Tuesday, March 25

Homeschooling the Early Years Part 2

What are the most important subjects for our children to learn? What basics do they need to have that will provide them with a life that is more than functional?
These are two questions that I ask myself continually.
When you shake the sifter of home education, history, math, science, and even reading will fall through the holes and the two most important nuggets vital to life that will remain will be morality and character. Teaching and instilling character and good morals, in my mind, are the two most important things I can do with my time at home with our children. I can forget that I let science lessons slide for a day as long as I haven't let their character slide for a day.

1.) Character is modeled, not taught from a text book. How I interact with the kids, my husband, the driver that cut us off and anyone else will have more impact than a ten minute devotional on being patient or forgiving. Children miss nothing.

2.) The fruits of the Spirit and the ten commandments are a good guide for the character and morality we want to instill in our children.

3.) Compliment good character. We find this especially helpful with our strong willed three year old. Yesterday Papa told him he was proud of how well he was sitting and being kind to his siblings. Christopher looked up in surprise and said, "I am?"

4.) Be cautious about what your children watch.
Sean and I noticed certain cartoons and children's programming modeling disrespect, lying and other un-admirable characteristic traits that we didn't want our children encouraged to learn.

5.)Sit down with your spouse and talk about character and morality in regards to your children. What do you both feel is important to teach them? How can you watch your own attitudes to be better models to them? Two things Sean and I agree on the importance of teaching to our children is modesty and purity. The lack of both of these in our culture encourages us to stress them just a wee bit more by teaching our children, even at this young age, things like turning their eyes from immodesty, dressing appropriately, and teaching them that God wants them to keep their minds and bodies pure and beautiful.

6.) Search out resources that encourage the things you value.
We enjoy:
The Children's Book of Virtues

The Bible
Bringing Up Boys
The Squire and the Scroll

A Little Boy After God's Own Heart
A Little Girl After God's Own Heart
The Princess and the Kiss
Cedarmont Kids sing alongs
Miss Patty Cake -cheesy to the utmost but my kids love her
City Kids DVD's

Anyone else have any ideas or resources for instilling Godly character and morality in our children? I'd love to hear what other parents have found useful!


Anonymous said...

Have you and your family read "The Moral Compass"? We read this many times as a family when my children were small, and they still (they are 24, 21, and 16) refer to it many times.

Me said...

Hi Barbara!
I haven't read that book but I will definitely look for it now. I have heard that it is good and how neat that your grown children recall it!

JuJu's Place said...

Thank you again for your blog! I find much encouragement in the evenings from it and had been wondering if you homeschool-

As a homeschooling mom, I JUST had a conversation with my husband because I was caught up in 'academia' and worried I was missing some math and reading lessons, and especially that our children would be lacking compared to what the 'state' says they should know. He too said the same things-- the education will catch up- take time for character! So, off the children went today to work outdoors on a big tent project where they learned more than any drill sheet would teach! :) Work ethics... getting along with one another... not fighting :).... and working together for a greater reward :)

Thanks again-- many blessings in the next few weeks as your date draws near!

Karl Bastian said...

your photography is wonderful.

by the way, your blog has NO NAME in the name field, and so shows up as only a dot (or a period) in blog readers... you might want to fix that or you will lose a lot of potential readers.

just some free advice from a loyal reader of your blog.

Karl Bastian said...

I would like to use the following quote in an upcoming training presentation on parenting:

Character is modeled, not taught from a text book. How I interact with the kids, my husband, the driver that cut us off and anyone else will have more impact than a ten minute devotional on being patient or forgiving. Children miss nothing.

(I will change "husband" to "spouse") and I'd like to know your last name (if available), you can send to karl . bastian @ kidology.org (remove the spaces)


Me said...

Hi Karl,
I am aware that in things like bloglines my header shows up just as a period.
Blame my embarrassingly poor computer skills... because I cannot figure out a way to make a header in photoshop and then put it onto the blog without the title showing. Therefore, a period hides nicely in the photo. Blogger will not let me leave that field blank or hidden. Sigh...
I'll run it all past my husband. He's the technical one around here.
Thanks though!

Me said...

Juju's Place,
I know how easy it is to get caught up in academic achievements! I think one thing that makes it harder is when parents get together and talk about their kids and compare achievements. I'm sure a lot of parents think I must be embarrassed about my kids academic achievements because I don't talk about it.
Your kids tent project sounds like it was a lot of fun!

Becky said...

Hannah, thank you for this series. My husband and I are in serious prayer and discussion about whether to pull our girls from public school (where they are doing extremely well) to homeschool. Posts like yours encourage me that I CAN do it, and remind us of all the things they WON'T be getting in school (character and Biblical training). We will continue to pray for guidance...

Me said...

Congrats to you and your husband for considering home education! We really enjoy it. Taking it one year at a time breaks it down and simplifies, making it not seem so overwhelming with a house full of children. We also homeschool in NY state, which gets an F for being homeschool friendly. If we can do it here, I think you can do it anywhere. California must be at a F- now, come to think of it.
Someone had given me a great article on the public school curriculum's and if I can find it I'll pass it on to you. I was amazed.
Feel free to ask any questions!