Faith and Unschooling

At the beginning of the year, when I was reading various blog posts, I came across some great thoughts over at Loving Him 4 Ever. Interestingly, as I went to look up the reference, it appears a break has occurred for the blog author since writing this post. I hope there is more to come! Anyway, here is an excerpt that particularly caught my attention:

I’d like to share some things I believe God has given me recently.

The first thing was Deut 6:6-7…

6And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up

This speaks to me that we are to bring our children alongside of us as we live life and they will be mentored and learn from us…there will be an impartation of our spirit into theirs…but is comes thru relationship with them..a good, solid, loving relationship with them…one where they can trust us to love them unconditionally…

Two weeks ago today, William was baptized by his older brother.

Afterward, his father (and my hubby of almost 23 years!) confirmed William a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and bestowed upon him the gift of the Holy Ghost by the power of the priesthood which he bears.

Almost right after the lovely gathering dispersed, William excitedly approached me and asked, “Do I get to have my own scriptures now!?” It was very interesting for several reasons. One was that I had not discussed this as any “rite of passage” or anything before obtaining your own scriptures, so I wonder why he associated it as such. However, in the past, that is when the children have typically taken up owning and carrying their own scriptures (though he has two older brothers who don’t do so; therefore, it isn’t a given). Second, was how eager he was to obtain his own scriptures (this from a boy who LOVES presents that are toy driven, yet this is so spiritual driven, and he doesn’t read yet).

So, it got me to thinking about this passage that I found above as well as the post that I wrote over at Life Without School a while ago found here. I do things quite a bit differently as it pertains to how I share my faith with my children, and all the attributes that go with that. For instance, it is common to start very young with children to pray alongside them so they “grow up with it”; therefore, they will continue with it as they are older. The same could be said of owning and carrying one’s scriptures from a young age, whether they can read or not, just to create a “habit.”

I didn’t do that with my children. Instead, I did as the scripture above indicates: I lived and spoke of it, in my home and outside of my home, as I awoke and as I went to sleep, as I walked and as I lay; it incorporates every aspect of my life. What I found was that my children each came to desire it for themselves when they were old enough to make that choice and recognize the value in it. I saw it with prayer, scripture study, serving a mission, Sabbath Day observance, and all the other myriad of goodly things to seek after.

In our church, there is an “age of accountability” whereby people are old enough to know right from wrong, make correct choices, and understand the consequences of actions. That age is 8. William actually turned 9 years old the day after his baptism. With his learning difficulties, I felt another year was in order and that proved to be of benefit as I saw him really embrace for himself his own desire for the important saving ordinance of baptism.

Interestingly, it is often found through brain research that the ages of 8-10 years is formative in the ability to discern, learn, and assimilate. Many of my children are right-brained learners, William included, and it is not until this age that many higher level thinking abilities emerge. The previous years are ones of building a foundation that will create so much of what will be needed for the proceeding years of growth and understanding. I see this both with academia as well as spirituality. You can include emotional and physical in there as well, from my vantage point. Pretty cool, really. It’s just another testament of the Truth that I live.

3 responses to “Faith and Unschooling

  1. Ani got baptized in February. She was absolutely thrilled to get her first set of scriptures. It’s funny how kids often associate baptism with scriptures. A woman who used to be in our ward (and actually strongly influenced my parents in their decision to start homeschooling me) was very into the brain development of children. She often said what you wrote in the last paragraph 🙂

  2. Congrats to William! It is great to see you pop up in my blog reader again!

  3. It is interesting to me that my approach to my children’s faith life was rather the same as yours. My intuition has often warred with my comfort level, here. I think the reason I like your blogging so much is that you are often able to put my intuitions into clear words. Anyway, I really appreciate your return to blogging.