For the Children's Sake...Part II
Here are some of Debbie Strayer's words and thoughts combined with some of my own words and thoughts. I pray the Holy Spirit would speak through myself and her.
As a traditional school teacher turned homeschool mother, we need to take some time (it can take awhile depending on the person) to DETOX and DEPROGRAM our brains from what colleges and universities have taught us (I still struggle with this and I've been at home now for 7 years!).
We need to lay aside the process of teaching to the masses because we're not. The desks, the bells, the schedules are designed to teach to the masses and we must be careful to not mimic these ways.
As we home educate, we get the privilege of tutoring to the HEART of our child the way no one else knows their hearts.
The number one reason children aren't learning are because we're not attaching EXPERIENCE and MEANING to a concept. Traditional schools are there for the test results.
"Smart" can not be our ultimate goal because there will always be someone out there smarter. Don't disrespect the way God made each individual child. God has a plan that's perfect for each child's life. As parents, we come along side the plan, we don't make the plan. You can't make your child someone he's not. You can try, but you'll both be very miserable.
Children learn at different rates, according to their own timetable. Don't make them feel like a failure or he'll live up to that. Even the little sighs and groans from our mouths communicate frustration to them.
Conformity explains traditional education and when we discover that a child is different, we move to stop it. We stomp out that individual spark often. In today's society, we need to be raising children to be different, who aren't afraid to take a stand for what's right and truthful. It starts with the parents' encouragement and modeling. Train your children to recognize each other's value and difference. Model this so that siblings can often complement one another. Teach them to give and receive encouragement. The purpose of education is not conformity. It is to INSPIRE what God has already planned for His child.
Biographies are so important. A child should read them to know about their sacrifice for the freedoms we have here in our country and to be proud of that. Our country is going down the wrong road, the slow road to conformity. Don't limit your children to who they are right now, but allow God to work and fulfill the potential they have.
The purpose of education is to enable, to encourage and help kids understand their potential. The Wright Brothers must have made an awful mess in their backyard, but Mama Wright still encouraged.
Don't just fill your kids' minds with information, that's what computers have and they have no soul!
Charlotte Mason and Ruth Beechick believed the Bible to be the absolute standard for living and was the foundational book, and completes education fully, the ultimate source of wisdom.
Charlotte believed there were 2 ways to help a child make decisions:
1. their will 2. their reason
She cautions not to depend on reason because it's fallible. Look to your heart, your character and what you know to be true. Your reason can fail you. Without a standard, everything can sound good. (Our country today.) Socrates was very convincing, but he didn't know a lot of truth.
It's not success that we should be after (not everything society labels as "success" is what I want for my kids!). It's the inner motivation that is the goal and will lead them to make the good choices they need to make.
Learning is natural.
There should be a natural appetite for knowledge, but we're killing it with our traditional school systems. Every child has natural desires that they gravitate towards. They have God-given talents and abilities. However, we smush them by our "that's nice honey, but we've got to stay on schedule" remarks.
Don't stomp out their sparks!
As homeschoolers, we know that a child having one interest can lead to another and will pyramid from there. Go with it! Even if our research and discovery prevent my fabulous dinner plans. It's always a good idea to have a list of "quick dinners" and the ingredients to make it readily on hand for these days. (Or a stash of pizza coupons!)
Stop being all about the schedule! Hold your plans lightly and with an open hand. If you teach your children that being on schedule is more important than being inspired, we've just sent a bad message. The result of that is they won't ask the questions anymore. You just value the schedule. We can't afford another generation of mediocre kids who just want the 9-5 job of check in, check out. I'm done. That won't help us as a nation.
We have to have people who get excited, get passionate and get motivated to do things! History teaches us that one person, standing on what they believe can change the world. Our children can be such people. Don't believe that they're not.
What are you feeding your children's appetite for knowledge? Dry crackers everyday or is it a feast of great people and great ideas, inspiring things, connections, living books to get to their HEARTS?
If we're dragging them through school, eventually there will be resistance. It's a law of physics. You can't drag something along forever. Eventually, it will resist you and stop.
Textbook authors homogenize that information. Use a book by someone who was passionate about their subject (Patrick Henry speech!)...living books. If school is your job, you will present a job-like attitude.
If school is your calling, you will show contagious passion.
(Part III coming soon...stay tuned.)
Paintings in this post done by Mary Cassat, one of my FAVORITE artists. :)