Blog

The Daily Effort of Education

Homeschool mom and daughterToday was one of “those” days. It took a Herculean effort just to make sure we accomplished all that needed to be done: meals, vitamins, exercises, beginning reading, copywork, math, bread-baking, groceries, Bible, Latin, English grammar, literature, Scripture memory. Not to mention conference calls, e-mails, and scheduling.

I’m sure your to-do list looked just as full and loomed just as large.

This afternoon I was reminded of this quote by Charlotte Mason about the daily effort of education:

“To ‘endeavour ourselves’ to the daily effort of education, to live and act, think and speak before the children, so that they shall be hourly the better for all that we are, is harder, no doubt, than to make one enormous sacrifice” (Vol. 5, p. 156).

And I was thinking, That’s right, Charlotte. You hit the nail on the head when you talked about the effort it takes to get everything done to educate our children every day. Homeschooling is a lot of work! Especially since our goal is that our children will be hourly the better for all that we do.

Wait a minute. That’s not what Charlotte said. She said the goal is that our children shall be hourly the better for all that we are.

Charlotte was emphasizing the importance of what we are during those daily activities, not just what we do. (Maybe that’s why those two words are italicized in the book, huh?)

Our children are going to learn more by living with us day in and day out than they will by reading about ratios and proportions. What we are—the ideas that rule our lives, the attitudes that rule our hearts, the actions and words that stem from those attitudes—will have a bigger impact on them than what they learn about some historical figure.

Once again Charlotte gently reminded us that the atmosphere of our homes makes up one-third of our children’s education. What we are speaks so much louder than what we do or plan to do.

I want my children to be “hourly the better” for spending their days with me. It’s a tall order that can be accomplished only with much prayer. Let’s renew our commitment to put forth the effort—daily—of living devotedly, acting lovingly, thinking correctly, and speaking kindly before our children.

It bears repeating:

“To ‘endeavour ourselves’ to the daily effort of education, to live and act, think and speak before the children, so that they shall be hourly the better for all that we are, is harder, no doubt, than to make one enormous sacrifice” (Vol. 5, p. 156).

Tags: , , , , ,

6 Responses to “The Daily Effort of Education”

  1. Stacey January 14, 2010 at 11:56 pm #

    Excellent quote and elucidation! And on the day (year!) that I’ve had, it is especially timely. I’m writing Charlotte’s quote on an index card and sticking it front and center so I can remind myself of it throughout my day. Thank you!! 🙂

  2. Tabitha January 15, 2010 at 1:10 pm #

    So true, It HAS been one of those days. I am struggling with so many to do’s. Thanks for the encouragement.

  3. ChristyH January 15, 2010 at 7:58 pm #

    Thank you so much for that reminder that it isn’t about what i get done or don’t get done but how I did it and with what attitude I did it with.

  4. Antoinette Brown January 16, 2010 at 3:03 am #

    Thank you so much for that reminder!!! I’m up now at 2 am stressing about how “behind” my 1st grader is. This post makes me want to stop and think about what “I am” and what my stress is communicating to her!! It really makes me want to evaluate what’s important and really focus on those things! Thanks so much for the reminder.

  5. Linda Burklin January 17, 2010 at 10:59 pm #

    Reminds me of the chorus we used to sing in my boarding school:

    What you are (Oh what you are)
    Speaks so loud (Oh speaks so loud)
    The world can’t hear what you say;
    They’re looking at your walk
    Not listening to your talk
    They’re judging by your actions every day . . .

  6. Simple home April 2, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

    Just read this post today. Well said, thanks Sonya!

Free basic shipping (contiguous USA) on orders over $75!