I was recently at my friend, Gina’s house for a night of “Mom School.” She hosts regular meetings in her home and I was blessed to be able to attend. One of the things discussed was using the “Principle Approach” method of education- which begins with the education of the parent. One of the tools used in this method of education involves using the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary to look up the original definitions of words and use those to determine the original meaning of the words, adding richness and life to words that have seemingly lost their original meaning. While sitting among these lovely ladies, all of whom take the education of their children very seriously, I was struck with the realization that I am coasting.
My first several years of homeschooling I studied, analyzed, struggled, poured over and prayed over every educational choice. Fast forward ten years later and I have to say I take everything less seriously than I did then. Part of that is good and healthy. I know the Lord lead in my home education choices, and they worked. That is to say, the end result turned out just fine. But in another way, it makes me complacent. For example: I could not tell you the content of Anne’s last ten math lessons. She completes the work, I grade it. She has no problems or issues, so she moves forward. What did she cover? I have no idea. Should it bother me so? When she did the standardized achievement testing she tested post- high school in many areas (at age 9!). So should I be concerned? What about her Bible study? I looked to see that she completed it. I gave her opportunities to voluntarily share what she had learned and how she is applying it. But I really could not tell you what she has covered this year. She just won the Timothy Award in AWANA…..meaning she has memorized 1000s of verses and done dozens of projects. Should it bother me that I am not reading her Bible lessons with her? See, I could go on and on, but the point is, I have been coasting. I can get away with it because the children are bright and WILL learn and WILL get their schoolwork finished, but is it right just to coast along?
See, I am not a lazy mom. I am, however helping run our home based businesses, disciplining, cooking, cleaning, nursing the baby, training everyone, etc. So when I can coast, I coast.
BUT- that meeting last night made me think. What right do I have to coast? I have this amazing and wonderful opportunity to EDUCATE my own children and I am squandering it to workbooks and being happy enough with achievement test results and good behavior.
So, today I hired a sitter. I left my house in her good and capable hands and am at my married daughter’s house. I am going to do a word study on Education. I have never had the extra money to buy a Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, but I think there may be one online somewhere I can use. I will share what I learn as it comes. In the meantime, don’t let me get away with coasting. These years are too few and fleeting to squander them on lazy thinking and undisciplined parenting.