Education “by the way” for young learners

Deuteronomy 6:7 “…and you shall teach them diligently to your children…..when you walk by the way…”

Being gone through schooling all my years of school even through a teaching credetial program for the state of CA, I had been taught and conditioned that education is something to do rather than a way of life.   In my home education, a check list in my “to do list” would be something like “math”, “read Bible” at a certain time.  And there is absolutely nothing wrong with schedules or scheduling activities, many times it’s the only way you’ll get things done.  But the way we approach each task in our schedule has a lot to say about how motivated children will be at learning.

I’ve experienced that with young learners love to learn new things.  They will be life long learners when we make education a life style rather than a task or chore. 

At first I would say something like, “Lizbeth, it’s time for our writing, or Bible reading.”  At first she would eagerly engage.  The next day, I would get a response like “uuuugh, I don’t want to do it.”  Rather than seeing disobedience, she was trying to tell me that it wasn’t interesting or exciting. 

Now, she would go through anything on my “to do list”, but without knowing it and with a totally different attitude.  First, I know what interests her.  She likes to draw.  So I say something like, “Lizbeth, let’s read this story and illustrate it.”  Wow! What a different response.  She is then off showing her Bible illustration to everyone.  Then she would be playing about the story. 

Recently she did this with Dad.  They read about those who enter through the wide gate and the narrow gate.  They illustrated it.  She shared it excitedly with everyone in the house.  The next day I found her playing and she told be, “Mommy, look, these people are going through this wide gate and these little girl is going through the narrow gate.”

Now reading and writing is done all day long too.   She would read a recipe as we bake something or write our shopping list or do some math with the recipe ingredients.  And there, reading, writing and math was done  on my schedule. 

Lizbeth has just turned six and almost everything she has learned now has been by living life day by day and seizing every opportinity and every question she asks to instruct her in the subject.   This really applies to almost everything to a young mind.  This way the Word of God is  being lived and applied before us all throughout the day.

This is essential for her, as she is developing a heart of wisdom, to view learning as an exciting never ending treasure.   If there is something that I think is of value for her to learn and she is not interested, then it’s my job to make it interesting.  It always works.  In our house the word “boring” or “bored” is forbidden.  I tell my children that when your soul is asleep, you’re almost always bored.  But awakens our soul so we can use our imagination and be creative in any circumstance.

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