by Tonya Erickson, Student Support Services
According to Ed100, an online free educational resource by Jeff Camp (https://www.ed100.org/lessons/schoolhours), students spend roughly 1,000 waking hours in school and about 5,000 waking hours with family and community. If this is true, parents and community have several opportunities to influence the student more than professional educators. While schools may be charged with the formal education, parents are ultimately responsible for educating their child.
As parents we want children to love learning. We want them to grow in wisdom and understanding. Character education has gained popularity with Charter schools listing several virtues that distinguish them from other schools. Fortitude, gratitude and wisdom rank high among the many qualities such schools aim for. Classical educators strive to instill in students the virtues of truth, beauty and goodness. As young people increase in intelligence, ability and virtuous qualities, pride can easily become a quality that identifies them as they distinguish themselves from others who don’t have the educational background these students have. To minimize the risk of raising a society that is hardened by a prideful heart, we must teach from a place of humility. Humility as defined by Webster’s 1828 dictionary, is freedom from pride and arrogance; humbleness of mind; a modest estimate of one’s own worth, and an act of submission.
“The only hope of a decreasing self is an increasing Christ.” – F.B. Meyer
First and foremost, we must be willing to admit our own lack of understanding and unwillingness to learn. We must admit we do not always display a desire to be taught or enjoy learning hard subject matter.
“If you are looking for an example of humility, look at the cross.” -Thomas Aquinas
Are you a parent? Do you desire to lead your child by example? Begin by answering these questions:
- What attitude do we display Sunday mornings? Are we joyful and excited to hear the teaching?
- How do we respond to the Science Project due in three days? Especially when you know your student was given more than three days to complete it.
- How do you handle constructive criticism?
- How do you respond to a subject your student needs help with and you know nothing about it?
Oftentimes the answers to some of these questions are less than desirable. In fact, we’ve probably displayed emotions and behaviors we have asked our student to not have. We all fall short when it comes to learning well. We must humble ourselves and teach the hearts we desire from our children by showing them.
“God created the world out of nothing, and as long as we are nothing, He can make something out of us.” – Martin Luther