Sunday, March 25, 2012

What do they Really Need? (God Knows!)

I've been following this thread for several days over at the Well-Trained Mind boards. The title of it is asking if people who consider themselves "classical" in their approach to educating their children think that STEM (Science, Technology, Education and Math) education and "Classical" education are compatible, or even able to be synchronous.

I have read the thread with great interest because I do struggle with this notion--how much do I need to emphasize math (which is a huge weakness of mine that I do not want my children to share), science (which I thoroughly enjoy but it also is not my "bent") and areas of technology so that my children are able to function, let alone compete in this new and strange world that we live in? The perspectives of the women there are very interesting, to say the least. In response to the issue, my position is that we do need to provide as deep of an exposure as we can to all the disciplines. From this exposure, as well as by providing a solid foundation for the individual, we equip our children to specialize later.

Even so, the more I read the thread, the more anxious I became. The answers were intelligent, well-thought out, well-articulated, but I could not help slipping into that vein of comparison that is so damaging to a mother's soul. After someone displayed their child's schedule which included Latin, Greek and Spanish and essentially 7 days of school on some level I was thinking, "What about trampoline-jumping and playing make-believe?"

I had to just step back and take a deep breath and pray. I asked the Lord to show me in his Word what is truly important for my children. I opened my Bible randomly and in rapid reply from the Lord, my eyes immediately fell on this verse:
Proverbs 24:3
By wisdom a house is build,
and through understanding it is established;
through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.
Just across the page I read,
Proverbs 23:12-18
Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.
Do not withhold discipline from a child...
My son if your heart is wise then my heart will be glad;
My inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right.
Do not let your heart envy sinners but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord.
There is surely a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off. 
I enjoy the companionship and ideas of other mothers in my life who are pursuing the same goals with their children, but ultimately, my guidance MUST come from the Lord. In this season of looking ahead and making choices for the new school year, I will commit myself to this anew, and bless my children with the wisdom that God gives and the knowledge that he leads me to convey as he shows me their needs.


  1. This is exactly the post I was thinking of putting on the forum because ultimately, we follow what God decides is best for our children rather than what seems best. With all the literature talk there, some would say that TOG is not a good way to go. But it is what God has lead me to. My first son is taking a very traditional path. He is most likely going to be a STEM guy, so that takes precedence over artist/composer/literature studies. I also feel strongly that he should know history well which is where TOG fits in. That is how God has lead me with him. My younger two, it seems different. Months ago, I started researching nature study and artist and composer study. I can only attribute that to God's leading for these children. Yes, there are good paths and then there are God paths. We have follow where God leads.

    1. Thank you so much for posting your reply.
      I'm really glad you mentioned the literature point...That thread threw me off to the point that I even questioned whether TOG was the best choice, but perish the thought! My son LOVES it, and quite honestly, I think that literature is the best vehicle to understand history. There is no need to abandon the 4-year cycle at all. I do think it would be remiss to abandon literature IN FAVOR of history. TOG is very good at assigning the great books at the appropriate point on the timeline, so that history is ILLUMINATED throughout. We have been doing year 3, and I loved how Victorian England was brought to life through Charles Dickens, George McDonald, and Lewis Carrol.

  2. fantastic reminder, kelly. thanks!


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