704-607-1345 rose@blashlearning.net
Alternatives to Higher Education: What’s Your Plan?

Alternatives to Higher Education: What’s Your Plan?

Parenting is a challenge as any parent will tell you.  Education is one of the parenting issues that consume a large portion of parents thought life. Once parents have gotten their child through elementary, middle and high school, what do they do about college?

Related Post:  6 Key Insights from Homeschool Moms

We will explore some alternatives to higher education.

Parents are concerned about the high cost of college, the pressure to fit in and conform, or making it through to graduation.

Interestingly, parents have held to the idea that the traditional four-year college is the only path after high school.   There are some alternatives to higher education that parents should consider.

Alternatives to Higher Education and College Debt

Many schools offer some level of scholarship or grants to students.  This is helpful to a point.  Grants and scholarships are not paid back. However, students find that there is still a gap in tuition they are responsible for.

If three-quarters of the bill is covered by grants and scholarship that leaves one-quarter of the cost for the family to come up with. If that is $25,000, that amount is multiplied by four in order to get to graduation. For most students that means school loans that will follow the student for several years after graduation.

I am not saying the students and families should not pay for education.  The cost of college is increasing at a rate that is alarming and debilitating.  Look closely at the major you want to pursue.  There may be alternatives to working in the field of your choice.

Debt looms heavy over the heads of young people long after they have left the halls of higher learning.

In addition, many students that enter college with the intention of earning a four-year degree, do not graduate. The college may not be a good fit for the student or traumatic events can cut a college career short.

Tragically, young adults are left to pay off debt that represents time spent on the college campus but no diploma. Click To Tweet Without the diploma, their chances of landing a higher paying job can seem slim.

The future looks very bleak for these students. That’s a terrible way to begin life as an adult.  Debt hinders these young adults’ chance of having a disposable income to purchase a car or home.  The pattern is a cruel one and needs to be changed.

Alternatives to Higher Education and Pressures of College Life

Furthermore, students face pressures that lead to poor decisions that impact the rest of their lives.

Students will be challenged on many different fronts:

  • time management
  • homesickness
  • drug and alcohol experimentation and use
  • premarital sex
  • situations that challenge long-held values

Parents send their children off to college with the hopes that their child will hold onto the values instilled in them but temptations often overpower solid foundations.

The cyber world provides an opportunity for young adults to dive into a dark and dangerous world. The hope is that students will exercise good judgment in this area.

Alternatives to Higher Education

Hopefully, these alternatives to higher education will give you a place to start looking for different paths to post-secondary education.

Think about what the end game is.  Young adults need to be independent thinkers.  They need to be able to take care of themselves once they leave school.  Young people should be able to use their gifts and talents in their chosen career.

I think about Charlotte Mason’s approach to education.  She encouraged teachers to include teaching a practical craft that students could then use as a possible means of earning money.  This was not the type of craft that you stick on the refrigerator door just to be admired.  These crafts had actual function and use.

STEM careers or medical licenses require the traditional college path. Many careers, however, do not need a traditional college degree.

Alternatives to Higher Education-Start a Business

In the age of the internet, the possibility of starting an online business is a viable alternative to higher education.  Think outside the box.  Your son or daughter’s natural gifts and abilities may find a place in the marketplace. Video platforms are flourishing which makes it possible for your child to teach something on their own Youtube or Periscope channel.

Alternatives to Higher Education-Learn a Trade

Many of our craftsmen are getting older and which is leaving a gap that the younger generation can fill.  Young adults can learn a skilled trade and earn a very good living. This is another alternative that may not require a four-year degree. Auto mechanics and photographers are invaluable.  Appliance repairmen command good salaries as well.  These are jobs that are valuable but do not necessarily require a four-year degree.

Mike Rowe has found a new appreciation for skilled labor.  He has written a book entitled Profoundly Disconnected which highlights the beauty of a doing an honest day’s hard work.  He focusses on the skilled labor jobs.  He is attempting to help others appreciate these jobs.  The skilled labor or blue collar jobs have lost esteem in the eyes of many of our youth.

Perhaps that is a mistake.

