August 26


Does it Matter what My Children Learn?

By Tresta Neil

Called to Learn, Home Education, How to Homeschool, Parenting, Spiritual Growth

Are you still looking for a few more classes this year? 
Are you wanting something for yourself too? 
Are you longing for more “gospel” with all the secular learning? 

If you answered yes to any or all of the questions above then take a look at the video below. Years ago I asked myself the question, “Does it matter what my children learn?” You see I, as I’m sure you can relate, did not remember most of what I learned in High School. I remember my friends and I remember the activities, but I have very few to no memories any academic learning. I have no proof of learning anything either – I threw everything I did in High School away. Why, you ask? Because it didn’t matter to me. I enjoyed working on a research paper I did and that was it. I don’t even remember the books I read for school – if any were required. 

When my oldest children began High School I was more afraid of what I wouldn’t teach them than what I was teaching them. After deep reflection I decided, “No, it didn’t matter what I taught my children in math, history, literature or science. What did matter is if they knew how to learn and how to think.” So I chose specific topics of interest to them and started asking questions, getting them to answer, to think. I asked many “what” and “how” questions, occasionally we got to some “why” questions. After time, our discussions became rich and often long. Their minds started opening up. I didn’t worry about getting through the lesson plan or the material. I wanted them to show me they were thinking, “working it out in their minds.” 

My oldest dropped out of school early to experiment with the world. When he realized it wasn’t for him he went to college. One of the classes he took was literature. This class was known for being hard. He didn’t expect to do well in the class. The professor started off the class with I’m going to teach you to think. It will be difficult for most of you if not all of you. Their first assignment was to read an article and then answer questions she posed to them. My son felt it was simple, the next class proved to be much the same. Several weeks went by and he wondered why this  class was considered hard. So he asked his class mates, they said they were struggling, found it extremely difficult to think like this. He was confused – he was a homeschool and public school drop out, he considered himself to be an academic failure and here he was enjoying this difficult class. He pondered on it for weeks and this is when he called me. “Mom,” he said, “it is your fault. I am passing this class and find it stimulating, because you taught me how to analyze and how to think all those years ago. My classmates do not know how to think. Mom,” he said at a much slower rate and a quiver in his voice, “I’m smart! My professor asked me what school I attended, because she could tell analyzing came easier for me. I told her homeschool – my mom.” 

That was a great “mommy pay day” for me, but since then I’ve wondered what made the difference. It wasn’t me – I never learned how to analyze or think. I was only good at asking questions. Which became the key – asking questions opens the mind to receive the spirit and the spirit leads you to answers or more questions and often a wonderful discussion. Since then I’ve been working and improving my questions. I ask better question to God, when I study the scriptures and with learning Come Follow Me with my children. I’m not perfect and often catch myself asking, “What did you learn?” for the tenth time. However I feel myself getting better. 

This year I’ve put together a curriculum for my children and a few families have asked to join us. So we are putting it all online and offering it to YOU. Would you like to join us? Not for the content, though it will be great, but for the skill of learning how to think, ponder, analyze and clarify your thoughts. We are offering six gospel-centered learning courses they include 

  • Symbolic Math FOUR
  • Physical Science (Physics)
  • Early Christian History
  • Early Christian Literature and Hebrew poetry
  • Language: Writing Essays and Elocution 
  • Hebrew Language 

Take 1 or 2 or join us for all of them. 

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