Trivium Pursuit

Training Parents?

We are just beginning homeschooling. I downloaded your article on What to Do With Children Under 10 Years. I have read some of it with my husband and we have discussed it as well. He sees the hurdle in front of us as — ourselves. Neither one of us has been trained to think logically and so how do we as parents train our children when we ourselves do not know. We talked about the TV issue and he admitted that there are some times when he is so mentally exhausted that all he wants to do is Veg Out in front of the TV. He is selective with what he watches but enjoys the documentaries which can go for hours. He admits that he is drawn toward being entertained and has been for most of his life. Do you have any advice for the parents on how to change? Barbara

You and your husband are in the same boat as the rest of us. We were all raised on TV, movies, and other such entertainment; little reading, or if we did read, we read fluff; no instruction in logic or anything even resembling it; and we were generally not taught to discipline ourselves to pursue learning. In school we studied for the test and then forgot it.

He who is unaware, is unaware that he is unaware. Mel Jenkins

Most of the people in this same boat are happy to be in the boat and are unaware that they can’t think, and furthermore, they don’t care. But, for some reason, the Lord has made you and your husband aware. That is the first step. And because you are now aware, you will start to pursue an education — a real education.

Unfortunately, it is very difficult to shake the appetite for television. I’m wondering if it is even possible. I don’t think there is anything wrong with watching an occasional educational video or old movie, but it is hard not to go beyond the occasional when you’ve been trained otherwise. You will have to work out a rule by which to measure and discipline yourself.

We suggest that you spend at least two hours a day reading aloud to your children. The mother could read an hour during the day, and Father could read an hour at night. And besides the reading aloud, Mother and Father should try to spend time each day reading something to themselves, either individually or together. Try to read books which will stretch your mind. If possible, outline or take notes as you read to yourself or with your husband.

As for logic, there are plenty of self-teaching logic materials now available to homeschooling families. You will learn logic as you teach it to your children.

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