Thursday, 21 August 2014

Keep it Simple, Keep it Natural, Keep it Honest Pt 3

Pictures: ‘The Mouse Family ABC’ by Rosalind Sutton, published by Brimax Books, 1989. 


In keeping it natural, it’s important to keep that balance between their academic learning and real life.   I think we want a lot for our kids, and oftentimes, perhaps a lot more than we ourselves have achieved and been allowed to achieve, and so we aim high for them.  There’s nothing wrong with that, but often we set unrealistic goals for them and for ourselves. 

We need to learn what our children are good at and help them learn the skills and knowledge they need to be good at that.   We also need to be secure in who our children are and are not.   

One of the things I remember reading in the earlier days of our homeschool journey was something about a race horse and a stock horse.   The stock horse spent most of his time and effort trying to be the race horse and never did achieve that goal.  Because of his wasted efforts, he missed out on learning how to be a really good stock horse.  

I think sometimes we can aim at something other than how our children are naturally meant to grow and develop.

I got caught in the notion that my girls must be highly academic to be successful and for me to prove that homeschooling ‘worked’.   It led me to ask this question:   What is success?  Is success going to University, or having your kids be better than others at writing, maths or some other academic art?  Or is success raising Godly children who are able to be Godly leaders in their communities?

Proverbs 22:29 says, Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.

In aiming for high academics, I often gave the girls too much bookwork and they would have been better off spending that time mastering more life skills.   It’s hard to know, at the infants/primary level, how academic your children may or may not be, but covering the basics well and naturally and simply will stand them in good stead, regardless of what they end up being and doing, and if they are particularly academic, they will ask for more!!   My girls never did, but later, when they were following their passions, they did a lot of bookwork because they wanted to. 

Also, the most natural thing for a child to do is learn from its parents all that it needs to know, whether it be walking, talking, eating, etc or beyond that to reading, writing, value systems, life skills and how to reading, writing, communicating and excelling in their gifted area.   Children are a product of both parents and it’s natural for them to be good at what their parents are good at, and to learn from their parents, at home, bit by bit, over many years.     We don't want to limit our children to only learning what we know, but neither should we keep them so busy with school work and activities outside the home, that they don't have time to actually learn what we know.  We can be a part of our child's curriculum, as can other family members. The Biblical model of teaching children is for them to learn from you as you do life together.

Deut 6:4-7  4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  

Get to know your children and value them for who they are.   Spend your efforts helping them to become all that God intended them to be, not an imitation of someone else's children.    Let their natural gifts and personalities develop in line with God's Word and His plans for you all. 

Linking up at Thriving Thursday

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