These are jobs that may not be glamorous but one can raise a family.  Enjoy Mike reading the preface to his book. You will enjoy the book but please, do not listen to it while you are eating.  You have been warned. Click the link at the bottom.

Alternatives to Higher Education Community College

The community college is another alternative to higher education.  If a four-year college is still a goal of your young adult, encourage them to look into community colleges for the basic courses. Students take general education courses in community college at a fraction of the cost of a four-year college.  This allows the student to save money as they complete approximately half of their college coursework at an institution that costs a portion of the four-year college cost.

Alternatives to Higher Education-Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are also great alternatives to going the traditional higher education route.  They are similar to internships in that they both offer close interaction with a seasoned skilled laborer.  This relationship allows for the expert in the relationship to give the student close instruction and supervision as the student is learning a new skill.  Apprenticeships are paid position. This is the difference between the two opportunities.  The construction industry is experiencing growth in the offering apprenticeships

Additional information on Apprenticeships may be found in companies like Echoing Green and UnCollege Gap Year.

Alternatives to Higher Education-Join the Military

The military life can be a good alternative to higher education for a young man or woman. I have written a blog post about homeschoolers and humanity and the military academies.  There are many homeschool families that may be interested in the academies.  Read the post to find out what you will need if you are a homeschool family.  They are it’s an opportunity for young men and women to dig deep and find the courage and strength to serve our country.  Students can get a sense of what military life is like by joining Jr. ROTC in high school.  The military life is one of discipline and dedication students can gain a sense of patriotism and loyalty.

Interestingly, our young adults have many freedoms they may not be ready for. They may not say it out loud, but they enjoy the structure that the military life offers.  The structure allows the young adult to mature and discover his or her strengths and weaknesses while contribution to the defense of his or her country.

Finally, it is easy to see that there are several options to the traditional higher education route.  Hopefully, this will give some insight as to what is possible for a young adult.  Are there other options not mentioned here? Do you have an opportunity for a young high school graduate?

 

 

 

Advertisements
Back to School Read Alouds for Teachers and Homeschool Moms

Back to School Read Alouds for Teachers and Homeschool Moms

Per FTC Regulations I would like to let you know that I do have affiliate links throughout this blog. The links provide me with a small percentage of commission but do not cost you anything extra.

I (Rosemerry Blash) is also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

Wonderful Fall Read Alouds for teachers and homeschool parents.

I know it may be a little early to think about Fall Read Alouds for the classroom, but maybe not.

Some schools go year-round so if you are a teacher or a parent your classroom may become active at the end of July or certainly by mid-August.  Why not have a look at these wonderful books and plan your library trips or make purchase for your child’s teacher.  I spent 20 years in the classroom and it was always nice to get gifts that made teaching easier without having to come out of my pocket.

Check out these books that focus on leaves turning in fall and other fall activities.  Some of these would make great introductions into science units on the seasons.

I have included Youtube links for the read alouds if you would like to use them.

Have fun

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson and Tiphanie Beeke

Fletcher’s tree is a wonderful friend. When the leaves start to fall, Fletcher reassures his tree friend that there is nothing to worry about.  All will be well.  Fletcher is not able to keep the leaves from falling off  his wonderful friend.  He is worried.  Fletcher then makes a wonderful discovery.  Read to find out what the discovery is.  Enjoy the Youtube video as well.

Why Leaves Change Color by Betsy Maestro and Loretta Krupinski

Why Leaves Change Color shows the reason why leaves change color in the fall.  It explains the leaf structure as well as how leaves use sunlight and cold when they are changing color. This is a great book for introducing fall and the changing of the leaves to elementary aged children.  You would enjoy reading this to your students yourself or you can use the Youtube video.  Enjoy learning about the changing colors.

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert

The maple leaf is center stage in Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf.  This is another wonderful read aloud that tells  the story of a maple leaf’s beginnings and growth.  The growth of the tree is chronicled is this story  Children will enjoy seeing what the seed of the maple leaf tree looks like.  This story will guide the children along the life cycle of the maple leaf to where we see the leaves turn beautiful colors.  The story ends where it began with the seed of the maple leaf falling to the ground.  Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf is another great book that can be read by the teacher or enjoyed on Youtube.  This is great for life cycle lessons and plant parts and function.

