Maryellen St. Cyr's blog

The Order of Bringing Up Children

The Order of Bringing Up Children

We often distinguish the order of things by considering the importance of their ends.

I’m reminded of a story that a colleague shared. One of her first-grade students had already identified the end of education. He announced, all in one breath: “We-go-to-school-to-get-good-education-to-go-to-a-good-university-to-get-a-good-job-to-make-good-money!” 

The Order of Things

The Order of Things

At the beginning of each New Year, I reflect on the order of things — relationships, time, and professional pursuits. What is in order and what is disorderly? What does it mean to re-order and put things in the right order?

Approaching Summer

We know that the Will acts upon ideas; that ideas are presented to the mind in many ways––by books, talk, spiritual influences; that, to let ourselves be moved by a mere suggestion is an act of allowance and not of will; that an act of will is not the act of a single power… but an impulse that gathers force from Reason, Conscience, Affection; that, having come to a head by degrees, its operations also are regular and successive, going through the stages of intention, purpose, resolution; and that, when we are called upon for acts of will about small matters, such as going here or there, buy

Behold the Face of Christ

The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. [1]

This week in which many followers of Jesus reflect upon His betrayal, death and resurrection…

Reckoning with a Child's "Reason"

We should teach children not to 'lean' (too confidently) 'unto their own understanding,' because the function of reason is to give logical demonstration of mathematical truth and of an initial idea, accepted by the will. In the former case reason is, perhaps, an infallible guide, but in the second it is not always a safe one, for whether that initial idea be right or wrong, reason will confirm it by irrefragable proofs.

Is Tough Parenting the Answer?

In the January 20 edition of Time Magazine, there appeared an article asking this question. The article is a response to Amy Chua’s new book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. Time’s article, and presumably the book, leave one wondering: Is it good parenting to forbid your daughter’s attendance at slumber parties, to forbid computer games, and to make her sit at a piano for five plus hours (until she gets it right)?

The Meaning of Must

There is a human tendency to think of life as a grand abstraction rather than as a set of objectives to be completed in definite hours. In her book, 168 Hours, Laura Vanderkam suggests:

If you want to be a writer, you must dedicate hours to putting words on a page…
To be a mindful parent, you must spend time with your child….
If you want to sing well in a functioning chorus, you must show up for rehearsals…
If you want to be healthy, you must exercise…

Educating for a Full Life

A first grader carefully adds three to four. Third graders diligently journey into ancient Egypt. A student shares with her parents insightful and detailed reflections on Robinson Crusoe.  These are characteristic of students who care.  When it comes to education, the first question parents and teachers must ask is not, “How much does the child know?”  But rather, “How much does he care?”

The Gift of Hope

  “Without hope, we live on a low level, disturbing ourselves with petty cares, distracting ourselves with petty joys.” – Charlotte Mason  

Once again, it is ‘back to school’ for millions of students. Parents dutifully supply pencils, book bags, lunches, gym clothes and a dozen other needed things. Teachers assign seats and distribute books. The best will bring to their students the gift of hope.


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