Wednesday, March 9

Home Education: Part I - Some Preliminary Considerations

In case you want to look them over -
*Volume 1 Study Questions*

Children are a Public Trust

"Now, that work which is of most importance to society is the bringing up and instruction of the children -- in the school, certainly, but far more in the home, because it is more than anything else the home influences brought to bear upon the child that determine the character and career of the future man or woman. It is a great thing to be a parent: there is no promotion, no dignity, to compare with it."

"The children are...public trusts, put into the hands of parents that they may make the most of them for the good of society." 

She goes on to say that the mother is the one who has the most influence on the children. I assume that this is because the mother is usually the one to stay home with them. That really puts the burden on me! Even though my husband is the Spiritual leader of this home, I am the one who interacts with them for more hours of each day. Is that why Freud always blamed the mother? =)

Mothers owe a 'thinking love' to their Children

Ms. Mason quoted Pestalozzi: "The mother is qualified... by the Creator Himself, to become the principal agent in the development of her child; ... and what is demanded of her is -- a thinking love... Maternal love is the first agent in education."

That helps put things into perspective for me. God gave me the children that He did, because He knew that we were the best match for each other. It's really hard to see that when my daughter is behind in math because I can't explain it a way for her to understand. I trust that God knows what He is doing, thought I don't always understand.

"...they will doubtless feel the more strongly that the education of their children during the first six years of life is an undertaking hardly to be entrusted to any hands but their own. And they will take it up as their profession -- that is, with the diligence, regularity, and punctuality which men bestow on their professional labours."

That is EXACTLY how I feel. I want to know what my children are learning, especially when it has to do with our Christian beliefs. How could I possibly trust anyone else to to give my children the best education? Only I know what is best for my children. God made us to go together, so I have to know!

The training of Children 'dreadfully defective'

Parents do need some sort of instruction on teaching children. (Hence, the reading of Home Education.) I don't think that we necessarily need to have a college degree to teach our children, but I do think that even our own education should never stop. I graduated High School and spent one year at a University. When you're doing it to pass a class, you really don't get much out of it. I've found that my education is severely lacking and have decided to become self-educated.

How Parents Usually Proceed 

"The parents' chief care is, that that which they supply shall be wholesome and nourishing, whether in the way of picture books, lessons, playmates, bread and milk, or mother's love.... They let their children alone, allowing human nature to develop on its own lines, modified by facts of environment and descent.

Nothing could be better for the child that this 'masterly inactivity,' so far as it goes. It is well he should be let grow and helped to grow according to his nature; and so long as the parents do not step in to spoil him, much good and no very evident harm comes from letting him alone."

It's very important that we let our children grow into their own personalities. They need direction, but they also need room to grow. They need to be free thinkers. As much as I don't like it, my children need to form their own opinions about things... even their faith.

--- Next Week (Wednesday, March 16) I will post on 
Part I: I. A Method Of Education ---


  1. "The children are...public trusts, put into the hands of parents that they may make the most of them for the good of society." It rubs me wrong just about every time I read that statement. I don't like anything that sounds like my son belongs to the State. But I try to get over it and realize that my son will have an effect on the society that he will live in and I'm doing my best to train him to offer the best to that society.

    I'm honored to be a mother and to have the role that God created for us. I agree with you that CM probably said that mothers have the greatest influence on the young child because they are the ones who stayed home with them. In our current situation, my husband works a lot from home, so he has had perhaps the same amount of influence on our son from birth to nearly 8 years old. I credit most of my son's good behavior and wisdom to his dad. We're definitely blessed to be able to live the way we do. I wrote about one incident here ---

    It is a challenge to have that influence yet allow them to develop their own personalities. And when it comes to faith, I really want to teach my son to desire to search things out for himself. My husband and I do not share the same beliefs as our parents. My son knows this well and so already has an example of taking responsibility to search the scriptures for oneself with the possibility of finding yourself on a path away from the traditions with which you were raised.

    I think this statement of CM is very appropriate here --- "The question is not,––how much does the youth know? when he has finished his education––but how much does he care? and about how many orders of things does he care? In fact, how large is the room in which he finds his feet set? and, therefore, how full is the life he has before him?"

    How much does he care?

  2. Hi Kay!

    That statement rubs me the wrong way too, but I got what she was trying to say so I tried to push past it. You could think about it like this though: Our children belong to God and HE is the one who has entrusted them to us.

    Thanks for sharing. I really like the quote that you ended with. =)

  3. I enjoyed the section and can fully relate to it. It made me feel really good about homeschooling my kids.


Pleasant words are a honeycomb:
sweet to the taste and health to the body.
~ Proverbs 16:24