In our staff's reading of Susan Schaeffer Macauley's For the Children's Sake this week, we encountered the following ideas on page 39:
Some people were incredulous [on hearing that children could enjoy deep, challenging learning experiences]. "It's not possible," they responded. "Children are not up to that."
But they are--if the door is opened. There is only one problem that I can see. The adult, whether teacher or parent, has to be able to enjoy and understand what he or she is reading with the children.
Our privilege as parents and teachers--both educators--is to open that door for children's growth. All of our children are capable of growth, so much more than we could ever imagine. Primarily, that is because they are made in the image of God, the same as us, and already possess that potential at birth. We only get to see them take advantage of that as they grow.
And what a process that is! All of us engaged in some aspect of child-rearing knows how joyful and how excruciating it can be. There's nothing like a relationship with a child to show who we really are and to demonstrate where we as adults need to grow. Often, it is caring about what a child cares about, meeting him or her at his or her level, and reminding ourselves what it means to have innate wonder, curiosity, and receptivity toward things, ideas, and people. Most of us have that 'schooled' out of us by the time that we reached adulthood. That's a loss, as God uses all of those ways of being to connect with His people.
Like our children, we have growing to do. And for all of us, that includes growing in one's understanding and enjoyment of some aspect of each of the 20+ subject areas that our students are learning and as importantly, the habits and character that they are forming each day. Doing so will allow us to hold that 'door' a little wider open for our children to flourish.
The Apostle Paul reminded Christians nearly two millennia ago,
And let us not grow weary in doing good,
for in due season we will reap,
if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)
My reminder to each of us reading this email is to "keep that door open" for daily cultivating a child's whole person, educating his or her body, mind, spirit, and soul.