Friday, December 19, 2014

Line Upon Line Precept Upon Precept

A repost from last Summer.

I was taking pictures of my children yesterday at the park.  Annie wanted me to show her walking over the platforms.  As I was snapping away it reminded me of the verse above.  As I pondered the whole learning process I came up with a few thoughts...and of course I had to share them with you!

Liberty will be two in October.  She has such a determined spirit about her.  Sometimes determined to go the wrong way, but nonetheless.  She can feed herself, walk, talk, communicate with her brothers and sisters, play games, ride a tricycle, throw a get the idea.

We didn't buy any crazy, expensive curriculum.  There weren't any online courses or tutors.  She just learned.  As most children do.  It can be easy to complicate things.

Life is full of irony. We send a child to school where they learn order, how to follow and submit, and maybe some letters and colors...oh that's right...I go to Kindergarten the parent has to teach their children a long list of things before they could go. what is the point of Kindergarten? And if you taught them all this stuff, why do you feel unqualified to keep going?  Sorry, I got off on a rabbit trail...

But, when that same child gets older we have to teach them to become independent thinkers that have a love for learning.

Guess what?  They had both before we stripped it from them.  Have you ever answered the question "Why?" 8,000 times between your house and the store?

Here is an example:  Companies strip our food of necessary nutrients, and then replace them with fake ones, which they expect to react like the natural ones.  If they would have left the food alone, it was already there to begin with.  Following my strange logic here?

What I am trying to say is that God put into our children a natural ability to learn.  Children grasp things so quickly, not because we are using the best curriculum, but because God designed them that way.

Yes, children have different aptitudes; some are good at math, some aren't, for example.  God created each of us as individuals, with unique talents, likes, dislikes, gifts...let's encourage our children to learn those things which will benefit them for life.  Not wasting our time teaching them things for some test that will have no relevance to their life, and that they will forget 20 minutes after the test.  Yes, there are things they must know.  But, I think you know what I am talking about.

Godly character, a work ethic, love for one other.  We are preparing them to be wives, husbands, fathers, mothers....

The majority of our daughters are going to be wives and mothers.  Why do we as a society put such an emphasis on making sure that our daughters are prepared for their career, but miss the training to be a Godly wife and mother?  We are setting them up for failure.

Line upon line.  Precept upon precept... Simplicity.

I was reading one of my favorite blogs and the author, who has 15 children, was sharing a few words of wisdom.  I thought I would share them with you.  To read the whole article click here.

Large Family Mothering

And so I would like to offer some simple suggestions for those with many children up to age seven:
  • Don't be afraid. You taught your child how to walk and talk, and reading isn't that complicated. Take the pressure off and you will do much better.
  • Have these supplies on hand: Paper, scissors, glue, crayons, a cheap watercolor set (these items will cost you less than ten dollars during the "back to school" sales), some home-made salt dough, some picture books from the library or thrift store and a good set of phonics flash cards and number cards.
  • Invest in a child gate. This is good to keep the kids "corralled" so that the mess they make is localized, instead of letting them have free reign over the whole house so that you never feel as though you can get anything accomplished!
  • Keep food simple. We used to eat just two different breakfasts and lunches every day. The kids never got tired of them--and I always knew what to fix!
  • Have a stash of snacks for yourself. I learned this after I went through a time of being about 10lbs underweight. I would feed the kids and then forget to eat!
  • A good book to have on hand that will teach you how to teach reading is Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. My kids usually get tired of this book by lesson 50, but it lays a great foundation for more advanced reading.
  • The outward-focused life is for another season.
  • Have paper, pencils and crayons always available, with parameters set up to prevent waste. One way I have done this is to tear my sheets of paper into quarters, and in this way if they make one scribble and decide to move on, the whole sheet is not wasted.
  • Save the messier supplies for "special" times. This preserves you and your house.
  • Have daily "quiet time" after lunch and clean up--do this for your marriage as well as your own health.
  • Keep media to a minimum. I don't allow computer time to children this age at all. Television (they don't watch cable or networks) is only for special times.
  • Read aloud daily, if at all possible. Even if it is the same book over and over. I think I have Green Eggs and Ham memorized almost completely.
  • Answering questions is about the best thing you can do. You are the walking book that a child refers to whenever he is puzzled. Count it as a privilege!
  • Use the necessary errands of life as learning experiences. Tell them stories about your childhood and God and sing together in the car. Teach them how to behave in public. Explain things to them as you are doing them so that they will feel included and important to you.
  • Teach them how to tie, whistle, blow bubbles, hopscotch, ride a bike, fold a towel. These are both fun and inexpensive activities and help them to develop the fine motor skills necessary for all the other stuff.
If you just live and love your child, he will gain a much better education than he could ever receive during these years in some institutional setting or with some formal curriculum at home.  It's not "parental perfection" but loving response that is key here.

This is a re-post from a few years ago.  If you found it helpful, please consider connecting with me on
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1 comment:

  1. I went through this line of thought this summer, what are we raising our children to be? It helped define our homeschool and offered much peace. Have you looked into the Circe Institute?