“Our aim in Education is to give a Full Life. — We begin to see what we want. Children make large demands upon us. We owe it to them to initiate an immense number of interests. ‘Thou hast set my feet in a large room’ should be the glad cry of every intelligent soul. Life should be all living, and not merely a tedious passing of time; not all doing or all feeling or all thinking — the strain would be too great — but, all living; that is to say, we should be in touch wherever we go, whatever we hear, whatever we see, with some manner of vital interest… The question is not, — how much does the youth know? when he has finished his education — but how much does he care?”
Here’s what I get from this:
Living life to the fullest.
Living life with our children.
Living life intentionally.
“We owe it to them [children] to initiate an immense number of interests.”
‘Thou hast set my feet in a large room’ should be the glad cry of every intelligent soul.
The Lord arranged my education so that I would learn to immerse children in a subject so that they could learn as much as possible as effortlessly as possible.
I follow their interests as much as I can and facilitate their further learning.
My children notice a difference in the way they view the world and the way their public school counterparts view the world. They notice a lack of security and confidence that makes them feel sorry for them. They see that many of their friends feel like they’re not very smart. My son said today that he believes students in institutional schools are afraid to try new things and tackle difficult subjects because they are afraid they will get a bad grade that will stay with them forever and mark them as a failure.
Homeschooling as a Lifestyle
Homeschooling is a lifestyle, not just schooling at home. At least, that’s what it is for my family. We do more than academics in our homeschool. We learn how to relate to others in a loving way.
The fact that we are a homeschool family permeates everything we do. It defines us.
For my children, gaining knowledge is not a separate compartment of life from all other areas. Even in their game-playing, they research and gain as much knowledge as they can.
Everything that happens in life is an opportunity to learn something new.
Tomorrow, two of my boys, ages 10 and 7, are planning to make peanut butter cookies while the others are doing chores. They say they want to reward the others for their hard work.
Another son, 15 years old, took a stand about the language and seductive dress of females in video games, and was recruited into a league of honorable gamers. They saw an article he wrote about a new game in which he praised its cleanness and lack of objectionable material. He was blasted by other gamers defending the filth that has become increasingly common in video games. He responded calmly and maturely and caught the eye of some young men who want to play only games that are decent and hold up a standard of moral decency. When they saw his age, they were shocked at his poise under fire and his boldness to proclaim the truth. They asked him to become a part of their group in spite of his age.
My children care.
KNOWLEDGE OF GOD
“Without knowledge Reason carries a man into the wilderness and Rebellion joins company…Fundamental knowledge is the knowledge of God and while we are ignorant of that principal knowledge, Science, Nature, Literature and History, all remain dumb.”
“The Word is full of vital force, capable of applying itself. A seed, light as thistledown, wafted into the child’s soul will take root downwards and bear fruit upwards. What is required of us is, that we should implant a love of the Word; that the most delightful moments of the child’s day should be those in which his mother reads for him, with sweet sympathy and holy gladness in voice and eyes, the beautiful stories of the Bible; and now and then in the reading will occur one of those convictions, passing from the soul of the mother to the soul of the child, in which is the life of the Spirit.
Bible-teaching, for example, is perhaps the most valuable instrument of education, not only moral and spiritual, but intellectual. The Bible is the “classics” of the children and the unlearned, the finest classic literature in the world. Some of our greatest orators and best writers owe their moving power to the fact that their minds are stored with the exquisite phraseology and imagery of the Scriptures… The children are getting actual familiarity with the text; they are so sympathetic that they catch the archaic simplicity of style and diction, and their little narratives are quite charming.”
My oldest son has become quite a writer. He has written epistles to friends through email. When I read them, I feel like I’m reading the Bible. I’ve commented on that many times. One time he told me, “Well, that’s what I’ve read the most of – the Bible. That’s why I write like it.”
I let him decide when he was 16 what he wanted to study. He chose his Bible. I asked him to study some math and science and write about what he was studying in his Bible, and he agreed.
He is now 20 years old. Now he is studying the Torah through writings by the Sages and Rabbis. He is learning to read Hebrew. He can speak extemporaneously about many biblical issues. He has thought through many deep philosophical and theological questions. I go to him when I don’t understand something, and he usually has an answer for me. He speaks clearly and fluently. He is confident but not cocky.
I didn’t read straight from the Bible to my son when he was younger, but my husband and I have endeavored to live what the Bible teaches and have placed a high value on the Bible all our married lives. We led Bible studies in our home and talked about the Bible among ourselves.
I finally understood that I needed to put the Bible first in our homeschool after homeschooling for about 10 years. But my son had already figured that out before I did! We lived it, and he became enthralled with it.