Newsletter February 20, 2017
Entering Into Wisdom
Proverbs 4:3-6 When I was my father’s little boy and my mother’s dear son, my father taught me this: Pay attention to what I say. Obey my commands and you will have a good life. Try to get wisdom and understanding. Don’t forget my teaching or ignore what I say. Don’t turn away from wisdom, and she will protect you. Love her, and she will keep you safe.
Are these words not haunting? With intimate tones a man instruct his son in the manner that he was also taught. He acknowledges the instinct of youth to disregard, disobey, forget, and ignore. He says, son I love you, make the right choice. A thus his words call out across most of recorded history, and we identify. Son, he says, pursue wisdom as I do.
We, on the other hand are living in a golden time of knowledge, yet what passes as knowledge is mingled with deceit. Wisdom is like the big picture. Wisdom gives meaning to the details. It brings meaning to the obedience of hard work, remembering and the knowing. Today we have thousands of books on parenting and tens of thousands of books on homeschooling and yet we have more trouble with our children than ever. Never have we had so many experts that tell us what to do with our children. They hand to us methods, structures, performance standards and government curriculum. To master them we have online programs, printed curriculum, workbooks and readers. We are rich in the knowledge of what to do; but despite of this, most of us struggle to keep the attention of our children there. A child avoids his math workbook until his mom compels him to do it. Secretly mom knows why. To him the math lacks meaning. He doesn't appreciate the context into which the math will one day fit. He has no big picture, no reason to think it matters. Rarely do I see more miserable people than children compelled to do schoolwork. I don't even believe they are learning.
And yet, we know how important formal education is. Everything we want for out children, their chance as a career and their future health and well being depend on it. But it's not enough to just do it. If we're just getting it done, we will forfeit the benefits.
In worship we have this concept of 'entering in'. When we enter in we make our hearts, minds and bodies fully open to the experience. It means being fully engaged; it means being connected to what is going on. Worship without entering in is no worship at all. Likewise learning without entering in, without connection, without engagement in the pursuit is meaningless. Wisdom is that which children lack and also that which gives meaning to learning. We must bid our children walk with us. Let us enter into learning together and share a sense of connection, purpose and achievement. Wisdom through a clear and engaged mind is a young man's key asset in navigating the future world he faces. And if this is true for your sons, how much more is it true for your daughters.
Encouragingly we know this: children learn more in the first four years of life without expert input than in all the rest of their formal education put together. In their early years children build wisdom by designing, creating, experimenting and exploring. They gradually build a little picture of their world, the common sense and make believe world in which they as children may fully engage.
When teachers and parents see a child who is a reluctant to learn our response is all to often to do what we must do. We solve problems by acting upon them. We fix by doing. But that only works when there already is wisdom. Wisdom requires first that we enter into it. Take their hand and enter in to learning, knowledge, and wisdom together. In time they will mature. They will grow in wisdom. They will gain the sense of purpose and achievement that must underlie the daily practice.
I always suggest that we teach our children while they sit on our laps such that children are enveloped as in the womb of mother's wisdom. When that's impractical even sitting together at a table can be the equivalent. Share your curiosity, your choices, how you learn from mistakes, and how you temper your thoughts. It's not what we do to solve our child's problem, rather it's who we are in the life of that child that will lead to wisdom. Set up a power struggle and you will lose sooner or later. Set up a partnership and you will succeed together.
Use materials curriculum, workbooks, programs and websites as an extension of yourself. Own the materials; do not let them own you. They are not your children's teachers. If a child is a reluctant learner, enter into his or her life. Enter into wisdom together. It's not what you give them to do, it's who you are that will build knowledge and by it true wisdom.
Proverbs 4: 20-27
My son, pay attention to what I say. Listen closely to my words. Don’t let them out of your sight. Never stop thinking about them. These words are the secret of life and health to all who discover them. Above all, be careful what you think because your thoughts control your life. Don’t bend the truth or say things that you know are not right. Keep your eyes on the path, and look straight ahead. Make sure you are going the right way, and nothing will make you fall. Don’t go to the right or to the left, and you will stay away from evil.
Feb. 28 Term Two Portfolios due
March 14 Term Two Report Cards due
April 28 & 29 CHEC
Questions as organizers:
I recently received this document in which they have formatted many aspects of the curriculum into topical questions. Questions such as these might be a big break through for some. Please click the link and download the documents and find the questions relevant to your grade. Setting out to answer these questions would quickly align your thinking and planning with the BC Ed Plan. I'll be asking each of you which of these questions you want to answer for the next portfolio.
|Download Word Doc||View in Browser|
|Social Studies Questions||Social Studies Questions|
|Social Studies Activities||Social Studies Activities|
|Science Questions||Science Questions|