Giving kids gifts of appreciation

Children are born with natural curiosity for the world around them as they grow and desire to feed themselves with all they can see, taste, hear, smell and touch. When does it turn into the compulsion to seek entertainment in artificial ways? Why is it that so many, including myself, have lost their excitement for the great outdoors? Was it when we replaced actual reality with virtual reality and did them no favors by handing them and ourselves a picture of the world instead of the world, I am sure of it. I am not against quick, cheap entertainment once in a while, but when in place of living a full, curiosity satisfying childhood where being outside and knowing the real world first-hand is the norm, it’s not a good enough replacement. It’s like giving my kids candy instead of fruit for an afternoon snack and it’s not the best I can do for mine.

To know anything from a textbook is barely scraping the surface compared to actually experiencing the world. And then to write about what they’ve experienced instead of filling in circles on a multiple choice page, well, that is knowledge that sticks and encourages the kids to know more about something on their own. It’s the opposite of presenting our kids with regurgitated information and hearing them ask, “do I need to know this for the test?” When we began homeschooling I barely knew the parts of an insect, although I am sure I learned them from a book in first grade. After having three boys who are fascinated with bugs, and having read every book at the library about bugs, keeping them for pets and dissecting them after they die, I know about the 4 categories we put “bugs” into, with insects only being one of the categories. I know the body parts by name and I doubt I’ll ever forget them, because I experienced learning about them through my children’s real life experience and love of discovery.

We all have this in us, God placed desire, excitement, the ability to grow in our knowledge and increase our awareness of senses in order that we may know Him in everything. Why would he place thousands of species of bugs alone, not to mention all the other creatures on land and in sea, on this earth if we are not to be aware of them and enjoy them and get excited when we learn about them?

We are no longer living in a world that books alone will satisfy. I am not writing this blog on paper after all. All truth is Divine and “every good gift of knowledge and insight comes from above, that the Lord the Holy Spirit is the supreme educator of mankind, and that the culmination of all education in that personal knowledge of, and intimacy with, God, in which our being finds its fullest perfection.”  ~C Mason

The human experience is full and God has given us so many good things! He has given humans wisdom and intelligence so that we can advance in technology. These are not bad things, please don’t read into my blog that I don’t appreciate our advancements. My only concern is that my kids will never know the natural world and so I place a very strong emphasis on gaining a firm foundation in science, history, bible, math, and grammar – that is our world – before being introduced to the fast paced world of technology. I am not against television, I watch a movie every night that I am home, but I want my children to know life, Christ and relationships before knowing television. I admit that I am a child of the 80’s and so I have a slight addiction to tv myself. I am working on breaking that addiction as I see my kids turning down tv time in order to build or create something. I was a little jealous and so I began to work on my life and reading books about people who have accomplished great things. I am learning new skills, such as cpr and  our nutrition and dietary needs, I am learning to write and loving it! I still watch my movies, but I am so much more balanced as I take a lesson from my children and the education I am trying to provide for them.

Our lives are our own to decide what to do with. There is no right and wrong when it comes to how we entertain ourselves and our kids, it’s a matter of personal taste. But as this world spins forward so fast, I want to slow down and remember to stop and smell the roses, literally, among other things. I can’t take credit for the revelation. It’s all been inspired by the pioneers of homeschooling, as they direct me to and give all the credit to Christ, while showing me that so much of our learning takes places off the pages of textbooks and on the pages of living books and in the world itself. Once there were no computers and there was no television, and our attention spans were much longer than they are now.

Have a wonderful week as you seek to find Christ in whatever you choose to spend your time doing. May you find peace, balance, and contentment in Him, by sharing a piece of the past with some of the good things that the minds of today have given us. Thanks for reading!

Love,

Jackie

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