Tuesday, May 8, 2012
More La'Mour Wisdom . . .
"It is constantly reiterated that education begins in the home, as indeed it does, but what is often forgotten is that morality begins in the home also."
Louis La'Mour, Education of a Wandering Man, pg. 4
~ ~ ~
I know that the vast majority of questions that we as home educating families get are first, about socialization and then normally about the curriculum. I wonder, has anyone asked you about the type of moral education you give your children? I have never been asked. I believe that most people, if they did wonder, see this a taboo topic. Is this a religious question? I don't think so.
Morality is defined as principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong, good and bad behavior. This is not necessarily a religious term, although I believe a lot of people think it is. Do you have to be a religious person to not harm another human? No, you just need to have a general respect for all other people. Respect is not solely a religious term either. I think that as a whole, religious peoples tend to strive for a moral code. I know that if you were to ask us what we deem as important topics for our kiddos to learn, we would probably say that first a love of God and our fellow people, respect and kindness towards one another and everyone, an inner drive to improve and expand oneself, the list could go on.
For us, one of the reasons for home educating is the apparent lack of moral conduct in the public school system. I say this with regard to the student peers as well as the adults. It is completely within the rights of a kindergarten teacher to be of the opinion that alcohol and occasional drug use is alright? Sure, but should she morally share this with her 5 and 6 year old students? Absolutely not.
As far as moral lessons in the home, Mr. La'Mour gave a perfect example of this in his book. He tells of a parent that has been pulled over for speeding. The parent knows he was speeding, but as the officer speaks to him about it, the parent becomes defensive and in fact tries to convince the officer he was not speeding. So, as the children sit in the back seat, they witness their parent first breaking the law and second not admitting to it.
As parents, we are the FIRST and GREATEST example to our children of moral and educational behaviors. Charlotte Mason, a great educator of her time, expresses many times in her book, Home Education, that parents must first be the example in all we want our children to excel and improve in. Do we want our children to be tidy? Then we must be tidy. Do we want our children to love reading? Then we must show them our love of reading. Do we want our children to be respectful and congenial to others? Then we must be respectful and congenial. This is true whether your children are home educated or attend public or private school.
Wow, I didn't mean to get into this topic quite this far, but as I kept typing, I kept thinking and hopefully this opens a bit of thought in each of you. Enjoy!