December 2010

Building Joy

In the six volumes of her Home Education Series, Charlotte Mason speaks of joy over 270 times.  This is not surprising, for the consistent experience of joy is essential to a child's well-being. Through experience, parents and teachers know how difficult it is to help the sullen child move forward. Ms. Mason would take it a step farther, arguing that “The happiness of the child is the condition of his progress.” Thus, “his lessons should be joyous and that occasions of friction in the schoolroom are greatly to be deprecated.” 

Support and Encouragement

Tonight I just finished reading a few chapters in Mona Brookes' book, Drawing with Children.  I was reminded and enlightened by her comments and suggestions towards teaching children.  Although, her focus is on teaching children how to draw, her ideas are foundational and are consistent with valuing children as persons.  I was inspired and reminded of my role to encourage and support my children in their struggles both in and out the schoolroom.  I sometimes see my youngest freeze up when asked to copy an art print, my son struggle to pay attention in Sunday School or my oldest shed tears w

Children Must Be Taught

It is interesting to me that I so easily accept that children must be taught formal subjects like math, writing, or art, but that they should somehow know on their own, how to have good behavior.  I had this experience happen just last week.  We invited some friends over for dinner; I was busy cooking and preparing.  My husband reminded me that we ought to talk with the children about what is expected behavior for our children when their friends arrive.  I was too busy at the moment and didn't want to take the time to sit down with them and discuss appropriate behavior, so I casually called