If you can get past the fact that I didn’t brush my hair before doing this video, we’ve got a few minutes of our homeschooling to share with you: (if you can’t see the video from your feed, please visit the website to view! Thanks!) Are you getting geared up for gardening? What will you be growing this year?
It was a homeschool day. The question for Number One’s history assignment was: “Write a summary describing why or why not General “Stonewall” Jackson was virtuous.” Lots of facts, a plethora of impressive achievements, scholastic prowess, success in war, a noteworthy resume…Number One’s summary was coming along nicely, he thought. However, a conversation quickly ensued between he and I, upon revising and editing. He was less than pleased…and ready to be done with school. I ask him, “Does excelling in school and success at career mean that one is virtuous? What defines a virtuous person? “If he was an excellent student, what evident virtues in his life resulted in being a notable academe?” “If he was a success in his career as a general, what virtues were present in his life that earned him the nickname, “Stonewall”? Was there evidence of virtue in his life that made him a noteworthy […]
Don’t ask me why we never tried this until our third time around with teaching a little one how to ride a bike. Until now, we’ve always used training wheels, run along behind, then release when our little one is ready to take off. Which, in the case of Number 3, was taking longer than desired for a little boy who was struggling to keep up with big brothers. And then we learned this trick: 1. Take pedals off of bike. (Make sure your kiddo’s feet can touch the ground.) 2. Kiddo rides bike Fred Flinstone style. 3. Kiddo learns balance and confidence in a day. 4. The next day (or two), put the pedals back on, and off he goes! Learning to ride a bike. Boom. Done. Piece of cake!
We are all teachers. Some of us have classrooms. Some of us have five yr. olds who want to learn to tie their shoelaces. Whether you are teaching Shakespeare or basic math facts, there are seven simple things to keep in mind. The Seven Laws of Teaching by John Milton Gregory Law 1: The Law of the Teacher A teacher must be one who KNOWS the lesson or truth to be taught. (You’ve gotta know your stuff.) Law 2: The Law of the Learner A learner is one who ATTENDS with interest to the lesson given. (You have to have their attention.) Law 3: The Law of the Language The language used as a MEDIUM between teacher and learner must be COMMON to both. (Use common language.) Law 4: The Law of the Lesson The lesson to be learned must be explicable in the terms of truth already known by […]
Yesterday my third started kindergarten. Wasn’t it just yesterday he was eating fuzz and thinking that doing dishes was the most fun to be had? Yesterday, he was so proud to be going to school. My house was so quiet with only two. Just me, Number 4, Number 5, and the 2 dogs; I promise: it was eerily calm and silent. Number 4 happily painted with watercolors, while I did some ironing. We read and talked and didn’t over-react to spills and messes. No worries, today is an at-home school day, so everything’s back to usual: not so calm and silent. I will be thankful for this day–this day I get to teach my kids–and choose to focus on the important stuff…and not to over-react to spills and messes. With two or with all five…This is the day the Lord has made, as was yesterday, and will be tomorrow.
I had the privilege of speaking to the parents of our Classical, University Model school today, in preparation for the upcoming school year of co-teaching in the home. I’m sharing an excerpt of my talk with you today: Grace-filled parenting is gospel-centered parenting. God dealt grace to us on the Cross. Grace-filled parenting is modeling that grace in the way we train up our children, and in the substance of what we are training them with. Grace-filled parenting remembers that God forgave us, and patiently corrected us in our foolishness. Grace-filled parenting follows Christ’s example of love: based on His character, not how loveable we are. The highest goal of grace-filled, gospel-centered parenting, is to lead our children to true repentance, salvation, and a fervent love for the Lord. If we took out the word “Grace”, and put in the word Law, how would that change our parenting. What does “law-filled parenting” […]
It’s not everyday The Preacher and I sit down to a meal with another couple who, like us, have founded a school that they now head. Like us, they are Classical, Christian, and University Model. Our new friends sought to know us better over a fire-roasted artichoke at The Cheesecake Factory. The Preacher and I found ourselves recounting the past year or so of our lives. As we shared, a theme emerged: one of sickness, relational wounds, the loss of close friends and family as they moved away, and deep concern and counsel within ministry. Our birdseye view revealed what a difficult year we’ve had– each month highlighted with joys–yes–but distinctly marked by the testing of our faith and a burdened heart. Of the many lessons learned about gratitude, contentment, forgiveness, and faith this last year, the greatest has been the over-arching picture of delighting in Christ alone: Not to […]
If by Rudyard Kipling If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating, And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise; If you can dream – and not make dreams your master; If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with triumph and disaster And treat those two imposters just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to broken, And stoop and build ‘em up with wornout […]
School’s out. But educating one’s kids never stops. One distinctive of the classical school the Preacher and I helped to start, is the love of learning. Love of learning means hand-on, yes, it means field trips, and it means creativity. But, love of learning is also the cultivation of the appetite so that the mind finds satisfying what is truly worthy of admiration. Few things requiring discipline and work are inherently love-able at its onset. Learning, itself, is fascinating for a child, until he finds himself up against that which is difficult and unpleasant. So, with the rigors of education and the relaxation of vacation, how do we continue to foster love of learning? I recently read this encouragement from the German poet Goethe: Cease endlessly striving for what you would like to do and learn to love what must be done. Christopher Perrin writes of the subject: Once our […]
Who do your boys admire? emulate? talk about constantly? want to be when they grow up? What a blessing it is when our little men seek to be like their fathers, grandfathers, pastors, and teachers. Sometimes my boys’ heroes are men they’ve only met in words on a page: Jesus, Martin Luther, David Livingstone, King Tirian, George Mueller, Odysseus, the Apostle Paul. The books our boys read shape their idea of heroism. It forms who they become. If this is true for our children, it is true for us, as their parents. We are formed by the books we read and the people of honor we encounter. Clearly this begs the question: What are our kids reading? What are we reading? What are they most captured by? What are we most enraptured by? If time spent is any indication, it would prove that books and literature do not serve as […]
This Independence Day, consider the words of Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and one of the most influential Founding Fathers: “Educate and inform the whole mass of the people… They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.” “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” “The flames kindled on the 4 of July 1776, have spread over too much of the globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines of despotism; on the contrary, they will consume these engines and all who work them.” “A government big enough to supply you with everything you need is a government big enough to take away everything that you have…. The course of history shows that as the government grows, liberty decreases.” “A society that […]
You know when someone’s been to an inspirational conference by the glint in their eyes and the slew of new vocabulary now entering in each conversation they engage in. Graciously allow me a minute to either inspire or enervate you… The Headmaster and I spent the better part of last week attending a conference hosted by the Society for Classical Learning in Williamsburg, VA. It will take some time yet for me to process all that I learned and absorbed through the featured speakers, of whom were Susan Wise Bauer, Tracy Lee Simmons, and Andrew Kern of the Circe Institute. Of all the mind-spinning insights on education, history, and classicism that I could share here, I will only subject you to one, by Andrew Kern: What you attend to will form itself into your soul; it determines everything about you. I may never capably articulate the truths underlying Kern’s statement […]