Fall Read Alouds

Fall Read Alouds

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves by Lucille Colandro

There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves is a whimsical tale of an old lady that swallowed some leaves and many other things that we see in the fall of the year. When the old lady finally sneezes at the end she creates a wonderful fall like item.  There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves is available on Youtube or you can enjoy reading this yourself.

When the Leaf Blew In by Steve Metzger

When the Leaf Blew In is a whimsical story of a fall leaf blowing in a barn.  A cow sneezes which begins a whole series of events that cause much mayhem.  Enjoy When the Leaf Blew In story on the Youtube.

Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert

Leaf Man is another story that involves beautiful fall leaves. This story follows the travels of the leaf man as the wind carries him along.  His travels take him along many sights and sounds of the fall. The illustrations show wonderful formations of the things that the leaf man seas in his travels.  Wouldn’t it be fun to collect different types of leaves and create some of the things the leaf man sees. You might even be able to identify the leaves and its parts. Enjoy the Leaf Man as a read aloud or on Youtube video.

The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle

This story of the Grouchy Ladybug is a wonderful read aloud. Students will learn about how ladybugs eat aphids off of plants.  Mr 7, the reader of the story, does a particularly good job of reading this story.  You will enjoy him.  The Grouchy Ladybug in this story learns that it is best not to live a life being grouchy.   Enjoy this wonderful story on Youtube or read it aloud yourself.

First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg

First Day Jitters. Every child is experience First Day Jitters when going to a new school or a new class.  It is not unusual to feel nervous about the things we that are not familiar to us.  This is a story of First Day Jitters and how they are overcome.  Enjoy First Day Jitters on Youtube. 

 

Enjoy these books as the fall rolls in. Several of theme are perfect for those science units and others are just plain fun to read as the school year begins.  You will notice that the books have clickable YouTube links for your convenience.  As I’m sure you are aware, reading out loud to your children is one of the best ways for children to hear what good reading sounds like.  This is a foundational step in reading comprehension.  You may notice your child wanting to read to you.

What are some of your favorite books to read. Do you have any fall favorites?  Are there any books in general that are favorites.  Leave a comment in the comment section and enjoy the new school year.

6 Key Insights from Seasoned Homeschool Moms About Their Journey.

Per FTC Regulations I would like to let you know that I do have affiliate links throughout this blog. The links provide me with a small percentage of commission but does not cost you anything extra.

I (Rosemerry Blash) am also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

6 Key Insights from Seasoned Homeschool Moms About Their Journey

Educating our children is a huge responsibility as well as a privilege. I have talked to many parents that have questions about what is that best way to educate their children.

Here are some words of wisdom and homeschool advice from seasoned homeschool moms. They share wisdom and homeschool tips they have learned as result of spending many years homeschooling.

What is the one thing that many parents wish they knew before they started homeschooling?

Parents must choose to send their children to public schools, private schools or they might choose to homeschool. Whatever the choice, parents are ultimately responsible for the education of their children.

This post will share homeschooling tips and advice from seasoned homeschool moms.  These moms learned some key lessons they want you to be aware of.

We are going to share those lessons here.  Each mom was asked to share one thing they wished they knew about homeschooling before they started.  The answers should provide you with food for thought as well as courage as you progress through your unique educational journey.

Here are some benefits of homeschooling that you may be familiar with.

6 Key Insights from Seasoned Homeschool Moms

6 Key Insights from Seasoned Homeschool Moms

Benefits of Homeschooling

  • Freedom to choose the approach or curriculum that best fits your child’s learning style and interests. You may be thinking of Unschooling or the using Charlotte Mason approach, or something more mainstream like Apologia. The choices abound when considering the type of homeschool you want to establish. The beautiful thing is that you can make adjustments where and when you need to.  These resources are wonderful guides to help you along your way.

 

  • Students can take a deep dive into the subjects they find interesting. Take the liberty to allow your children to learn as much as they can about a subject they are interested in.  You will notice that these moms advise you to pay attention to the interests of your children.  They will do a lot in helping you figure which direction they should go.

 

  • Family time increases. This time is important for teaching the special nuances of your family.  You have particular values that you want to see your children carry.  These won’t be disregarded in your own homeschool.  You will have the ability to expose your children to the truths you hold dear.

