This was such an interesting piece. Especially as this article applauded the very behaviors that, in America, parents get ridiculed for and sometimes even punished.
Again, common sense for centuries now takes an expert to fill us all in on the best way to raise our children since Americans, apparently, have lost theirs.
“…why French children are not diagnosed with ADHD in anything like the numbers we are seeing in the United States….
From the time their children are born, French parents provide them with a firm cadre—the word means “frame” or “structure.” Children are not allowed, for example, to snack whenever they want. Mealtimes are at four specific times of the day. French children learn to wait patiently for meals, rather than eating snack foods whenever they feel like it.
French parents, Druckerman observes, love their children just as much as American parents. They give them piano lessons, take them to sports practice, and encourage them to make the most of their talents. But French parents have a different philosophy of discipline. Consistently enforced limits, in the French view, make children feel safe and secure. Clear limits, they believe, actually make a child feel happier and safer—something that is congruent with my own experience as both a therapist and a parent. Finally, French parents believe that hearing the word “no” rescues children from the “tyranny of their own desires.” And spanking, when used judiciously, is not considered child abuse in France.
As a therapist who works with children, it makes perfect sense to me that French children don’t need medications to control their behavior because they learn self-control early in their lives. The children grow up in families in which the rules are well-understood, and a clear family hierarchy is firmly in place. In French families, as Druckerman describes them, parents are firmly in charge of their kids—instead of the American family style, in which the situation is all too often vice versa.”
Read all of Why French Kids Don’t Have ADHD
Nicholas Farrell nailed it in his piece, Women, Work & Freedom, exposing the truths that most of us are too afraid to say out loud, regardless of the damage we’ve all suffered from ignoring it.
“Women in Europe and America have made one great big fat suicidal error as a result of modern feminism since the movement’s inception: They have confused work with freedom. This confusion has had catastrophic consequences for all of us because it has fatally infected the core activity of any healthy civilization: the creation and upbringing of children….
The truth is the precise opposite….Nearly all work, if we mean the work that most people in the West do day after day in exchange for money, is a life sentence in prison. It is dull, repetitive, and soul-destroying. It does not liberate.” -Nicholas Farrell
I have always puzzled at the claim of “freedom” in the demand of women to work outside the home when it is apparent they haven’t been liberated from anything, but rather had a burden added to their already intensive, full-time job. Not liberation, but stress, anxiety and exhaustion seems to be what women really fought for and won.
I have said before, I’m not trying to be oppressive by saying that women should focus on their roles at home instead of clamoring to get out; I’m trying to illumine the truly liberating life that so many have forsaken for a false promise. (That’s a nice thing, right? And every time I still get harassed for it…go figure.)
And yes, bringing up children had to be villainized, on some level, before feminists could convince the masses of women that they were somehow being short-changed. They were too…distracted, maybe? to realize, as Farrell said, that the secret to a “healthy civilization” is having children and investing, full time, in their upbringing. And, the results are in. We’re splitting at the seams and no one seems to make the connection.
And then there’s this–oh how did we miss this:
“If women stopped work tomorrow it would solve the West’s chronic unemployment crisis overnight. Due to the dire shortage of workers left, salaries would rocket.”
The “can’t afford it” argument? Sometimes that’s true (although usually not), but we created that monster too. If one-income families were the norm, the income would rise to meet it. It’s just so simple: women have an incredibly important role to play (THE most important, perhaps?) and men are sufficiently ready to take care of us and do the grunt work of providing an income. We all have a wonderful, specific cog in this wheel that makes the world go ’round, one just as important as the other. But it takes us all, content with our cogs, to keep the wheel turning.
Read the rest of Women, Work & Freedom
On the heels of Marilyn Boyer’s great suggestions in the last post about helping an unmotivated learner, this post reminds homeschooling parents that our freedom allows us benefits the classroom doesn’t. We should not feel bound to operate like a classroom, which can be very stifling to many children, suffocating their natural curiosity and love of learning.If your child thrives in a structured, class-room setting, by all means give it to him. But if he doesn’t, the world is his classroom; don’t deprive him.
We must remember that the school classroom functions as it does NOT because that has been found to be the superior method of education, but because that is the only option for mass-producing students. It contradicts, in fact, the evidence that children learn best in a realistic, life-like setting, with hands-on experience.
As John Taylor Gatto reminds:
“It is absurd and anti-life to move from cell to cell at the sound of a gong for every day of your natural youth in an institution that allows you no privacy and even follows you into the sanctuary of your home demanding that you do its ‘homework.’
‘How will they learn to read?’…When children are given whole lives instead of age-graded ones in cellblocks they learn to read, write, and do arithmetic with ease if those things make sense in the kind of life that unfolds around them.” From Why Schools Don’t Educate
So, what does a “lifestyle of learning” look like from day to day? Different for every family. But, upon many requests, I thought I’d offer some practical ways to encourage your child to utilize his curiosity about his world. The ideas are really endless. I’d love to hear YOURS!
- Simply expose them. To books, to conversation, to places, to people, to animals, to cooking, to building, to nature. We simply cannot underestimate a child’s ability to take in, process and store information–something inherent at birth. This begins at birth and the fewer distractions like TV or phones, the better for motivating them to learn about their world.
- Listen and watch. A child learns things best in the context of what interests him. Find out what that is, give him experiences around his interests and then look to see the learning opportunities. For example, my 8-year-old son loves building things and he loves large machines. And by “love” I mean he’s obsessed. We have let him build a playhouse (with a little help from Sis), supervising his use of the saw and nail gun. It has taken quite a bit of thought about measurements and angles and my husband has been able to really show him the importance of “squaring” the frame, etc. It’s an excellent exercise in problem-solving. That geometry makes sense to him whereas if I handed him a geometry worksheet right now he wouldn’t have a clue.
