Today I thought to myself, “If I didn’t have kids to teach, I’d go back to bed.” Ever feel that way? Teaching children really helps us to do our best—doesn’t it?
The plan for raising good kids and educating them is simple: just be who you want your child to be. Model what you want them to repeat! That is easy to say and very hard to do! But no teaching method, visual aids, demonstration, hands-on fun, lessons, curriculum or anything else teaches as well as your modeling.
My daughter Emily is sitting nearby reading the syllabus from a Cooking 101 course at the university she attends. We’ve been using it as I teach my kids “Cooking Class” at home. She is reading the chapter entitled “Selection of Fresh Produce”. “Duh!”, she says disgustedly, “who wouldn’t know this? You learn this just by picking out fruit at the grocery store with your mom all your childhood!”
How very right she is. And how very many growing-up college students do not know it. They never were with their mom selecting the fruits and vegetables together. They were sitting at a desk in the public school, far away from the hands-on modeling that would make them a wise consumer. How important is learning to select fresh produce? Well, in the full-life scheme of things, you have to eat 3 times a day and being able to select and prepare healthy foods seems right up there on my scale of valuable life skills.
We are studying Rome in our history right now. My children have all selected a topic to write their papers on. Louisa chose “Pompeii”, Ammon is writing on “Greek Influences on Roman Culture”, and Emily wants to write on “Influences of Rome in our Modern Society”. I have decided to write on how devaluing human life accompanies the decay of a civilization, as demonstrated by the Roman practice of slavery, gladiator fights, persecution of the Christians before the fall of Rome. Why am I writing a paper? Don’t I have enough to do? Well, yes I do. But how can they learn unless they see modeled for them that it is important to keep learning—reading, thinking, writing, formulating one’s thoughts.
Have you ever drawn with your child? What do they do instead of drawing? Yep, they watch you draw. The younger they are, the more they watch. And good thing it is, too, because you are modeling how to draw, and it is valuable training.
Your kids will watch you—whether it be washing dishes, pursuing your studies, disciplining children, being a homemaker, interacting with others, having a bad attitude about the weather, focusing on work outside the home, or whatever it may be. You are their model, their mentor. Watch our how you live, because you’ll soon have a family of grown-up kids doing just what you taught them, intentionally or not!
So, the challenge I feel—today and every day—is to be that person—that person that I want them to be.
May I recommend: