Monday, April 7, 2008

A Quiet Growing

In this time of extraordinary pressure, educational and social, perhaps a mother's first duty to her children is to secure for them a quiet growing time, a full six years of passive receptive life, the waking part of it spent for the most part in the fresh air. -Miss Mason, Home Education Pg. 43

If Miss Mason could only see the extraordinary pressure placed upon the children of today! I can say this with a bit of authority because I taught in a Kindergarten classroom for three years. It was my experience that children hardly had time to laugh, play, explore, and create. I wish I had known about Miss Mason's works and methods when I taught. Instead, pressure was placed on the teacher for the children to perform.

This pressure that arises when twenty children are placed in the care of one teacher is almost unavoidable. Especially when the expectations are also handed down and testing is conducted periodically throughout the year to make sure these expectations are being achieved. For the most part, the children never even know what they are missing out on, because to thier excitement they are finally in school.
It is this pressure, this dizzying pace that accompanies learning in a testing oriented atmosphere that I want to avoid with my own children.
I remember as a teacher trying to get all of the subjects in every day. This left little room for exploring and playing, which are extremely important to children.

Miss Mason said it best:

for of the evils of modern education few are worse than this-that the perpetual cackle of his elders leaves the poor child not a moment of time nor an inch of space, wherein to wonder- and grow.

Sometimes I think I'm sure that Bo could be learning to read already, he is sooo intelligent!

Then I remember ...

-work will come soon enough.

So for now, we have chosen a different path, a road less traveled in a time when all children are expected to go to preschool at 3 and 4, and Kindergarten at 5.

We have chosen to allow a quiet growing to take place in the hearts and minds of our children.
Is the world so boring to a child that they cannot be satisfied exploring God's creation?

Be still and know that I am God. Psalms 46:10

Each day is a gift from above when all of creation is declaring the glory of our God! (Psalms 19:1)
So, if all of creation speaks as to who God is, I want my children to be listening!

So, at our house you will find we have chosen a flower garden over handwriting practice, the sandbox over letter drills, daddy's tools over number flashcards, looking for worms over video games and just being in God's creation over the television.


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