Thursday, June 10, 2010

How Exactly Do I Homeschool Their Hearts?

Hmmm….Interesting question.  Not one I’ve been asked by other people, but one I’ve been asking myself lately. 

In my Charlotte Mason planner, there is a section where parents rate which subjects are most important to them.  My husband and I rated these together and agreed immediately upon which were the most important.  The subjects were  not math or reading, both of which I feel are absolutely necessary. The top three were Bible, life skills and character.  This got me thinking….

If my kids can do algebraic equations, read at college level and recite every president in the exact order, what does that matter if their hearts are not right?  This is where homeschooling their hearts fits in.

I want my children to be able to take the head knowledge they acquire concerning the Bible or character traits and apply it as heart knowledge.  It’s not enough for them to be able to parrot back to me the facts I’m teaching them. I want them to take the Bible verses and lessons Jesus taught and actually live them.  I want them to stop and think “What would Jesus do?” before a word is spoken or an action taken.  I want them to understand what character traits are desirable to possess and use them to minister to others.  I want them to think of others before themselves.  This is homeschooling the heart.

If I see an incident that requires correction, I need to stop what’s going on in our other lessons and use that as a teachable character moment.  If I receive and inappropriate response from the kids, I need to stop what we were involved in and immediately remedy it.  There are times I wonder if I need to halt planned lessons altogether and focus strictly on ways of the will and character.  I know I need to teach to their hearts more than I do.

It’s not just about filling their heads with “stuff.”  It’s more about teaching them to learn on their own.  It’s teaching them how to open a book to find facts they are interested in. It’s about encouraging hobbies and learning how to search out information on a subject they are interested in. If they know how to learn, they will be fine in the future. It’s homeschooling their  hearts.

Life skills are taught as the opportunity arises.  My daughter takes it upon herself to try out a new recipe for breakfast one morning and decides to iron her own shorts.  Blakester helps his uncle stack firewood (for pay!).  Conman helps with Sunday house cleaning.  I’m constantly on the lookout for new skills to teach them.  It’s about preparing them for their future as responsible adults.  It’s homeschooling their hearts.

After thinking on this, I really feel I need to spend time this summer focusing more on their hearts.  Slowing down and taking the time to mold that character and teach them how to deal with their wills is definitely on the roster for this season.

Please feel free to leave a comment and share with me- How do you homeschool your children’s hearts?

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2 comments:

wonderinthewoods said...

Shannon, this is a very good post and one that I agree with 100%. My kids are younger but rather than focus on pre-school, we've followed Charlotte Mason's recommendations for children under 6 and also worked on their sibling relationship, behavior and our parenting. I'm starting to see fruit and was amazed to have 3 different Moms last week say how nice H is to the other kids. If they only knew how far he's come!

Recently we started a morning circle time where we hold hands and pray. Their prayers and thanks pour out of them in a different way than pillow prayers. We are lighting a candle at meals and when we blow it out, we say "Christ be with you." I'm trying to think of more ways to connect us spiritually. Definitely worth thinking about and putting at the top of our list. :-)

Shannon said...

Thanks, Cori. This is just something that's been on my heart to share-especially since it's the name of my blog!

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