Method implies two things– a way to an end, and step-by-step progress in that way. Further, the following of a method implies an idea, a mental image, of the end or object to be arrived at. What do you propose that education shall effect in and for your child? Again, method is natural; easy, yielding, unobtrusive, simple as the ways of Nature herself; yet, watchful, careful, all-pervading, all-compelling. Method, with the end of education in view, presses the most unlikely matters into service to bring about an end; but with no more tiresome mechanism than the sun employs when it makes the winds to blow and the waters to flow only by shining. The parent who sees his way…to educate his child, will make use of every circumstance of the child’s life almost without intention on his own part, so easy and spontaneous is a method of education based upon Natural Law. Does the child eat or drink, does he come, or go, or play–all the time he is being educated, though he is as little aware of it as he is of the act of breathing.
Parents must accept the responsibility of educating their children, regardless of whether or where they send them to school. Parents should know what they are aiming at — what kind of character do I want my child to have? Everything … the atmosphere, the choices, the activities, the car-drives, the dinner table, the breakfast table, is used in the service of bringing about the chief end of education — a child of good character.
Books in the car. Reading aloud during dishes. A story told.
In a car ride…
“There were a million mosquitoes…”
“Did you count them?”
“Well, no, but there were a lot!”
“Always be exact. Be specific. Be truthful! Tell me more about what happened.”
Every small thing is a teaching moment.When parents accept their role without excuses and recognize that everything does shape the child, when this fact is accepted, then parents see their way, and can make use of their city or country living, their work, their home atmosphere, their gifts and strengths, their activities. Parents will see their environment as education. They will view their own personal choices and caprices as education.
Time is not compartmentalized as “learning time.” It’s all learning.
Parents educate their children without their willingness. The responsibility cannot be removed. The messy house? The child ingests it. The unhealthy food? The child acquires a taste for it. The marriage tension? A son or daughter senses it. The insecurities, the white lies, the secret enjoyments are all breathed in by the child. And also, the jokes, the jollity, the fun, and the love. Kisses and hugs are food to him. Compliments and assurances are like balm to her. Ignoring her goes to her very soul. Neglect is felt in his bones. And personal attacks are thorns in their hearts.
Everything is education! The parent must take pains to create an atmosphere of love and learning.
We don’t have to be perfect. But we … must … be… honest.
Do we want our children to share their hearts with us? Share our hearts with them. Do we want them to open up? Open up. Do we want them to be courteous? Do not allow incivility.
From counting the spoons to set the table to waiting to eat until after grace, from (dis)honoring the Sabbath to family functions and traditions, education is going on all the time.
This fact gives the home educator an edge in that she recognizes the home as “school” and, like a classroom teacher who carefully plans out her classroom, assesses her home for inherent educational value and how to use it to her child’s advantage. The parent who sends her child to “school” may overlook her responsibility to make everything at her fingertips work toward educating her child. She may not realize how much influence she has.
All parents are educators. All parents should have a method for educating their child whether or where they send them to “school”. All parents should use everything around them and inside them to educate.
- How to pick a school for your children (stuff.co.nz)
- cheap lingerie and harmonious atmosphere for education, (hongtaochen.typepad.com)
- What You Need to Know about Homeschooling (education.com)
- Police haul missing pupils from their beds in drive to cut truancy (telegraph.co.uk)
- Five Actions Parents Can Take If Their Child Has Been Involved in Bullying (education.com)