Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Well school has been all over the place, literally, but we are home and going to try to get into the swing of things. LDSHEA has a news letter they send out that I enjoy, they have a new series going about why Latter-Day Saints should homeschool, I seam to have deleted the #1 reason, so I thought I would share the #2 reason. I could h=not get it on their site to just link to so I will just post the article here, it is by Joyce Kinmont. :)

Why Latter-day Saints Should Homeschool . . . and how to do it!
Reason #2: Homeschooling Will Help You Grow
I know, I've heard it many, many times: I can't homeschool; I haven't got the patience!
Did you leave the pre-existence without patience? Do you want to leave this earth without it? Of course not, and here is your opportunity. Sign up for Patience 101. After that you can enroll in Parental Leadership, Service in the Family, Organization Skills, Teaching by the Spirit, Learning by the Spirit, and every other Celestial skill you ever wanted to develop. Your major is Godhood.
Sound overwhelming? It's not, unless you picture yourself moving a school classroom into your home and see yourself standing before a small classroom delivering lessons you stayed up late to prepare to an uninterested, uncooperative child. It can be done that way and lots of homeschoolers try it, but the Lord's way of teaching is much different. Elder Dallin Oaks tells us, "The most basic example of differences between the Lord's way and man's way concerns how we learn" (The Lord's Way, p. 16).
Man's ways are usually burdensome, usually involve force, and seldom bring satisfying results. Man's yoke is heavy and stressful. The Lord's way is certainly less popular, and it may seem more difficult, but in the end it is the "easier" and more satisfying way."Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:29-30) The "easy" yoke is one that fits well, that makes the burden not just bearable, but joyful.
We live in an historic moment of time in the preparation of a Zion people. The Church is trying now to move us to a new way of learning, by the spirit. We are encouraged to ask questions and find answers by study and by revelation, and to teach each other the gospel through a higher level of discussion. President Packer, Elder Holland, Elder Bednar, Elder Bateman, and Elder Roger Merrill seem to be leading the way. Since the gospel encoumpasses all knowledge, homeschooling fits right into this; in fact home is the perfect place to learn how to learn by following inspired questions and being led to truth by both study and revelation. We are told that we live below our privileges. As children of god, shouldn't it be our privilege to learn from on high?
When we Saints sing "I am a child of God" we really mean it. We recognize that we are created in His image, and we are most fortunate to know something of what God looks like. In the ConferenceCenter in Salt Lake there is a small statue of the Father and the Son appearing to Joseph in the sacred grove. Which is the father, and which is the Son? You can only tell because the Father is gesturing with His left hand. Then, when you look at the back of the statue you see the Father's right arm placed tenderly around the back of his son. A real father and a real son. This is no small matter. Most of our Christian friends think they are created in the image of a God who has no image and loved by a God who has no passions.
We understand the meaning of a "divine nature and destiny." We are gods in embryo. We know something of what we will be like when we grow up. Our destiny is to rejoin our heavenly family as adult children, having matured in our earth-school experience, and then to keep on growing until we too are "gods."
What is a god? A perfected being. What do gods do? As I've pondered the Divine Nature, everything seems to fall into two categories: they Create and they Bless. Sometimes they cry (Moses 7), but they certainly must also feel great joy.
What we need to do to develop our divine nature is to practice creating and blessing until we get very good at it. We are allowed to cry along the way, and we are expected to experience joy. Our laboratory is our home. Our texts are written by apostles and prophets who are also the professors. We read the texts and listen to our Professors to find out how children should be raised and what they should be taught in the Kingdom of God. We are coached by our personal tutor and mentor, the Holy Ghost, who whispers to our seeking hearts. We try out what we learn in our family laboratory. Our "lab experiments" are our children. They are like precious, tender plants, and we learn to serve and bless them as we become experienced gardeners in our own little family garden plot.
I don't know how we got to be the children of Heavenly Parents in the first place. I don't know what we were when they found us, or chose us, or harvested us. Intelligences? Points of light, perhaps? Whatever we were then, we are theirs now. They gave us spiritual bodies and loved us and taught us. They prepared a "school" for us, individualized to provide just the circumstances we would need for our personal growth. Then at the right time, when they knew we were ready, they sent us off. There was no compulsion, no force, no threat, no competition; we wanted to go. We all committed to help each other get back. Surely there was a final good-bye, a long embrace, and we were on our way.
Now we are complaining and fighting the experience, looking for ways to avoid the hard work and the growth opportunities, looking for short cuts and easy outs. Why would we skip the core part of our earth school? How can we say, "Naw, I'll pass on this one. I'm not smart enough. I need my free time. I have other things to do. The mall is calling me. Let the state do it. I pay taxes. And I haven't got the patience."
Here we are with this great opportunity to work right in our homes to develop our own godhood, to learn to bless and create, and we turn down the opportunity because we haven't got the patience?
We are blessed to have the gift of a teaching nature to help us fulfill our teaching duty. We are further blessed when we have a child or two or six or twelve to give us hands-on opportunities to develop patience -- and obedience, and self-reliance, and creativity, and the use of agency, and many other traits of our Divine Nature. If our "homeschool" must be just a 15 minute mini-discussion over dinner to start with, and if it requires a soul-stretching, patience building effort on our part to make it happen, so be it; but we can'topt out.
The second reason for homeschooling is to take advantage of a great opportunity for our own personal growth and happiness -- to learn patience.
Our first estate featured learning of a cognitive type, and it was surely a much longer span than that of our second estate, and the tutoring so much better and more direct. The second estate, however, is one that emphasizes experiential learning through applying, proving, and testing. We learn cognitively here too, just as a good university examination also teaches even as it tests us. . . We have moved, as it were, from first-estate theory to second-estate laboratory. - The Neal A. Maxwell Quote Book, p. 198
Reading aloud is my favorite part of homeschooling. How many others have had this experience: I am sitting on the couch (a chair would never do) reading a good book, such as Men of Iron by Howard Pyle. One child sits on my right, and one child sits on my left, and one child sits on the back of the couch behind my neck, and one child sits on my lap. The fifth child has to make do. Everyone must be situated, just so, in order to see all of the pictures - which must be examined minutely before the page is turned. This is one of the ways God taught me patience. . . . If I could have just an hour of that time again, right now, I would gladly read Corduroy fifteen times in a row and not complain. - Lauri Bluedorn, "Ten Things to Do with Your Child Before Age Ten, Teaching the Trivium," 1998

Funny, I gave that link just recently! :) Have a great day!! :) I am not sure anyone reads this, if you do let me know! :)

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