by Angie Lewis -- Heaven Ministries Press
I admire Parents today who have chosen not to entertain a childís
senses by the books of society, no pun intended, and unschool their
children. It takes an incredible person to be able to unleash the
traditions of society and culture and allow the positive freedom of the
creative mind to go to work for itself.
When I was growing up my mind worked in mandatory mode, because the
teacher told me I had to do the work, whether it interested me or not.
My option was to flunk if I did not do the work. What a
But what about our grandparents? After all, how many seasoned elders
have you talked to that didnít work hard, study like a dog, and have
some sort of spiritual guidance? They had to walk miles to school, cook
for the rest of the family, chop wood all day, clean the house, milk the
cows, study a dozen books by candle light..... and now look at our
children, they only have to crawl out of bed and eat breakfast.
Since moral standards and values of our lives are unique in every
home, and situations and circumstances vary along with these ethical
codes, unschooling may not be for everybody. Every child possesses
different traits and characteristics that makeup his nature through his
home environment and surroundings. Distinct methods of training for
these specific qualifying factors differ tremendously in each
I have something in common with unschoolers though, I thoroughly
believe children should be allowed to have their own mind and experience
life to its fullest using that mind, on their own level and capacity of
understanding. But above all to respect and be kind to others, for a
child can grow up being all he set out to be, but miss the most
important element, having a heart filled with love and regard to others
and their feelings.
When I started a home education routine with my three boys six years
ago, (I donít use the term homeschool), I never had the option of
unschooling, deschooling, eclectric schooling, no-schooling, formal
schooling, and what is that other one called? Oh yah, classic schooling.
Wow! Actually, I didnít have any options, except to do the best I
could in the only way I knew how.
We are the role models our children will follow! My husband and I show our children to do what is right for themselves as well as what is right for all our neighbors. And everyone in the world is our neighbor. We show them not to stereotype and label people, places and things and we explain how everyone, no matter what race or color has the same chance of going to heaven and are equal in the sight of God. We explain to the children that it is through Jesus that we are guided in all that we do so that we may enter into His paradise in heaven with Him.
To give Love to those who thirst is a far better gift, than any other. We show, it is through Love that the blind will see, for it is through love that the unseeing will find and seek the truth. And it is through love, the discontented and weary of heart will find wisdom and truth. We show we must take the big heavy log out of our own eye before we take the splinter out of our neighbors eye. We show them that doing good deeds, described above will keep their spirit alive in the body while they are living on earth, but will not save them. It is only steadfast faith in Jesus Christ which allows our spiritual selves to ascend up into heavenly paradise.
I can say with much elation our three boys are free and alive through Jesus Christ, the creator of all and the end of all. Those who walk in His ways with a loving and sincere heart will delight in the everlasting love and joy manifested in Him and His kingdom.
Regardless how you teach your kids, or unteach your kids, or how others teach their kids, we are the mirror and what is shown in that mirror will reflect back on to your children and their behavior toward how they will live in the world with others and their attitudes toward themselves. I believe that if their little feet our planted on a solid and consistent foundation so will be their hearts in the world.
As for me, I donít think Iím perfect enough to go the unschooling approach, I would probably be way out in left field when Iím supposed to be on home plate. I would have an extremely wobbly and rootless equilibrium which could upset the batters, and cause rebellion, mostly my own.
Through experience, I have found that first I need to have a solid foundation to work off of , so I can produce structure, balance, and organization in my own life, than, only after I have taken care of myself can I begin to show my children the surprises, twists and turns that life will bring, and to do it in a way that comes naturally for me in that given circumstance and occasion.
Such as reading hour. This is an easy one for me since in my spare time all I do is read or write, so what am I doing? Iím showing how enjoyable reading is to those around me. My fourteen year-old son is working on his own book on his own computer he bought with his own hard earned money, on how to build furniture that he built himself using free wood. He has seen that I have written an article on his wood building projects, and in turn has decided to do the same for teenagers. Do you think I guided him on to this venture, or was he just going to write a book anyway? I didnít tell him to write a book, I showed him how much fun it is to let your own freedom of style and character out on paper, he liked what he saw and has followed my example. How about my ten year old who is making his own web page showing others how to make homemade bows and arrows, or my eight year old who gets up in the morning and says, ďMom, all I want to do for school today is spelling and reading, but no math, is that OK?Ē
Iím proud of my boys. To watch them everyday endeavoring on a new path of creativity is pure satisfaction and complete comfort for the senses. I see happiness in their faces, willingness in their studies, steadfast faith and love in Jesus, and growing boys who have hearts of gold that appreciate life to its full potential, as they know it. But it is all balanced out with study time and good old fashioned brain work.
Our brains are a muscle just like any other part of the body, and to think by working out math problems, or taking a spelling test, or dissecting a frog, flexes and tightens the brain muscle to prepare it for proper thought patterns and good study habits. If you pamper this muscle, laziness and rebellion take forth, and all they want to do is play, play, play.
Playing, like walking, talking and sleeping is what children do best, it is not something they learn to do, it is an instinct of life. Play time is great, but still needs to be balance out with crafts, thought time, study time, quiet time, or physical work, like chores.
So you get the idea? We all want our children to be givers rather then takers and peacemakers rather then fighters, achievers rather than underachievers, and producers rather than nonproducers, we want them to be better than us. And upright sound principles indoctrinated throughout the journey of self promotion will undoubtedly be exhibited in our children no matter what it is they do in life.
Being free and independent is one thing in itself, but the end to that means is another matter, such as where does this freedom stem from? Where did it originate? These questions can and will be established through your child as he expands his energies into a mature adult.
The no-nonsense unschooling attitude and jovial approach may work, no doubt about it, the concept is a good, but needs with it a sound, undivided foundational platform to be supported by.
In other words, the whole family must agree upon and nurture the setting. The setting or environment comes from everyone in the family working together as a team, but it is ultimately, we as parents who influence that setting and what your child actually does from what he sees when he looks in that mirror.
Jesus was made in the image of man, and our example to follow. We as parents are made to be images for our children. Our children belong to God, just as you and I belong to God, our job is to bring them up in a loving environment by using scripture as our guide. God wants all His children to be with him.
Those of us who stay home with our children do it for the end result,
Right? We want to see our kids be productive, honest, and hardworking
people. But I feel there is more to that end, I would like to know my
child is saved through the blood of Jesus Christ so that he may live
again in heaven. How about you?