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11. Education is a Life: Ideas That Awaken a Mind

Your child's education happens through "atmosphere, discipline, and life," the three tools that are your child's natural environment, habits that make his life smoother, and interesting ideas that awaken his mind. This week, let's think about the life of the mind which is sparked by ideas.

Do you remember when you first had an inkling that you were going to be a parent? Did the very idea of a baby on the way change the way you looked at things? Did you suddenly start looking at your dietary habits with new eyes? Did names suddenly take on new importance for you? Did you start noticing children at the grocery store, at the mall, all around, that you had always taken for granted before?

That's the power of an idea, and this is the power we're going for in education: the power of an idea to awaken, to inspire, to change the way everything is looked at, to awe, to influence even your child's actions. Where do these ideas come from? They come from other people -- your child will hear them, or see them in movies, but mostly, they come from things people have said and thought, and the best of these are recorded in BOOKS. Your child deserves to be exposed to the BEST ideas, the ideas that are worthy of his personhood and will inspire him to be a better person. This is why books have such an all-important place in a CM education.

What kinds of ideas are picked up from books? Ideas like these: Even a king has to work hard to learn something as simple as reading. A hero doesn't always wear a cape; in fact, an ordinary person can be a hero. People who lived six hundred years ago felt and thought like real people do today. God's hand is at work, even in the details of the tiniest weed sprouting through a crack in the sidewalk.

What idea has awakened and broadened your child's mind today?

"What is it that parents sow? Ideas. It's imperative that we recognize what the only educational seed we have is, and how to distribute this seed." [from Charlotte Mason's Vol. 2 pg 29]

[Today's patio chat comes from Principle 8]

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