Yes, of course they need reading, writing and arithmetic. But while we focus on the bare bones of academics, let us not lose focus on those things that flesh out the quality of education our children receive.
Here are our top six ideas — elements to include in our homeschool each day. Add (or subtract) to make this list your own. Then keep it in front of you as you move forward to serve your children.
- Fill up.
With Him. Start with the first thing the first thing. There is no other foundation on which to build. And we are building for eternity.
Sharing with and caring for others. An educated man is not, if he is not magnanimous.
OK, we usually give this the label “chores” and off we all go. Certainly the first people in his sphere a child needs to serve are those in his immediate family. As he ages, he can branch out to extended family, friends, and those in need.
Of course to think, you need something to think about…something true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and of good report. That means input. You see how careful we need to be about input. Input can be:
- Literature. What we read gives our minds something to meditate on, starting with Scripture, but also including poetry, great literature, history, and science.
- Art. Again, the guideline holds. Art is only worthy of thought if it is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and of good report.
- Music. Yes, we can “think” about music, although to be fair, it seems to play around on a sub-level we rarely “think” about!
- Nature. I recently read an account of a young man who realized the value spending time with nature gave his day. The outside world has a way of recharging our batteries and revitalizing us.
We have our interests and projects, designs, creativity; the things that motivate us from within to do, build, and make. In general, this one is output. By having something go in, now something can come out. It takes time to create. And our days should include this block of time.
Every day we need to stretch the muscles, fill the lungs, build the circulation. We not only reap strength and endurance, but activate the mind.