“We’re looking for a kind of permeation of the sweet aroma of God’s truth in all that we do in our home and our children’s education, and we all need constant reminders to keep ourselves aware of that. It’s too easy to become dull in our educational pursuits.” –Unknown
“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 2:14-17
Our educational pursuits become dull as we wander away from the beauty and the sweetness of the Lord and His Word in our lives and in our children’s lives. Let us never forget the charge we have as mothers and teachers to teach our children about Christ and His great salvation before all other things. As He becomes the center of our homes and our schools, the fragrance of His knowledge will fill our hearts and minds and all of the other subjects we teach.
I was reading an article on Barnacles and liberal education and how education can help us stop being barnacles by opening up our lives to new thoughts, new ideas, new ways of living rather than just sticking to our comfortable rocks and not growing. I was especially struck by this quote:
Meaning is not something you stumble across, like the answer to a riddle or the prize in a treasure hunt. Meaning is something you build into your life. You build it out of your own past, out of your affections and loyalties, out of the experience of humankind as it is passed on to you, out of your own talent and understanding, out of the things you believe in, out of the things and people you love, out of the values for which you are willing to sacrifice something. The ingredients are there. You are the only one who can put them together into that unique pattern that will be your life. Let it be a life that has dignity and meaning for you. If it does, then the particular balance of success or failure is of less account.
However, it’s not just a liberal education that can lead to growth and building meaning into our lives. How many times have I clung to my comfortable rock of sin and had the Lord gently pry me loose so that I could live more fully and freely in obedience to Him? How many times have I wanted to hide from being known and had a friend pry me loose and convince me to trust and be vulnerable so that I could have deeper fellowship? How many times have I wanted to cling to my own idea of the world and had a book, or more often, God’s Word open my eyes to my ignorance so that my life was enriched and new horizons beckoned? The Lord Himself, the relationships He has allowed in my life, the books He brings across my path and other things as well pry me out of my comfort zone, give rich meaning to my life, open my world to great and glorious visions, and fill my days with laughter, goodness, beauty, and truth. How thankful I am for learning to swim rather than to stay a barnacle.
“In living, and moving and having something of our being in a home culture, even with its all-too-human fuss and bother, if we but smuggle in something of the simple cargo-sturdy, comfortable furniture, fresh food, home cooked meals, good wine, one set of fine china for special meals, paintings and ancestral portraits on the wall, an old upright piano, acoustic guitar, any non-electric instrument, a time set apart to read aloud before prayers and bedtime-if we but make a welcome hearth for the songs of the Muses, we too will know that even on this earth, now and again, a courage will visit among us in those comforting, beautiful reflections of the permanent things, quite surprising yet strangely familiar for us who are passing to and fro in these playful shadows, and we will begin to see as Odysseus recognized, “something very much like perfection.” — James S. Taylor
from his article, “Something Like Perfection”
We’ve started school and Morning Time again now that the holidays are over. For the most part, we are enjoying our selections this term.
Here is what we are reading now:
All of us:
Hymn this month: “Trust and Obey”
Verses to memorize: 2 Peter 1:2-11
New Testament – 1 chapter a day (we are just finishing Colossians)
DS17 – we are reading from the Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry to go along with his studies in 20th century history and literature
DS15 – William Cooper (Ambleside Online’s selections)
Both boys are memorizing “If” by Rudyard Kipling
“The Greek Way” by Edith Hamilton
“All Creatures Great and Small” by James Herriot
“Macbeth” by William Shakespeare
Then DS17 goes off to do his own work and DS15 and I continue with his other read alouds:
“Ourselves” by Charlotte Mason (I need to write a post of praise for this little book. It is excellent!)
“The Iliad” by Homer
“Histories” by Herodotus
“Life of Themosticles” by Plutarch
We are also, in a haphazard and hit and miss sort of way, listening to and looking at the Ambleside Online selections for art and music. This term’s composer is Tchaikovsky and the artist is Manet. We weren’t very faithful last term but I hope to do better this term. We’ll see….
Each boy also has books they are reading and discussing with me but that is separate from Morning Time.
I’m thankful for the couple of hours each day we spend on the reading, discussing, and memorizing together. It can be a struggle some days and the attitudes (mine included) are not always what they should be, but I think it is valuable time that will not be entirely forgotten by the boys when they are grown.