12 September 2011
The foundations for my kindergarteners (and beyond)
It's not spring time but in our home there is a new beginning. It's called a kindergartner! And, in keeping with my most of my previous 5-7 year olds my teaching begins with the basics. Reading and writing???? Well, not so fast. I first like to lay some important foundations that they will carry with them throughout their school years and throughout their lives. The following is a basic outline of how I like to introduce a young child to world of academic learning. Which pretty much sets the stage not just for their academic instruction but for living life as well.
These principles are weaved throughout their curriculum and also pointed out to them through their everyday living, and by the end of the year he or she can be trained to respect:
1. The authority of God and His Word, for all subjects and for all government-from self to civil.
2. The authority of parents and teacher as representatives of God and His Word.
3. The Christian individuality of each student as unique and valuable in God's plan of history. He can appreciate others' individuality and show concern for their needs.
4. The principle of Christian self-government. He can develop the capacity for self -government by:
A. using the scriptures as a standard for knowing right and wrong:
B. realizing that God is interested first and foremost in the internal attitudes of the heart. Outward expression is important, but secondary:
C. recognizing that each student is in control of his own eyes, mouth, hands, and body:
D. learning that home, school, church, and civil government can be governed by Biblical principles.
5. The principle of Christian character as illustrated by biographies from scripture, America's Christian history and literature and practiced through the student's daily work and play.
6. Individual property, including the property of conscience, by:
A. recognizing each individual as God's property, made "in His image." and accountable to his Creator-Maker:
B. Caring for his own property and allowing others to care for theirs:
C. Training his conscience in the Law of God and also respecting others' expression of their conscience in understanding Biblical standards and principles.
7. The rudiments of each subject by learning the first principles, or elements, and the rules which govern them.
8. The liberty to become self-teaching through mastering them first principles of the English language.
These guidelines are taken from my copy of A Guide to American Christian History for the Home and School by James B. Rose. I have them printed off and keep them handy for the times when the children need reminders and for the foundation of learning for my "new beginnings" child.
So what exactly is an American Christian Education? In short:
The book A Guide American Christian Education for the Home and School is based upon Biblical reasoning and governmental principles emphasized in first century Christianity, and expressed in America's first two hundred years. For example, some of the truths which govern the student, as well as the emphasis of the subjects, are the Biblical principles of individual worth, local self-government, character, personal property (especially the property of the conscience), and voluntary consent.
An American Christian education focuses on cultivating the individual, heart, mind, and character needed to maintain a Christian Republic. This provides opportunity for the teacher/parent to help the student to apply his knowledge to the government of himself, and then to extend it into his home, church, community and nation. This approach purposes to develop in students a mind and temper, redeemed by the Spirit of Christ. and the manners and habits required for the useful life of service to God, man and country. (American Christian Education for the Home and School).
It is better known as the Principal Approach method and works very well along side the ideas taught by Charlotte Mason. By googling it you will come up with many wonderful writings on and the importance it plays in education.