Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Perfect is the Enemy of the Good

I’ve been mulling this statement for awhile and wanted to share it in case it might be an encouragement.  As I understand it, "the perfect is the enemy of the good" comes from the engineering world (although originally it was said by Voltaire–see the link), a caution to engineers not to chase perfection so far that they eliminate good solutions in the search for that one perfect solution that can’t be found.

I think this applies to homeschooling as well.  Are you trying to create the perfect home environment or nature outing or library or … or … ?  Why not settle for "good enough" and move on?  Good enough is so many times much better than what you otherwise would have had, and what you give up as you try to achieve perfection is not worth giving up for that small improvement over good enough.

BTW, FlyLady says something similar about how our quest for perfection often paralyzes us.  That’s why she says to just set the timer for 15 minutes and do what you can in that time.  I think you can apply a similar concept to your schooling efforts.  Keep working at improving, but don’t let your lack of perfection prevent you from enjoying a good effort.

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