Monday, April 23, 2007

Simply stated

All "doing habits" are the result of thinking and so we ought to form thinking habits that are clear and direct in contrast to the unsystematic or careless thinking of some people. Good thinking habits result in accurate comparisons, proper organization of facts observed, and the ability to recognize cause and effect."
~Our Environment and Its Relation to Us (a Jr. High Textbook written in 1933)

I am amazed that this quote came from a Junior High textbook. Would you ever see something so simply stated, yet so to the point, in a modern day textbook?

This is one reason why I love reading older books, especially older mothering books. Perhaps that is why Charlotte Mason's ideas are so popular. It is basic common sense.

What do children need? Psycho-babble today is so confusing, it's hard to wade through the truth of it all. Christian psycho-babble may say the same thing, packaged in Christian jargon.

What does a 1920's book entitled Talks to Mothers in my possesion say about raising healthy children?

"The child who has had a happy day with simple food, sunlight, and good air, and proper work and play, will slumber well. The angels of good-health and good-will guard his bed."

Now, where have we gone wrong?
Why is it so complicated to so many people in our modern day age?
Why is common sense wisdom like this labeled as "too simple"?
Why do we need "experts" to tell us every nuance of raising our children?
Two words: we don't.

I would rather read about or talk to an experienced mom, than that of an "expert". Reading blogs is in a small way like sitting on the front porch with a wise woman, listening to snippets of her life, hearing her advice.

The Lord Himself did not write books and books on child-rearing or living the Christian life. It is in one concise Book, simply stated for all.

In order to not be manipulated by our confusing culture, I must continually renew my mind in the simple things. The older books are good, but God's Word is better.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.~Romans 12:2


Laura said...

I completely agree. I have a side rant about the toys created for babies and kids these days along those simplicity lines, but back on topic, I find myself repeatedly learning and challenged by more in the Bible as to how to parent than I ever did or will in a Sears (etc.) book. Especially since my child is the anti-textbook child and goes against everything regarding sleep, eating and playing. :)

Beverly said...

Amen! We get lost in all of the confusion, when all we REALLY need is God's Word. And yes, I am thankful for some of those older authors. I collect old books, so I understand how you feel about authors like Charlotte Mason.

Also, your new look is very beautiful! This is the first I have seen it.

Elise said...

We bought into the lie that our children need lots of outlets - when really they just need one - the outdoors!
I love that you reminded us to renew our mind in the Word of God. Another simple thing made complicated by the world - we need spas, days away, ME-time. No we don't. We need the Lord and His Word.
Wonderful post, Andrea. I'll read you any day over talking to an expert. ;)
P.S. - I talk often to my boys about the value of hard work and play - I remind them that it helps them sleep better when their bodies have run and lifted and ridden all day long. They seem to agree. :)

Anonymous said...

Nature --sticks, leaves, water and just good old dirt-- makes the best toys. Lots of imagination used when children are left to themselves to develope it. No store bought toys will take the place. No psycho-babble needed.

Love, Mom

L.L. Barkat said...

Of course, we know why. Because those good things are free (or close to it), and this does not fit with the goals of our economy. I like Wendell Berry's ideas about the value of a household economy over and above the rather unhealthy, entangling, superficial economy of products, products, products.

And I love how you've expressed similar ideas here.

Sarah said...

What a great reminder! We can be so hard on ourselves, so perplexed as to whether or not we are "doing things right" when we measure ourselves against all the books out there on raising our kids. And while many of those books have value, we must always remember to filter what we read through the most important book, God's Word. Amen sister! Thank you for your insight and inspiration!

Christine said...

Sooo true! This post is like a breath of fresh air. This should be the mantra of every homeschooling mother- it's really quite simple and common sense wisdom, along with God's truth, can accomplish all we wish for our children!

Jennifer said...

I agree that the insights that I glean from real moms sharing their failings and tips for success are such an encouragement.

Ann Kroeker said...

I've been thinking many of the same thoughts. I saw a book title one time--a current one, not a turn-of-the-century one--entitled, "Trees Make the Best Mobiles." I don't know what the rest of the book was about, but the title suggests that at least some people are crying out against consumerism and complexity targeting childrearing and are instead calling for a simpler, slower approach. Take the baby outside on a blanket under a tree. I believe Charlotte Mason would advise the same thing.

When we began homeschooling, man, I suppose that was 8 or 9 years ago, I came across Charlotte Mason. Her ideas were radical for her era for different reasons than what makes them radical again for us today. I tried to incorporate her philosophy into our days as much as possible and saw the light of learning in my children's eyes so often: when we were at the park on a walk "studying nature," for example, sketching in journals, reading non-twaddle literature, etc.

You've obviously touched on a lot of things that have been meaningful to me, as well. Great post, well put.