nice weather.  We doodle, we eat chips, we talk, and we laugh and cry.  Our daily life is filled with all kinds of messy situations, and that is good.  Many students’ say school is a prison.  Maybe what they are saying is that they don’t get to be messy.  They don’t get to express themselves as we all do in life.

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