Sally Clarkson has written a beautiful blog post that I just knew needed to be spread far and wide. So while I will include excerpts from the post here please go and read the full entry, which you’ll find at: Sally’s blog
I have pondered, lately, what I observe in many of the children that I meet along the way, how they reflect their mother’s philosophy of education and life. If you don’t start with the end in mind, what you want to see produced in your children’s lives, then you won’t build the right things along the way. I see so many sweet young moms going to these homeschooling fairs and piling themselves up with all sorts of colorful curriculum and work books’ and even other moms who think they will accomplish their goals by using videos. Yet, the pioneering spirit of homeschooling, seems to be lost and I see the choice of these materials having an ill effect on so many children.
One of the problems of homeschooling today, is that it became big business and so all sorts of companies developed materials to tempt moms, who have so many feelings of inadequacy, to buy. The more of these curriculums a moms buys, the more stress she is putting on herself, because she will surely expand her feelings of inadequacy each month because of all the pages of assignments she will not finish. Multiplying guilt and inadequacy is never a formula for success in my book. More options does not necessarily mean more excellence.
Just because we now have hundreds of channels on television doesn’t mean the quality of shows has improved more doesn’t always mean better. This is also true of education. Plying your life with myriad activities and opportunities and lessons and classes are costly in time, money, and peace. Choosing wisely a few focussed activities, and choosing the make home the center and priority of a mom’s life is the wisest, most historically and classically soothing way to build peace in the home and godly character in a child.
There is no substitute for a mom diving into great thoughts, with her children, and passionately discussing these together. If one of our primary goals for our children is to inspire them to love learning and to give them a passion about knowing and learning and creating, then this passion is caught when taught by a living, breathing, responsive person. No child or adult can get as much inspiration, personal attention or focussed attention from a video or online school. Now I am not saying that these things cannot be employed for some of the education or for a few subjects in which a mom and child can benefit from the expertise of others (and mainly in the high school years or for math tables or language study).
But, if we replace the love and care and encouragement and passion that comes from a mother’s heart to her children with a machine, we cannot expect to have the same heart and character results. Jesus’ impact on his disciples was because of the personal heart and mind and relationship and life time He had with His disciples. Can you imagine Him putting them on a video and telling them, “At the end of this multimedia course, you will be expected to give up your life for the cause of my Father, who is in heaven.” No, indeed. They gave their lives for His cause because He loved His own and shared His whole life with them. He befriended them, cared for them, instructed them.
Your children are pre-wired to looking to you for love and approval and inspiration and care, they want you most of all. Your heart, your imagination, your joy, your love, your direction. May God so fill your heart, and give rest to your body, so that you will always have the resources from His Holy Spirit, from which your precious ones may have life to draw from.
Have you been blessed by Sally Clarkson’s books? If you haven’t had opportunity to read them yet, you need to! Buy yourself one or more as part of ‘parent training’ if you need to justify. Just get a copy of Sally’s most recent books. You’ll be glad you did.