When working on a jigsaw puzzle over the holidays, I realized that homeschooling was a lot like assembling a puzzle. What is the easiest way to tackle the job of assembly? The pieces are dumped on the table, turned right-side up, and the border pieces are pulled out and used to build the framework around the puzzle. Then, the big picture on the box is THE guide that is used for completing the puzzle.
Most of us begin homeschooling by focusing like a laser on each of the 1,000 tiny pieces. We get so zoomed in on the many small pieces—science, history, geography, reading, writing, and math—that we lose sight of the big picture. We gather a wide collection of curriculum in each of these areas, never looking to see how they fit in the big picture.
Can you imagine trying to complete a 1,000-piece puzzle without keeping an eye on the big picture? Every piece would be a hit-or-miss fit with the other 999. But the big picture gives us something to measure against, something to help guide the placement of the pieces, so we keep our eyes on the finished product instead of on the individual pieces.
Our big picture was to raise children who were eager to learn, self-motivated, and grounded in faith. Unit studies provided the means to do just that, and they “fit” in with the big picture that we had in mind. What is YOUR big picture?