Family as an Educational Control – Post 8 of 10

Good morning!

I’m back. 465 posts and counting, we’re going for 500 and then we just might let this field of writing become fallow ground. We will see.

Edith uses this word “control” to mean “a matter of constant attention to some dangerous deviation in one direction or another, in some area of physical, psychological, or material part of life” – the monitor that beeps, the date on the milk carton, the reminder email. Her point is that we keep an eye on the education of our children.

I agree with her that education is a widely expansive word, and schooling is relatively small in comparison. Whenever we plop our children on the doorstep of an institution and give them full charge over the education of our children, we have made a grave mistake. Education shapes how we wake up in the morning, the books we read before we sleep. Education is our conversation at the breakfast table, the way we invest in the community where we live, it is how we relate to our family and friends. Education is the frame we build early in life. It’s the way we solve problems, the vocabulary we use. Education is our deep understanding of world history and the lives of those who have gone before us. It is learning the expansive story of God and our place within it, it is walks in the woods and days at the sea.  We would do well to pay attention to the education of our children – the basic premise of junk in/junk out seems to apply.

I believe strongly it is a command to train the whole person – intellectually, spiritually, culturally, emotionally – in things of creativity, in understanding the whole of history, in relationships with other people, and in seeing something of the tremendous scope of the universe from the viewpoint that God exists, God is the Creator, and that He has made us with the capacities we have in His image, to think and act and feel and create on a finite level. As our children are being educated, they are being taught to think and act and feel and to be creative – and we need very much, as parents, to be aware of what is taking place, as much as we are able. We are very much put in the place of responsibility and can either simply go out and have a milkshake and let the TV electrocardiogram ring its bell and blink its red light with no one caring – or we can ask God to help us to watch and recognize the educational danger signals day by day. Edith Schaeffer, What is a Family?

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