- Bait the house with books. This is my favorite. I leave books on art, science, animals and other subjects lying around and sometimes an older child will pick it up and become absorbed and even begin to read and explain it to a younger one. Or when someone crawls up beside me, I open it and start reading. I just ordered a set of “Nature Friend” magazines from Ebay and I’m excited to see how they like those too.
- Let them learn from other people. Do you have friends or family who have a particular trade or skill? Would they mind some of your children hanging out to observe? If that isn’t an option, there are great videos that teach different skills for children who show interest.
- Build vocabulary naturally. Being intentional about the words we use with our children is the best way to build their vocabulary. Random words on a worksheet are much harder to memorize than if they learn the word in context of life and language. Conversation is the best way to improve communication skills. Something, in our technologically-filled lives, that takes deliberate attention.
- Focus on the traits that matter. Any time you research for “most important qualities of a successful person” or “qualities employers look for”, or something similar, the results that turn up always focus on character and NEVER include test scores or degrees. Do we take that to heart and intentionally teach and train character? Communication skills, problem-solving, and integrity rank at the top of almost every list.
LIVE. That’s the way to a superior education. Here is part of our check list, academically speaking:
- Can they write well, speak well and convey their thoughts well? What are some activities that will facilitate these?
- Are they numerate? Do they know how to handle numbers, do they understand fractions and how to work out number problems? As they get older, do they know how money works, do they understand debt and interest and budgeting? Very important.
- Can they type?
- Do they have a good grasp of history and the workings of the government? We especially want them to read biographies from great men and women of the past.
- Are they exposed to art in a variety of forms, and music? (If they show giftedness/interest, are we doing what we can to help them excel?)
- Do they have a heavy dose of common sense?
Charge ahead with confidence!
(Guest post by Marilyn Boyer of Character Concepts)
One thing I have learned from one of my struggling learners is that unless some children want to learn, they just won’t apply themselves to do it. Unless they have a desire to learn something, it’s extremely hard for some of them to be able to concentrate and focus.
Some kids are motivated and know what they have to do, set their own goals and get it done. Other children, however, need to understand why learning is important in order to apply themselves.
If you have a child like this, train yourself to study him and see what matters to to him the most. Then, look for a way to apply what you are trying to teach him to something that he cares about.
For instance, if you are trying to teach handwriting skills and your child just doesn’t care if he writes neatly, let him write something that’s important, like a letter to the editor of the newspaper.
Letters to the editor are one of the most highly read sections of the newspaper, and we found editors love to publish letters written by kids, because it’s so unusual to have a child care enough to write.
Have your child read about an issue and write a letter to be read by thousands of people he can potentially influence. Suddenly, he will care about handwriting, grammar, spelling and communication skills.
If he struggles with math, find a use for that skill you are trying to teach. For example, if you are teaching percentages, go to a sale, let him figure out how much off you are getting on deals, or let him bake a pie and cut it up to learn fractions.
For a boy who loves to build, buy him some wood and let him use measurements to build a bookcase or birdhouse. If your child is interested in airplanes, but not in geometry, let them see the plans the Wright Bros. drew up to make their first glider. These examples are examples of projects I have actually done with my kids.
Find creative ways to apply what you teach, by connecting learning with your kids’ passions, and see if that doesn’t make a huge difference in how they learn.
If you are teaching skills for writing a paper, let your child choose the topic, whether it is about the Tuskegee Airmen or hunting white-tailed deer.
Let your children make bread and sell it, raise chickens, sell the eggs and learn about accounting and small business.
This is the beauty of home education- being able to customize your teaching to your unique child! I admit, it takes some reprogramming on the part of you, the mom, because we do things the way we’ve seen them done, the way they were taught to us in school. But remember, if there is a better way for your child to learn, climb out of the box and train yourself to enjoy learning with your children!
We currently have a three-part book available for Kindles called Portraits of Integrity. You can grab Volume 2 of Portraits of Integrity at the discounted price of $1.99 Thursday, May 16- Friday, May 17.
Click on the link below to get your discounted price!
I am giving away 3 digital copies of Portraits of Integrity!
Be sure to enter and tell your friends too!
I won’t expound here, as most of you already understand the tragic absurdity in the Gosnell trial, the abortion doctor found guilty of killing babies.
Did you get that? I could stop there and the point would be made.
Taking a life is wrong. It doesn’t matter how scared the woman who is growing a person is, or how poor, or how anything, she simply can’t be given the right to decide if another innocent person deserves to live or die–no one should have that right. Because just as in this case, the slope gets very slippery and your life or mine could end up being weighed in the schizophrenic balance, according to circumstance instead of value, by someone else some day.
It all started with circumstance vs. value, didn’t it? The value of life began to wane when circumstance made it desirable to avoid it and technology made it easy. But then, if you really, really wanted to avoid making a life, and life appeared anyway, then what? It was the first stepping stone to “taking care of things” after the fact if it didn’t work before.
We’ve tried to make the rules and we’ve made a huge mess. Why? Because “the heart is deceitfully wicked.” No sadness of plight should sway our belief in right and wrong. We need a mooring, an immovable standard. We have one, but have forsaken it.
The lines get blurred and we can’t even make sense of it anymore. What is murder? What is a woman’s choice? Why are they not called the same? Is it measured by bloodshed? A tidy abortion just doesn’t offend us the same as a messy one. Geography? Outside or inside the womb? Where is the line? Either way, a baby dies. Why is Dr. Gosnell guilty while thousands go free?
“The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul.” Psalm 19:7
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil.” Isaiah 5:20
“Hear, O my people, and I will testify unto thee: O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me; But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me. So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels.” Psalm 81:8, 11-12