Monday, March 12, 2018


One of Thomas Jefferson Education's "Seven Keys of Great Teaching" is...

"Inspire, don't require." 

Most people say, "If I don't require my child to study, he won't!" 

I ask, "Did you ever try?" 

We require our children to attend school (or homeschool) at a very young age and soon the flame of curiosity is stamped out and we begin to lecture them daily about the "need" to study. 

We have no clue how all of our requiring would not be necessary if they had a natural learning environment.

Do I, as a parent, do hard things? Do they see me struggling to learn new skills? To get a degree while raising my family? To write a book? To master a new cooking skill? To learn how to improve my health- by knowledge and discipline?

Laura Ingalls inspired her worst student to become a good student when he realized she was keeping up with her school studies at home while teaching school herself. She had agonized over how to get him to study, but here it was, as simple as example.

My own studies will inspire me to strew bits of knowledge as I go about my daily living. This will pique my child's curiosity. They will want to know more about things.

It is in this manner that we are instructed to teach God's law, as well. While sitting, standing, lying, walking, etc. We were discussing this the other day. Does that mean we talk of it all the time?

No, but if we are full of God's Word, we will apply it to everyday situations, while speaking about it with our children. (Deuteronomy 6:7)

As my son peruses the Kindle account, he may find things I've strewn there. One recently "picked up" The Gentleman's Book of Etiquette and Manual of Politeness. He's gaining wisdom from it. (Or maybe I should say, knowledge. I'm not certain it's turned to wisdom yet.)

Lay a few books/magazines on the coffee table. See which ones get picked up. Put more out, later. 
Set out books that inspire doing- drawing, painting, building, home repair, farming, photography, cooking, and you name it. Do some projects yourself.

The learning is in the books. Find interesting books on a myriad of subjects and introduce them in subtle ways. Try pulling one out from the row on the bookshelf and placing the front to face the one who comes looking.

Hang paintings around the house in strategic places. In front of the kitchen sink. By the toilet. On the bedroom door. On the bathroom mirror. 

Print out quotes, Bible verses and poems that inspire. Place these where they will be noticed.

Strew ideas. 

"How could we get surround sound in this room?" 

"We need a magazine rack." 

"The chickens need a shelter." 

"Watch this Back to Eden gardening video; couldn't we do that?" 

Introduce new games. Thrift stores are excellent places to find the old games you enjoyed as a child. Games can be very educational. They are especially great for learning math.
Strewing is an excellent way to inspire your children to learn more. If they bite what you've strewn about, fine. If not, fine. Keep strewing. The curiosity is there, if you haven't killed it by requiring.

Plato said, "Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body, but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind."

Here is a very inspiring article. The author speaks of joy and delight in learning. May you find it inspirational in your own homeschool journey, if that's where you find yourself. 

Strewing is helpful even if you send your child to a conventional school. Your enthusiasm about learning is sure to wear off on your children.

Today my strewing included a Bob Ross video. Now wouldn't you like to paint when he makes it look so easy? (The above-mentioned article had me checking him out.)

Words I'll strew today-

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