When a child is first born, he enters the world with an amazing curiosity, given to him by his Creator, that enables him to learn what he needs to learn. He is curious about everything, even before he is able to express it. From the instant he is born, his brain has already begun to process language, sights, sounds–the whole universe. He is heavily engaged in a living education.
He continues learning, driven by his insatiable curiosity, all through his toddler years. His parents, if they are involved much in his life, are his teachers. Educated or not, they talk to him, explain things to him, answer questions for him, take him places, expose him to different experiences–they teach him every minute of the day. His environment is his teacher. His experiences are his teachers. Everything around him is his teacher.
Then, about the age of 5, they tell him, “you’re going to go to school so you can learn”. The confusing message begins right there…this child has already learned more in his 5 years than he will learn for the rest of his life! He is removed from a living, breathing environment where he can touch, see, hear and taste everything at his own pace and interest, and is plopped down in a confining room with a bunch of other kids. They are definitely taught…taught to be quiet when they have questions, taught to stand in a straight line outside the bathroom (because that’s a very important life skill), taught to work faster or slow down, depending on what everyone else around him is doing, and the list goes on.
All the while, he is being conditioned to think that his teacher is the only one in his life who has anything intelligent to impart; that “school=learning”, and that learning starts at 8 and is over at 3. Education has taken on a different meaning.
Worse yet, as he gets older, it becomes fashionable to dislike school, therefore disliking learning. Not all kids adopt this loathing of learning, but it is typical.
Still worse, these older children, being forced to conform to the average curriculum, work at an average pace, and study the average subjects, are robbed of the ability to indulge their natural gifts, talents and bents. Many would-be, brilliant entrepreneurs are drugged and labeled.
“If the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, by the way, how can we presume that a child can learn anything in the public school system which is absolutely devoid of God?”
Some kids do thrive in a classroom setting, I’m not saying they don’t. But so many children have lost tremendous potential in their own areas of expertise because they were forced into a mold they didn’t fit. And while there are some very basic concepts that everyone should learn, those concepts are not learned the same way by everyone. Reading, math and communication–in my opinion the bedrock of a good education, will either be a delight to the student, or a misery, depending upon that student and the way the subjects are presented to him.
Inspire him to love to learn–that is the pivotal point of all his learning experiences to follow. How is a person educated? By following their God-given curiosity and love of discovering things. It’s when that natural love is squelched that we lose the real potential for education. Does it take a certified teacher to teach? Absolutely not. It takes nothing more than the ability to lead a child to answers…period.
- Can I take my child to the library? Can we read together? Then I can teach, and I can teach well.
- Can we discuss things?
- Can we find the answer to questions that come up?
- Can we visit other people with expertise in different areas of subject?
- Can we ask someone who knows what I don’t know?
- Can we take a trip?
- Can we go to a museum?
- Can we learn how to think about the experiences around us?
- Can we learn how to communicate well?
- Can we study God’s Word, which the beginning of all knowledge?
Kelly Crawford is a child of the King, given beauty for ashes, and living to tell about it. She makes her home with her husband, Aaron, and their nine children in the deep South, clinging to a simpler life in the country. Kelly writes at Generation Cedar, following her passion to encourage mothers and wives and copying the Proverbs 31 model of home industry. She has been featured in various magazine publications, web sites and radio programs, including Kevin Swanson’s Generations With Vision, about FamilyEnterprise. Kelly and her family experienced devastating loss in 2011, when an F-5 tornado ripped through their community. You can read more about their faith through the storm. Join her on a journey of changing the world for Him, one home at a time.