Monday, February 25, 2008

MOMMY (or Caregiver/Mentor) MONDAYS #3


Should you educate your children at home, to some degree, even if they go to public, private, or Christian school, or do you think with attending outside school, enough is enough?

What should the teachers and counselors teach your children, and is their total education the teacher/counselor's responsibility?

Only you can answer this, but for us, we've found that even when the children were all in school (3 are homeschooled now, 1 is in an outside school), there was much need for home education, and it doesn't have to take up that much of your or the child's time. We found that there were some things that we absolutely SHOULD be teaching our children at home. Beyond that, we felt like there were some things that the teachers/counselors at school SHOULD NOT be teaching our children. Now this may seem obvious to most of you, but I've heard, and you may be surprised to know, that some people think that if the kids are in school, that's enough; the kids will get enough or all of what they need. It's someone else's job to educate for the most part. I've also heard them say that the children don't want anymore "schooling" when they come home, so there is no attempt made, not to mention that parents who work are downright tired. Maybe they don't realize that they're educating in the home anyway, every time they teach their children how to do a chore or how to cook or something else. Why not incoporate other things that are so important?

For girls, you can think of or search on the internet (or library) for many topics that are relevant for them and their spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional growth that they probably won't get at school, that they absolutely NEED; and if they get it from school, it may be learned or taught to them the wrong way, sometimes, by the wrong people. I found and tweaked the neatest lessons for my girls and took out an afternoon every day for however long the lessons lasted (ex. a 4-day study or 2-week study, etc.) to teach them these things, show or give examples, and talk and ask questions. It also gives me an opportunity for just "us together" time. If moms and dads work, they can set aside a time in the evening, whether it's every day or once a week for a few weeks.

The girls and I have done everything from What to Expect During Adolescence and Puberty to How to Choose Friends Properly. They are just fun little units that allow for talk and discussion. It gives us a chance to impart our own values and wisdom to our children. While some of us would teach these things to our children along the way anyway, the little units and lessons give us formal lessons, worksheets sometimes, and creates an environment for intentionality, where we hit on things that we would have either forgotten about or maybe wouldn't have thought of, but found necessary or even fun. Some of the things I've found are even simpler than what's mentioned; some are just for fun discussion; some have even had crafts to accompany the lessons.

I found a great one for my boys years ago. I wish I could find the book so that I can share the title and author, but it was just a neat little workbook that a dad or mentor would do with a boy, showing and teaching him how to be a Godly man, a man of courage and valor; it taught how to treat women, how to act in the world, how to save money, and what to expect and do as they looked to the future. I really liked it a lot! Again, googling things like this or looking in your local bookstore or library can turn up many great finds. Even if you think working from a book is too formal or tedious, just looking around will give you ideas for discussion you can have on your own and never open a book. I realize that sometimes the sight of another book to some kids is more than a turn off!!

Parents really are first teachers. We believe that it is not totally up to 'outside teachers' to impart the things that we would want our children to have. We get out of them (most of the time) what we invest in them. And truth is, it never just ends with them. What you impart to them now and the manner in which you do it, literally lasts generations. Leaving a great legacy is one of the greatest things you can do for your children and the next generations.

Hope your Monday was marvelous darlings!!

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