Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Reading a great book.

I am reading a great book. It's a book I have always wanted to read and just got the chance (because a great pal of mine loaned it to me). It is For The Children's Sake (aka:FTCS)by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay. This is the daughter of the great Christian (protestant) apologist Francis Schaeffer. He is the one who wrote The Christian Manifesto and The Mark of A Christian...both great books (from my Evangelical days). Anyway, back to FTCS; it is a book based on the ideas and educational theories of Charlotte Mason. Though there maybe things about the execution of her philosophy that wouldn't necessarily work for unschoolers, her philosophy regarding the personhood of a child fits right in with Pope John Paul's teaching in his profound Theology of the Body where he writes about the dignity of each human person. Miss Mason's feelings about children also are in line with much of what John Holt was trying to tell the world about children...that they are people who have needs and rights and shouldn't be treated as just adult's possesions. If you want to know more about Charlotte Mason click on the title of this post and it will take you to more info.

Kids are people to be loved and respected in their own right because they are persons created by God. They are not blobs of playdoh we get to play with and mold just the way we want. Maybe God has other plans for our kids that we should ask him about before we set them on the path to physicianhood or lawyerhood??? Our children, like us and all those who came before, are individual people with their own bodies, minds and souls. As parents we are supposed to help our children to adulthood, but there is nothing that says we are supposed to "decide" their adulthood.

I have made so many mistakes by my kids because I have not trusted them, or worse, I let people talk me into not trusting them. The idea that kids can't be trusted with their own learning is so pervasive that it is hard to forge a different path. But I think I have to see my way through this morass the same way that I, as one trying to live an authentic Catholic life, would do my best not to fall into the trap of Cafeteria Catholicism. Just because everybody is doing it (or not doing it) doesn't make it right. Compulsory, institutionalized school from preschool through 12th grade is very new on the historical map, having been around only 150ish years. Someday, God forbid, abortion will have been around that long. Will it mean that abortion is credible, right and true? NO!! SO, neither is school.


Leonie said...

I couldn't agree more! Love the connections between Schaeffer Macauley and JP2!

Leonie said...

BTw, saw you love Dr Who - we are big Dr Who fans!