“Let him be taught not so much the facts of history as how to judge them.”
Michel de Montaigne
I knew it was time to update the children's chore lists when I had our ten year old daughter asking to learn how to do the washing properly, our five year old begging to use the vacuum cleaner and the almost-two year old trying to "help" with everything and anything. Here a few suggestions, which helped us make the transition smoother:
I believe all children need to learn how to take care of the home they live in. It fosters diligence, responsibility and a sense of interdependence. As a general rule we all enjoy working together to keep our home clean and tidy. It’s so great for the kids to hear Daddy praise them for how tidy the home looks when he walks in the door!
The kids are now studying Ancient Greece and we will soon be reading that copy of Black Ships Before Troy which has been sitting on a shelf for a couple of years. It’s very exciting.
Now, I didn’t study history in school, but I wish I had. Learning about lives and great empires which have come and gone has a way of putting your life in perspective. In Australia, where warfare, death and the “natural” order of things is largely out of sight, it is easy to forget that we are like the grass, destined to live for a short time before withering, dying and fading out of remembrance.
History reminds us of our mortality.
As a result, history focuses us on the important things in life: those things which are bound up in God’s plan to reconcile man to Himself. When we study history we are following the course of that plan from the beginning to the present, watching His providential hand at work. It helps our kids understand that they and their family form a part of God’s plan: that they have a part to play, too.
I want to be able to teach our children to deal with anger well - especially as it is an issue I still struggle with as an adult. I love the idea I found at Kendra’s blog today, which explains how she has created a “Peace Place”. After reading the background material by Ann Voscamp here, I understand that the aim is to provide a comfortable place, with all the material a child needs who is “feeling agitated and angry, to seek peace and pursue it.” I’m thinking that it would help our children gain some self-control and work through their conflict in a proactive way. I’m sure I’ll need to use it myself!