Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Education of Women

I've been thinking about education a great deal, feeling my way through the past 30 days and considering what I'm doing and wondering what I'm not doing. I would appreciate any help you can offer.
     I want my children's education to be something more. I did not pull my children out of their schools to simply give them something other, and certainly not to give them something less. I have hopes and dreams that my children can inherit good things. I don't want those gifts squandered. So I pull them from the institution, dreams in hand, and sit them down with the institution's curriculum, and day in and day out we do the institution's schooling in this building rather than that building.
     I feel like I need some direction, possibly some alternatives. Isn't there more to educating my children myself than this? Am I being too idealistic? Do I simply need to be patient? Is there a better way?
     I need a way.
     So there's malaise. And ennui. And I know this is my greatest danger. So pray for me that I can be enthusiastic about my children's education even while I'm feeling my way forward in the dark hoping not to crash into anything. Or trip.
     I know that some of these feelings may arise from my not knowing what to expect. Some, perhaps, even from expecting too much too soon. But I feel as if I'm missing out on something - not making use of the potential for education I have with my children at home.


Jeff Vehige said...

Scott -

Since I recommended "The Well-Trained Mind" to you, let me recommend another book: "The Latin-Centered Curriculum."

My oldest just started 1st grade back in July -- when it's too hot to go outside. I was following TWTM as best as I could and was growing more bored and frustrated with it on a weekly -- then on a daily -- basis.

Realizing that if I'm not engaged with what I'm teaching my kids won't be engaged enough to learn, I switched to the LLC, and it has changed everything.

You can read more about my experience on my homeschool blog -- A Father's Academy ( (Go to the "labels" and click on 'The Latin-Centered Curriculum.')

If it makes sense to you, I recommend getting the book itself. We've been following the LLC for only three weeks now, and the change has been astounding. My son loves school again, loves what we're learning, and I enjoy teaching it.

Hope this helps.

- Jeff

alison said...

I would encourage you to reconsider that you are feeling your way in the dark. What if you are being led? It's dark, regardless, and there is still the possibility of crashing into things and tripping, but the focus is different.

I'm not suggesting that you aren't trusting God, I know just stepping into this was a response to prayer and listening.

The desire for more for your kids and their education resonates with me.

Don't become despondent. Your shoulders are still adjusting to carrying this new responsibility. Be gracious to yourself. Pray for wisdom and then watch for its arrival.

Lately I have been surprised by the way God provides for my children and me in areas where I have assumed it is my responsibility, places I needed to just figure things out, make things happen, but I don't know how...though I tell myself I should.

Look for ways to have fun. I wish I had put that on the top of my to do list every day.

And don't beat yourself up if something isn't working. A beauty of homeschool is that we can experiment and fail, then try something new, and all the while we're learning; it is the nature of learning.

truevyne said...

Dear Scott,
I wrote a long comment but the bottom line is I'm called by God to homeschool. EVery year I beg Him to let me put 'em all in school, but so far, no deal. If you need a real chat- email. My husband might have two man cents for you as well.

Scott Lyons said...

I appreciate all your comments addressing this issue - your time means a great deal to me. I need some rest, and we have a break just around the corner. I can do better till then.

I will be making some adjustments then, but I don't think it will be anything major - maybe not till Christmas or next year. [Academia] semper reformada est. (Something like that anyway.)

But I am going to replace my blasted grammar-composition curriculum because it sucks. And, in a moment of profundity, I realized that I'm not going to teach something if I think it sucks. And I probably shouldn't.

Hey, it takes me longer sometimes.

Most of all I appreciate your presence; this SAHD/SAHM-Homeschooling business can be a lonely road.

alison said...

Isn't it a FANTASTIC feeling when you realize that something sucks and that YOU can do something about it.

For me, I would get stuck in thinking, "I paid good money for this" and so soldier on, but there are higher prices than can be paid in dollars.

I learn slowly too.

I don't want to be negative and I hope others chime in, but I think every homeschooling parent must fight the low level angst that comes with continual question in the back of your mind, "Am I doing enough?"

kkollwitz said...

Great wife homeschooled one of our 5 for a while, and I come from a teacher-heavy family.

First, I believe most schooling is about training, but we call it all education, since that sounds nicer (not that training isn't essential, but don't confuse it with education). So for starters, you want to educate, not just train. Education is about helping your kids become what God created them to be, whatever that is (credit to Dwight Longenecker for this).
Without going on all night, here's how I describe the difference: in my K-12 schooling, I had one subject that educated me, the rest was all training. That subject was Latin, which burst the world open to me in ways far beyond mere language.
In six years of college, there was also one course of study which I regard as an education, that was Art History, which showed me the wonder and Godliness of the human being.
In your own case, maybe you can make such distinctions in your school career, and use them to guide your children's education.

Scott Lyons said...

kkollwitz, I appreciate the advice and the reminder, the gentle corrective, about why we educate our children.

kkollwitz said...

Well, at the risk of going too far, I read this article a few months ago and found it useful:

I've been teaching 6th grade Religious Ed for four years now, and aspects of this article remind me of my classes.