Ann Voskamp’s writings have had an incredible impact on me in many areas of my life. One of those has been in the area of homeschooling.
In one of her blog posts, Ann writes about 7 Daily Rungs and how their family uses them to make their way through their day; listening, love, labor, loveliness, literature, language, logic. If you are a home educator, I encourage you to read her post.
I loved the idea so much that it is a constant on my chalkboard. Having the “7 daily rungs” in front of me everyday, helps to keep me focused and reminds what is most important in educating my children; educating them for heaven and for eternity.
We use a “buddy system” in our home for chores; the older kids help the younger ones. This concept carries over to our learning. I am aware this is not a new concept. We have all heard the phrase, “see one, do one, teach one”. I am applying that in our home education. I am sure many of you already use this in your own home.
Each family is unique and as a home educating mom, I believe it is my duty to assess the needs of my family. We are just entering a season in our lives where my older two children are really old enough to help me. Up until this point, chores have required a little extra on my part as I teach and supervise, and reteach. 🙂 So if you have not yet reached this season, hold on Momma. It will come; more quickly than you would like.
Because we are entering this new chapter, I modified Ann’s 7 Daily rungs for our family by adding an additional rung – learning; our way of sharing. Why have I done this? Doesn’t adding another rung make more work for me? I don’t believe it does. I believe it helps me separate it out, distinguishes the importance of it. It is something we already do, something I’m sure Ann does, I’m sure most homeschoolers do, but giving “Learning” it’s own rung helps me to make sure we accomplish it. This rung is important to me for a variety of reasons.
We learn through teaching. “While we teach, we learn,” said the Roman philosopher Seneca. “To teach is to learn twice,” said Joseph Joubert, a French philosopher.
As well as learning, it is a way of sharing their time, devotion, and knowledge with their sibling. This encourages more interaction and time together. And while I am aware that more interaction generally increases arguments and fighting, my hope is that it will prove to tighten their bond. My role is to move from teacher to supervisor (and maybe referee). I must watch and listen to them teach and make sure the correct information is given (in a gentle, patient and loving way). This is also a way in which I can assess that learning of the new “teacher”.
Learning – a way of sharing, is in essence teaching them the role of a servant. I want them to learn early that living a life of Christ involves meeting others’ needs before their own.
By teaching their sibling, they will understand that there is more than one way to teach, more than one way to learn. People are very different. One must often be creative in the way they instruct and communicate to one another.
Teaching encourages communicating one’s thoughts clearly and intelligibly. For learning to happen, they must be understood. My hope is that not only will they have what they are teaching reinforced they will also learn how to interact with others and communicate effectively. By teaching, they will better learn to listen.
I believe teaching gives children a healthy responsibility. We are not alone on this earth. What we do and how we do it has an impact upon others. Recently, Andrew, my five-year-old, was able to recite all thirteen of his memory verses for Sabbath school. This was due largely to the help he received from Caleb (our nine-year-old). Caleb was so proud of his younger brother’s accomplishment. He felt a sense of accomplishment as well, from helping his brother achieve his goal.
Everyday we strive to climb these 8 daily rungs. But our focus mustn’t be on the rungs, our eyes must ever stay fixed on Christ. Hebrews 12:2 says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…” The 8 daily rungs are only a way of helping to walk closer to Him, learn more about Him, become more like Him.
I don’t need to raise Harvard scholars; I want to raise disciples for Christ.