About Me

I am a Christian mother of five, and our highest goal as a family is to serve God in every aspect of our lives. Jesus promised His disciples 'life in all its abundance' (John 10:10) - that has been our story, a rich life, not devoid of challenges, but certainly abundant. Previously writing at www.homeeducationnovice.blogspot.com, we have come to realise that education is just one area where our faith shapes our choices and direction in life. This blog seeks to share our adventure (using font only to enable access in settings with poor internet)

Monday, 17 September 2012

Discipline intrinsic to education

I recently wrote about Intentional Parenting and of the Charlotte Mason philosophy of education. In both, ‘discipline’ is considered a key component. I think many people would at least assent to the importance of discipline, but that it might compose about a third of a child’s education encouraged me. Why does this encourage me? It encourages me to persevere! I know of other parents, and let’s be honest, feel the same temptation, to rush through a meal (for example) so that we can move on to the ‘important’ thing that we have planned. Those important things are often considered educationally beneficial – toddler groups (for ‘socialisation’), music groups, field trips, going to the library, exploring the park, looking at boats on the river, and many other things. But on a particular day when a discipline issue manifests itself at mealtime, what is the most important lesson the child can learn that day? Surely it is to patiently and gently focus on that issue until there has been resolution. The Bible reminds us that ‘no discipline is pleasant at the time, but painful’. And it certainly can seem painful for a simple meal to take over an hour! But the lessons are enforced, and they are learned.

It is tempting to rush through, thinking there is not sufficient time to address issues of discipline fully because there are so many other things that must be done. But is that really so? Am I falling into the trap of thinking my children need a very full schedule in order to be exposed to every possible opportunity, and to maximise ‘their potential’? (Referring to the ‘default’ parenting described in Intentional Parenting). 

Charlotte Mason preferred that a child do just one thing at a time, and do it to the highest possible standard. Rather than trying to rush through tasks and activities, she advocated taking a step back from that, and to patiently work on the one task, challenge or issue, until the child had mastered it. Often in her literature, she uses the word ‘gentle’ to describe some of these approaches.

Perhaps a person would agree with this concept, but laugh at the suggestion that they had time for patience, perseverance and discipline. But I would contend that they may be missing the most important opportunity that a day presents, and that their best efforts to provide every opportunity for their child may be counter-productive if the basics are not mastered. What do you think?

Link to another post considering discipline in education and parenting. 

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps as a christian parent by displaying the fruit of the spirit in yourself, it will enable you better to instill discipline in your children. Therefore as they learn you are refined