Thursday, March 13, 2014

Learning the right things, the right way

"you shall teach diligently to your children..."
Deuteronomy 6:7

So there's an exciting day coming in the fairly near future.  Not sure exactly how long... My baby girl, who hasn't actually been a baby for many, many moons, is almost ready to get her Learner's Permit, and start driving.  She's actually been of age for over a year, but she realizes the responsibility that comes with driving, and didn't want to before she felt ready. 

She feels ready now, so she has been studying the Driver's Handbook for several weeks, taking an online class.  We homeschool, and while my kids have taken a few classes outside our home, the majority of learning is done here, and most of the teaching is done by me. 

But while I, as my child's parent, am allowed to teach them pretty much anything (although I acknowledge that I'd be doing them a disservice if I tried to teach them something like physics), the state of California will not allow me to teach them driving.  Obviously my husband and I will drive with them for all the hours they need, but the rules and regs need to be taught by a certified instructor. 

Frankly, it's a little frustrating for me.  The class is expensive, and since I've been driving for thirty years, with a clean record, it seems like that ought to be enough for me to be able to teach my own child.  And then the DMV test would be, well, the test.  If she couldn't pass, we'd have to go over the material again.  Makes sense to me. 

But then I got to thinking that unlike most subjects (Algebra, Grammar, Geography, etc.) if my daughter is not well-taught, lives could be in danger ~ including hers.  And while I don't think that makes me any less qualified to teach my kids how to drive, I do understand that the state of California wants to err on the side of caution. 

It reminded me of Deuteronomy 6, and the commands to teach our children.  And I thought again about why I love homeschooling so much ~ that while my kids are doing all the book-learning they need to, I am also able to teach them so much more.  Instead of them rushing out the door in morning, being gone seven hours a day, and then spending their evenings doing homework, we work on our schedule.  We have breakfast and lunch together, we read and have discussions about what one or both of them is learning.  We have time together, time apart, and time for one-on-one with each of them.  And our faith is part of all of it.  It works its way into our lives in lots of ways: struggles and worries and budgeting and choices.  Morning, noon and night, just as it says in Deuteronomy. 

All parents teach their children, whether they homeschool or not.  Your beliefs and your priorities come out in your own life; in the example you are setting.  And while I may not be the greatest mom or teacher in the world, I know when it comes to my kids' education, the important stuff needs to be done right.

~ "these words which I command you today
shall be in your heart.
You shall teach them diligently to your children,
and shall talk of them when you sit in your house,
when you walk by the way,
when you lie down, and when you rise up" ~
Deuteronomy 6:6-7

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