Thursday, October 24, 2013

Teaching Children

Writing Lesson
Maude Goodman, England 1860-1938

There are several things worth remembering in regards to teaching your own children at home.
1. Childhood is a temporary state. Take time to enjoy the process of teaching your children. If you are tense and rushed and just trying to cover a certain amount of material, or get through a lesson so you can fill in the box on you checklist, you and your children may miss out on the real spirit of home education.
2. Home teaching encompasses far more than cramming facts into a child's mind. Speak kindly to your child while you teach him and show delight in what you are learning, and he will grow to love learning. With this method, he will be eager to find out things on his own, relieving some of the burden of teaching from his parents.This poem explains more about the rush-rush attitudes that many people have towards childhood:
Hurry the baby as fast as you can
Hurry him, worry him, make him a man.
Off with his baby clothes, get him in pants,
Feed him on brain foods and make him advance.
Hustle him, soon as he's able to walk,
Into a grammar school; cram him with talk.
Fill his poor head full of figures and facts,
Keep on a-jamming them in till it cracks.
Once boys grew up at a rational rate,
Now we develop a man while you wait,
Rush him through college, compel him to grab,
Of every known subject a dip and a dab.
Get him in business and after the cash
All by the time he can grow a mustache.
Let him forget he was ever a boy,
Make gold his god and its jungle his joy,
Keep him a-hustling and clear out of breath,
Until he wins---nervous prostration and death.
by Nixon Waterman

The Music Lesson
Charles West Cope, 1811-1890

3. Do not be in a hurry to get through those childhood years. Your children will never be that age again. While teaching them, you are also nurturing and creating memories for them, some which cannot be erased. Let them have real childhoods with innocent pretending, natural playing and healthy laughter. If they are not doing anything harmful physically or spiritually, let them be, so that they can think and dream and observe life.

4. Realize that children do not have fully developed minds and bodies and often are just not coordinated enough to do everything to perfection. Knowing this will lessen your feelings of impatience or irritation.

5. Do not put temptations in front of your children when they are little. Keep dangerous things away from their reach.

6. Teach your children by your own example, and verbally. Both are important, and one is designed to work with the other. The point of raising them is for them to learn through the loving instruction of their parents, however, their minds and bodies are not fully developed enough to remember everything every time. It does no harm to remind them and save them from harm. I have read some wacky modern child training books that allow children to be harmed, refusing to make a safe home for them or deliberately neglecting watchful care of them when near a stream or a pool. I am not ashamed to say that despite the accusation of being too protective, I didn't let little children out of my sight. If there was an accident I watched more carefully to prevent it from happening again.
7. Learn the difference between discipline and punishment. Discipline always disciples and guides and trains, bringing about a child who is willing to follow you. Punishment is a dead-end and often is not related to the thing you are trying to teach: writing a sentence a hundred times, standing in the corner for an hour, running 20 times around something, doing without lunch or dinner, are all punishments which I have rarely if ever have anything to do with the offence in question. Some advisors say that you must remove a toy they like FOREVER , or remove a favorite food from them for a month, or refuse to allow them to leave the house with their mother for weeks and weeks, which by the way, grounds the parents as well. I believe this is punishment, and The Lord said to guide them, guard them, teach and disciple them. These punishments do not disciple or bring about good relationships at home. Living your own good values, showing how to do things with your hands and speaking truths will come closer to teaching a lesson, and discipling. discipline means "to follow." The Bible is the ultimate "discipline." Some of these punishments are derived from the public school experience, which should never be brought in the homeschool environment, which is based on love.

Eating Oranges by Charles West Cope

8. Politeness and a reverence for Gods word, plus an awareness of false teachings, are essential in good discipling. A child can be admired for his smartness, but without respectful behaviour and good speech habits, it makes him like the clanging gong described in 1 Corinthians 13:1-2.
9. Find lessons in other ways than books. Nature walks and play times, meal times, taking care of themselves and care of the home have a wealth of learning opportunities.
10. Homeschooling is not primarily a out jamming facts into the mind. It is about nurturing and loving and delight. Children should have a childhood free from the news of terror and worldly fear.


Christine said...

I have reread these points several times. I appreciate everyone of them.

Our children are grown now, but I do mentor several young mothers.
This is valuable.

Thank you!

Ellie Rae said...

As I was once told by a pediatric nurse practitioner, "Baby a baby while he's a baby, or you'll baby him all of his life." Babyhood and young childhood (all of life, really) are all to precious to rush. They'll never come again.

Anonymous said...

I wish this was posted on the walls of pediatricians and obstetricians, where many mothers of young children could see it. One thing I wish I had done was take even more pictures. It is funny how fast you forget things. It is crazy how many pictures went missing. Especially these days with camera phones, you can't take too many.

LadyLydia said...

My screen does not show the sidebar with the blog roll and other things on the layout. Is it showing up on your screens?

Ellie Rae said...

No, not showing up. Maybe your last post was corrupted. Try taking it down and see what happens. If you do and it is still the same, you can put it back up and try to figure out what is wrong. I once had all my sidebar stuff slide down to the bottom, and found it was a corrupted post. When I removed the post, the stuff went back where it was supposed to be. (It was a post I'd taken from another blog server and moved to my Blogger blog -- blogger didn't like it somehow.)

Polly said...

I really enjoyed this post! Thank you so much. There's plenty of wisdom here and I am sure I'll be referring back to this and mulling over your words for a long time to come. One thing I love about homeschooling is the ability to allow my children to have a real childhood--so I don't want to jeopardize that by getting too strenuous in academics too soon!


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