Tuesday, 17. March 2009 by Renee Ellison
Your objective in educating your children is to keep pressing out the edges of their mental abilities. Work at this relentlessly, until you come to the outer edges of their brains and capacities and they simply are not capable of any more (at age 25 or so!). The LORD said to “take dominion” over the earth, and He meant to the EDGES of everything – including educating your children.
Let’s look at how to do that with your oldest daughter first, just as an example. This will show you how to move a child from area in which she is competent into a new area in which she is presently incompetent, so that she can expand into competence in many areas.
Let’s say your daughter is terrific at cooking. She has that skill down. Conquered. You might have her now work herself out of a job. Have her train both of her next younger siblings simultaneously. In other words, stand there in the kitchen and DO nothing, just tenderly and patiently tell the younger ones how to make the meal and watch them, oversee them, until they “GET IT”. She can still be head cook for many meals, but she might now do it less and less as all the children get trained in it more and more, down the line.
She should train them cheerfully and humbly like this: first she SHOWS them, then she does it WITH them, and lastly she just watches and verbally corrects them, on every single step, from cracking an egg to boiling oatmeal. Have the two younger siblings rehearse and practice this same meal night after night, or every other night, or one week’s worth followed by the same menu next week, until they can do it with no elder’s supervision. Then they can turn around and teach it to the next child.
Your second- and third-born children NEED this skill now, and your oldest needs to move BEYOND it. As soon as they can master making seven evening meals (if they’re boys, this training will be helpful if their wives have babies and they need to cook all the meals for several months), then go find a new area where your oldest needs to be challenged and get her progressing on IT. If the neighbor plays piano/flute, get them to teach her. It doesn’t matter WHAT, just SOMETHING she has never done before.
Your oldest may fight you or balk simply because it takes her out of her comfort zone, but don’t give in to her. Get her on the same page with you, mentally, by telling her how awesome you want her to become in EVERY area. Get a local lady to teach her sewing, perhaps. This lady can come to your house so that you can oversee the way that she tutors, in case you need to course-correct in some way. If no one can come to your home, then get a sewing BOOK from the library or order it online and have it shipped to you, and have her go through it page by page until the new skill is conquered. Obtain several books on additional topics for her to learn concurrently, or have her watch/get trained under other PEOPLE doing different skills.
She could also begin to write essays on Biblical topics, or persuasive papers on topics such as: What was the matter with the way Solomon ruled? What was good about it? Compare and contrast King David with King Ahab, discussing both similarities and differences. Have her write on what she KNOWS WELL, whether it be Biblical topics, family topics, or historical topics. Writing essays is vital to developing organized THOUGHT … which is needful for every major decision in life. Every emerging adult needs to develop an organized logical brain, capable of thinking through things from many conceivable angles. The final goal by the end of high school is to have your children read challenging, complex material; write essays competently on a variety of topics; and speak persuasively. These are life skills, refined, cultured skills, God-intended skills.
Then correct these essays WITH her. This is only ONE area to develop in becoming a brilliant capable adult. There are scores more. If you don’t want to have to dream up all of these areas on your own, using a curriculum will help considerably. ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) covers all of this in a sequential, thorough curriculum, which we have found to be one of the easiest to use. ACE has relieved millions of parents of this burden of doing it all yourself.
Over a million children are currently using ACE world-wide in 135 countries, enabling those children to gain the basic foundation that EVERY child needs. This is not a luxury, it is a necessity. Military families’ children and missionaries’ children have used them for decades now, to answer THEIR moms’ problems. Mamas were never meant to have to figure our all of these mental disciplines from scratch. The LORD wants your children educated even more than you do. That is why decades ago he raised up two faithful old missionaries (a husband and wife team who were educators) to write this God-honoring program extremely well, putting in tons of hours, and field testing it and re-writing it over and over to perfect it, so that mothers everywhere could be relieved of this UNIVERSAL burden. Using this curriculum (or any curriculum) frees you to teach your children valuable domestic and life skills…as many as you have time for!