Monday, August 31, 2009

Of first importance

Andrea writes in her post Learning at Home about her older son's desire to learn reading and writing before she had even begun any type of formal homeschooling with him. However it was this paragraph that caught my attention and seemed to resonate with my thoughts and concerns for our son.
It's amazing to me because I decided long ago, when he was really little, that my goal with them wouldn't be to teach them how to read at a young age, but to focus on manners and attitudes. Because, I always thought, who cares when you begin reading as long as you get it some time. But manners are something that can easily be over looked in the frenzy of early childhood education.

As I have been diligently praying for our homeschool plans for the year ahead of us, I have been reading and re-reading the book of Colossians, specifically the third chapter. No matter what relational aspect of myself I'm considering(daughter, wife, mother, friend) the words starting in verse twelve sink deep into my heart.
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom He gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. (NLT)
Of more importance than any academic study is the teaching and training of our children's hearts. Jesus made it clear in His ministry that the heart determines what a person says and does.
A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. (Luke 6:45 NLT)
I'm seeing that training my children in godly attitudes means continually going after their heart with the message of Christ. And there is no spreadsheet, workbook or lesson plan that will do the job adequately. That's why prayer is my best plan. Be devoted to prayer is what Paul writes later in the letter. Tall order, but anything else falls too short.

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