Saturday, April 19, 2014
On occasion my twin nephews, who are six years old, will burst into song, “Father, I adore you.” And I lay my life before you. How I love you.” In a public school setting, I guarantee the teacher would not appreciate or encourage such a song. But in the home, this is a beautiful testament of my nephews’ childlike faith.
Too often we focus on the academics and overlook the whole child, building the character of the child, considering all aspects of the person. In his Apostolic Letter Tertio Millennio Adveniente, Blessed John Paul II described Christ as one who “labored with human hands, thought with a human mind, acted with a human will, and loved with a human heart” (par. #4). We need to ask ourselves when we educate ourselves and our children, “Do we labor with Christ’s hands, think with Christ’s mind, act with Christ’s will, and love with Christ’s heart.” We sometimes become so consumed with educating our children’s mind, we overlook shaping their wills, teaching self-control of their drives and passions, training their hands, and nourishing their hearts and souls.
Because the child is a whole, integrated person, we cannot always compartmentalize when we will be educating their minds, their hearts, or their hands. While showing my daughters how to crochet, we might have a discussion on a topic that would form their character or is related to their academics. In practicing her violin or playing the piano, my daughter develops any number of virtues, such as perseverance, attention to detail, and listening to the soul. When I ask a young child, “Please bring me a diaper or wash cloth” or another simple task; I am testing his will and encouraging his obedience. In the home, education is life.
What are we educating? The whole child.
The rest of the article was published on April 15, 2014 at Catholic Mom.com
Previously published on July 22, 2013 at Catholic Lane