There are several advantages, which are vital to your family’s well-being, when you keep your child at home, rather than school, and which serve you better too.Read More
The more your child actively uses his mind when he's young, and the more he continues to use his mind as he matures, the smarter he'll become.
We know that the brain is an ever-changing organ. It can weaken from misuse or neglect, and it can also become stronger from the right kind of use.
You want your children to stay into the habit of using their minds as they enter the school years. One of the ways you can help your child strengthen his mind is by providing him with good literature to read when he's older.
Parents say things like, "Well, he only reads comic books, but at least he's reading!"
As John Taylor Gatto once said, "Teach your children to grow up to be readers of more than the daily newspaper."
Comic books are fine for comic relief on occasion. Maybe you're on a road trip or flying cross-country; this might be a time to let your child read a comic book or two or three.
It’s probably prudent not to let comic books work their way into your home though.
Comic books will make his mind lazy because the dialogues are simple and they're full of pictures which help tell the story. When it becomes time to read challenging literature, he won't be able to tackle the vocabulary or follow the longer and more complicated sentence patterns.
He'll complain to you that the book is "boring."
It's not boring; he just hasn't learned to read well. Please do not let him blame the book!
Great books expand the mind and help us to understand the complexities of life and ourselves. If we replaced the department of psychology with a department of Shakespeare, we'd be off to a good start in improving our colleges and universities.
The inner workings of the mind and heart are there in his plays.
Once you get used to the language, Shakespeare is no more difficult to read than authors such as Tolstoy or Dostoevsky.
The ability to read great literature is what you want for your children. You want them to be exposed to the great ideas of Western thought that take us all the way back to Ancient Greece.
John Taylor Gatto was very in support of reading great books. It's where he got the seeds for many of his ideas.
I said there was one thing you need to do to increase your child's intelligence, but as I was writing this, another occurred to me, so there are now two things.
The two things are homeschool your children and expose them to great literature. I say homeschool because, sadly, your children won't get the kind of education they need in public school.
And with a lousy education system comes a dumbed-down people.
Let me share one last thing with you; it’s a poem by Emily Dickinson:
There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!
Have your children memorize Emily Dickinson's poem, and supply them with the kind of books that let them travel lands away!
You can join the Smart Homeschooler Academy waiting list to be notified when enrollment opens again for its signature course: How to Give Your Child a Private-School Education at Home.
Elizabeth Y. Hanson combines her training in holistic medicine, “Love and Leadership” parenting coach certificate, plus 17+ years working in education to provide you with a unique approach to raising and educating your children.
A veteran homeschooler herself, she now has two homeschooled children in college.
Many kinds of parents homeschool; there's really nothing that stands out as a common trait amongst homeschoolers, but most of us share similar concerns and values.
Homeschoolers are usually in agreement that we want our children to have a good education, and we know it's unlikely to happen in public school.
Not the kind of education we're thinking of anyhow.
We want our children to not only read well but to enjoy reading. To choose a book to read over a movie to watch. Not that they never watch movies, but lying in bed with a good book is something they look forward to.
Reading competently, writing skillfully, and speaking eloquently are skills most homeschoolers want to make sure their children possess.
That their children become life-long learners in pursuit of knowledge is also a concern most homeschoolers share. With studies showing that by first grade a child's innate thirst for knowledge of his world begins to wane, homeschoolers want to fiercely protect their child's curiosity.
A curiosity without which true greatness is difficult to achieve.
Homeschoolers want their children to enjoy learning for the sake of learning, not for rewards or test scores. They don't want their children subjected to arbitrary tests that serve to sort and rank them amongst their peers.
Instead, they want their children to know that with hard work and perseverance most things are possible, and that test scores are no indication of a person's ultimate worth.
With the loss of a good environment and character training in schools, homeschoolers want to protect the integrity of their children. They want to raise them in an environment that raises them up, not brings them down.
When I was in school, the negative influences were outside the classroom, but that's not true anymore. Children are being taught some pretty inappropriate things inside those four walls.
Over the 17+ years that I've been working in education, those of us working in the trenches aren't just offering alternatives anymore. We are flat-out telling you to get your children out of the system.
Until public schools can offer a better alternative; homeschooling is the way to go.
Fortunately, homeschooling is legal in all 50 states. We need to pull together though and help each other because many women have to work. The good news is that with so many people able to work remotely now, homeschooling is becoming possible for more and more families.
Speaking of families, another thing you'll find is that homeschooling preserves the natural loyalty of a family and homeschoolers tend to be closely-knit. In public school, children learn to be loyal to their peers. I know, because it happened to me.
After my mother passed, my older sister told me that the reason my mother paid extra attention to our youngest brother was because, according to what she had told my sister, every time another child of hers went off to school, they were never quite the same towards her.
She was determined to make sure it didn't happen with her youngest child as it had with her previous six.
It pained me to hear this; it still does. Once you develop the loyalty to your peers that public school is so notorious for fostering, it's hard to undo. Most of us aren't even aware it's there. I know I wasn’t.
We don't need studies to tell us why homeschooled families are closer-knit because it's obvious that you become close to the people you spend time with, and homeschooled families spend a lot of time together.
In contrast, public-schooled children spend a lot of time with peers, and then they go home to do homework. There isn't much time left for the family.
With more and more families homeschooling, I'm looking forward to the positive changes we'll see in our country in the coming years.
And no matter what kind of parent you are, you can choose to take part in this revolutionary shift in the way we educate our young.
Let the revolution begin!
The Smart Homeschooler Academy is now open for enrollment with its signature course: How to Give Your Child a Private-School Education at Home. Enrollment is now open through May 8th!
Elizabeth Y. Hanson combines her training in holistic medicine, parenting coach certificate, plus 17+ years working in education to provide you with a unique approach to raising and educating your children.
A veteran homeschooler herself, she now has two homeschooled children in college.
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