"Sally, would you please, please start speaking and writing on Home Schooling, again???"
This was the most often received request at our Mom Heart conferences this year. Because I love all mamas and love just encouraging them in their roles, I have, perhaps, neglected writing articles on home schooling. But, if you have been in my home or have read some of my books, you know that I think all mamas are educators and trainers.
Each of us, no matter what school choice we make for our children, should be doing some educating of our children from our homes. Discussing important ideas, reading stories, teaching scripture, building character, are all areas moms should be practicing every day.
Learn to inspire yourself.
Wise women learn from wise women. I have a sweet friend who is a kindred spirit--and she is wise. Sarah Mackenzie is gifted at communicating how to live through the whirlwinds of life and still be able to deeply impact your children. Her book brings heartfelt inspiration while granting freedom to live in peace every day, through all the circumstances of life.
We should all be reading great books to inspire ourselves in the direction of our ideals to fan the flames of our ideals. Teaching From Rest by Sarah Mackenzie is such a book.
I loved, loved homeschooling my children and love who they have become. I home-schooled all of them from birth till they graduated from high school and pursued their own careers and school. By God's grace, they all love us, love God and have found affirmation and favor in their careers or educational pursuits, so I suppose I can now speak with some authority about how we did it in our home.
There is a way to homeschool that cooperates with the way God designed a home to be--and it will prepare them to flourish in life and give strength to your children. (A lot of the principles of helping adults and children to flourish are in The Life Giving Home book.)
This year, Sarah, my daughter, will be finishing her degree in theology at Oxford. Joy is getting her Masters at St. Andrews in Scotland, after being accepted to a Master's program at Yale, Joel is completing his Masters in Cambridge, England at a wonderful Choral Music and conducting program. After having produced his first movie, Confessions of a Prodigal Son, and having it in Netflix and selling in many places, Nathan has been writing a book with me and working on a new movie.
Because all four of my adult children are thriving in their own fields of interest, and have been able to flourish in academic settings, many women ask me all the time, "How did you do it? What curriculum did you use?"
I was not a perfect mom and rarely in one year accomplished my educational goals with my children. But almost every day, we had devotions and read-alouds--sometimes at night, sometimes in the morning, sometimes at tea times, but I kept baskets of books everywhere--in every room, in the bathrooms, in their bedrooms. And each year on birthdays and Christmas and other holidays, they all received books as gifts and I helped each of them build their own libraries.
Yet, even as you plant seeds in a garden, protect the plants, fertilize them, water them-you should expect them to grow healthy and strong, so should all children grow healthy and mentally strong if the right seeds are planted, watered and cared for.
I understood early that education, the acquisition of words and messages, faith and the ability to think provided a power and authority to people so as to give them an advantage in every field of study, every profession of life. And so, I focused on these as priorities--faith and reading and discussion.
We begin to understand the value of communication and messages by looking at scripture and even by looking at the one word definition God chose to use about Christ's name.
"In the beginning was the Word (Jesus's name--the word) and the Word was with God and the Word was God." John 1
If God's name was "word" then words and foundations of words are so very important.
So, if you do one thing right, read, read, read to your children. It is what was the foundation of the minds of all of my children.
There is so much pressure today, (as always), to conform to cultural norms--and to try to keep up with the Joneses and all the blogs and articles that everyone else writes about what kind of curriculum to use, when to put pressure on your 5 year old to become academic, what you have to complete in the teen years. But I did not follow or listen to the voices of culture. Even as I made a step of faith to educate my children full time at home, so I made a step of faith that we would follow life as God gave Clay and me our own ideals--not as the school system, or any other "authorities" told us to do. We were quite free to follow our own inclinations from reading and researching about what we thought would best build our children within the time limits of our own lives.
But really, really, really--the key to giving your children mental muscle power and an advantage in any kind of education, is to read out-loud to that child. All research complies with this, all teachers and writers say this, Clay and I say it emphatically in our own book. Read first--read daily---turn off media and put away work books and before you do anything else, read out-loud to them--and read out-loud to them until they are 30! Do not think that just because they can read at 6 that you should make them read to themselves and stop reading out-loud. Read to them because you get to share in mentoring, discussing ideas, your vocabulary is bigger and you can explain things and they develop better skills in thinking and writing and communicating when you read out-loud.
Here is another quotation that explains the culturally rich soul and the impoverished souls because of literacy and reading. Hope you enjoy these articles.
The poor and the affluent are not communicating because they do not have the same words. When we talk of the millions who are culturally deprived, we refer not to those who do not have access to good libraries and bookstores, or to museums and centers for the performing arts, but those deprived of the words with which everything else is built, the words that open doors.
Children without words are licked before they start. The legion of the young wordless in urban and rural slums, eight to ten years old, do not know the meaning of hundreds of words which most middle-class people assume to be familiar to much younger children.
Most of them have never seen their parents read a book or a magazine, or heard words used in other than rudimentary ways related to physical needs and functions. Thus is cultural fallout caused, the vicious circle of ignorance and poverty reinforced and perpetuated.
Children deprived of words become school dropouts; dropouts deprived of hope behave delinquently. Amateur censors blame delinquency on reading immoral books and magazines, when in fact, the inability to read anything is the basic trouble.”
My sweet friend, Sarah Mackenzie, has written this great book, which embodies so many of the ideals I carried through my years of home education. Celebrating life with your children within the limitations of your own life puzzle. Reading great books. Giving a vibrant faith lived within the moments of life. You will love this book.
Giving Away 3 Books!
Sarah has generously offered to give away 3 books to my readers. Please leave a comment below and either tell us about yourself, your questions or why you would like to win the book. And if you already have it, we are happy to send one to the friend of your choice. Be inspired today!