Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Meaningful Life: Home, the Cultivation of the Soul

In the early years of this country, public school was started. We rejoiced. The children felt blessed to go to school. The wooden desks in a row, a one room schoolhouse, and knowledge far beyond the plow shares and chicken coops back home.

But what about before the one room schoolhouse? What did America do then? 
Mothers. Many who could barely write their own name would read to their children out of the Bible, or Pilgrim's Progress. Mothers who taught household chores through apprenticeship, who taught piety through diligent one-on-one development, and love through the example of their own tender marital relationship.

Slowly, imperceptibly, we lost this as a society. Mothers didn't need to teach their life's work, because their children would grow up and do something else anyway. The mother was no longer the main instructor but was a facilitator to the education at school. And slowly she forgot. She forgot the benefits she gained from instructing her own children. The benefits her children gained from being instructed daily on eternal truths from their mother. Love, respect, kindness, friendship, integrity, hard work.

People ask what is wrong with our society. How come the kids don't leave school a better person? I know, let's fire the teachers who's kids get low test scores!

Well I know I want to do my part with my kids.

I want to instruct my children. Not just lead by example, but learn together. Read out of the best books what  good character looks like. Teach from my own experience, like any good teacher would do. Role play friendship scenarios. Push past the breaking point as part of a family, and not as a sports team.

I want to create souls that will stand the test of time. With the title of "mother," I feel that is what it requires me to do.

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