My husband tells me that he got into trouble a lot when he was a young boy. He supposes that nowadays he would likely be diagnosed and put on some kind of drugs.
But back in those bad old days, they used to give children the strap. If kids didn’t get with the program and behave themselves, they would be smacked across their palms with a big ol’ piece of leather.
I am not going to debate corporal punishment here, but I want to tell a story from his past that illustrates one of the great merits of homeschooling.
Once there was a little boy who had trouble sitting still for extended periods of time. (Isn’t that the story of every little boy?)
One day, he was sitting in his classroom at school when a firetruck drove by the window. He did what every child in the room, especially every little boy, wanted to do. He ran to the window to see the firetruck.
Unfortunately, the children were not allowed to leave their seats without asking permission. Because he had not asked, this naturally curious little boy was in trouble.
And because this was the bad old days, he was smacked across the hands with a strap as punishment for leaving his seat without permission.
The purpose of curiosity is to inspire us to learn.
Before we go any further, let me say that I have many years of experience teaching in a classroom. I know the chaos that could ensue if all the children ran around the room while the teacher was trying to teach.
But even considering that, I think this is a tragic story.
Rather than restricting it, we need to cultivate curiosity in our children. Every society needs the kind of people who are willing to investigate the unusual, are able track things down and study them, and have the courage to jump out of their comfortable seats and follow their dreams.
Homeschooling gives children the freedom to pursue their interests. While I do believe that following an established curriculum is essential to ensuring a well-rounded education, it is also a wonderful thing to take that tangent into the realm of fascination.
Do you have a little boy who loves firetrucks? Call the fire station and arrange a tour! Don’t be afraid to let your children learn everything they can about the things that naturally interest them.
Run to the window with them, and teach them how to learn more about whatever it is that makes them jump up out of their seats. The purpose of curiosity is to inspire us to learn.
Don’t be afraid to cultivate curiosity in your children and in your own life, as well.
Every society needs the kind of people who are willing to investigate the unusual, can track things down and study them, and have the courage to jump out of their comfortable seats and follow their dreams.
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