Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Giving our children Whole Truth... and nothing less

If Truth Is Truth... should it be separated from everything else? If you are putting together a puzzle, especially one as vast as discovering and understanding the world and universe at large... isn't it helpful to have all the pieces you need, together?
I grew up putting the puzzle together section by section. I didn't have a clear understanding of how they related to each other. It was disconnected. Subject by subject. Art was art. Religion was religion. Math was, well, a pain in the posterior.
Sure, I was capable of connecting the sections as time went on, and my mom certainly trained me to think outside those boxes, but, given the choice, I would have much rather had all the pieces together. It would have made all the sections and subjects much more exciting to know they were part of the bigger picture---it would fuel motivation to piece it together. It would give PURPOSE.

Are our kids given a purpose-driven education?

When we first began our homeschool journey, 5 years ago, I was still very much of the mindset that being able to integrate subjects together was just a great "bonus" to our choice. It wasn't the driving force. Now I clearly see it is the success of it all. If it all weaves together, let them weave it!
Too often, I fear, we are asking kids to piece together the puzzle of life, but saving their access to the most crucial pieces only on Sunday mornings, or, if they're lucky, during an after-school snack.
Sometimes, I know, parents can't help but simply try their best to take the misshapen pieces their kids are given during the day and replace them with the ones that actually fit.

But if you can, consider giving them full access to the puzzle.

Don't just try to sneak Truth in, when you can.. like a multivitamin in a jar of jelly beans. If Truth Is True, why waste your time with anything other? LIFE is one big Unit Study. Math is Art. Art is English. English is Music. Music is Math.

Home education has beautifully gifted our family that over the years. It's not separate courses... it's one big melting pot. This is NOT to say homeschooling is the key to puzzle performance... it is to say, don't ration the pieces. Don't separate the sections and dumb down the big stuff. Let them tackle the world. And, if you believe the foundational bricks come from a Holy Truth.... don't give those as an afterthought. Like trying to re-insert JENGA blocks after they've been taken out. It just makes everything more difficult.
Our origins are not a garnish. They are a main ingredient. Our morals are not a pizza topping. They are the yeast to rise the dough.
Can a main ingredient go in unspoken? Sure. But it's a heck of a lot easier to bake when the recipe includes all the facts. Oh, wait, you were supposed to add God to that. Too late- its been cooking for 8 hours. That's okay, put Him in on Wednesday night, it'll be fine. :(

Children deserve more. They're capable of more. And, just like an adult can be weary of trusting a kid to cook in the kitchen... we can sometimes grow weary of trusting kids with Whole Truth. As John Holt wisely put it: “All I am saying ... can be summed up in two words: Trust Children. Nothing could be more simple, or more difficult. Difficult because to trust children we must first learn to trust ourselves, and most of us were taught as children that we could not be trusted.”

“This idea of all education springing from and resting upon our relation to Almighty God-we do not merely give a religious education because that would seem to imply the possibility of some other education, a secular education, for example. But we hold that all education is divine, that every good gift of knowledge and insight comes from Above, that the Lord the Holy Spirit is the Supreme Educator of mankind, and that the culmination of all education (which may at the same time be reached by a little child) is that personal knowledge of and intimacy with God in which our being finds its fullest perfection.” -Charlotte M. Mason