Friday, November 20, 2009

Teach the Child - Charlotte Mason part 2

Day 2 of the Charlotte Mason workshop I attended in San Antonio was just what I needed. It was the "how-to" portion and gave me great tools and ideas for how to implement Charlotte's ideas in our home. Most of all, though, I was reminded to "teach the child, not the curriculum."

My children are unique individuals with distinct callings on their lives. They need regular contact with God's creation, free time to process and explore and study independently, short (emphasis on short), structured lessons to give them fodder for thought and most of all a mom who can relax and teach her children instead of the curriculum.

In my opinion, one of the biggest pitfalls for me of a prepared curriculum is the self-imposed pressure to do everything "by the book." And I do mean everything. Most curriculum I look at tells you to not try and do it all, but to pick and choose, according to the individual family needs.

But I don't want to miss anything. And I sure don't want to leave out something important because it all is so very vital to their growth and development. I might scar them for life if I don't do it all exactly as written and suggested. That one thing I chose to skip might be the very piece of information they needed for success and I didn't include it.

Can you feel the panic mounting?

If anything this weekend workshop helped me to stop, take a deep breath, and relax. To be reminded first and foremost that God cares infinitely more about my children, about me, than I have come close to grasping. I really can trust Him to lead and guide me in our family's education journey. I absolutely don't have to stress about doing it all or covering every base. He is faithful. Always.

God used the time to help me see more clearly the path to this gentle way of teaching my children and I look forward to facilitating what the Lord is doing in each of my children as I smooth the way for them to experience Him in all we do.

Isaiah 40:3-5 comes to mind and I like how Eugene Peterson paraphrases it in The Message:
"Prepare for God's arrival!
Make the road straight and smooth,
a highway fit for our God.
Fill in the valleys,
level off the hills,
Smooth out the ruts,
clear out the rocks.
Then God's bright glory will shine
and everyone will see it.
Yes. Just as God has said."

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