Concerns About Homeschooling

Some of the concerns parents face along the decision-making journey include; lack of support from friends and family, financial concerns, doing it the right way and burnout.  Homeschool parents often worry about making mistakes as they educate their children.

Parents want the best for their children so they are very aware of the challenges before them.   You will notice that these moms want you to know that you can relax.  There is support out there and you can do this if you choose.

Insights from Seasoned Homeschool Moms

Several seasoned homeschool moms were asked to share the one thing they wished they knew before they started homeschooling.  As you read their insights, it is my hope that you will gain clarity concerning what homeschooling can be like for you and your family.

I trust this will serve to encourage you in your next steps.

Here is the question.

What is the one thing you wish you knew about homeschooling before you started?

Melanie Willson’s Answer

Melanie Wilson

Melanie Wilson

Melanie Wilson is a seasoned homeschool mom with 6 children. Melanie from Psychowith6.com shares her concern about college for her homeschooled children”.

Here is her response to the question.

“What I wish I had known when I started homeschooling is that I didn’t need to worry about college.  I mistakenly thought my kids would have to know specific science or history facts for college entrance exams and they didn’t.

The studying and test-taking practice they got (especially from using Apologia (science) has enabled my three oldest sons to do very well in college.  All my worry was wasted!

Obviously, Melanie prepared her children well.  She taught them the process of learning.

They were then able to take those skills and apply them to the rigors of college.  Thank you, Melanie for being such an awesome homeschool mom.

Related Post:  Homeschoolers are Entering Military Academies and Doing Well

You can catch Melanie at Homeschoolscopes.tv.  She, along with many other homeschool moms share other insights and tips on homeschooling.  This is a group of women that warmly embrace homeschool moms while sharing wisdom and encouragement.

As Melanie mentioned, her worries concerning the college years were put to rest as her children did well in college.   Stop by and visit her website or HomeschoolScopes.tv and get to know Melanie Wilson.

 

Be sure to check out her book The Organized Homeschool Life and Grammar Galaxy program as well.



She truly is one of the seasoned homeschool moms you want to glean from.

Meka Wilson’s Key Insights

Meka Wilson, a wonderful homeschool mom with valuable insights gained from her years homeschooling her two

Seasoned homeschool mom Meka Wilson.

Meka and Bryon Wilson with their two girls.

daughters. She is also a talented singer and is married to Bryan Wilson, a talented visual artist. She wished she knew “that it’s ok if my children aren’t grasping a concept initially. 

I believe we put too much pressure on children and ourselves that things have to be perfect.  They are individuals and everyone learns differently. 

I’d remind myself to not get caught up in people’s opinion of what we should do as a homeschool family”.

Meka found the wisdom and insight to allow her girls to be free to be who God created them to be. Click To Tweet The standards were the Lord’s, not some man-made yardstick for what schooling or education should be.

Her girls are flourishing and spreading their wings in the area of entrepreneurship.

 

Amy Milcic’s Answer

Amy Milcic

Amy Milcic

Amy Milcic of Rock Your Homeschool shares an important tip for parents that are transitioning their children from public school to homeschool.  This key insight is true if you are coming from a private school as well.

Amy says, “Before I started homeschooling, I wish I would have known that it’s okay to go slow when you transition from public school.  My two older boys had attended for a few years.

I thought we had to keep up with their peers.  I quickly learned that my boys needed a break from all the pressure to rediscover their love of learning.

My #1 tip: relax & enjoy this precious time with your kids.  It’s not a sprint, but more like a lovely amble through the woods with different paths to select from that all lead to the joy of a solid home education.”

Amy’s key insight is to enjoy your time with your children and discover the many different paths in the homeschool journey.  This seasoned homeschool mom makes it seem so possible to enjoy homeschool life to the fullest, doesn’t she?

Be sure to visit her website.  Amy has amazing blog posts on how to help your child be assertive as well as dealing with bullying.  There are some wonderful free printables there as well.  You can get to know Amy better at Rockyourhomeschool.net

Angel Penn’s Key Insights

Angel Penn

Angel Penn

Angel is another wise and seasoned homeschool mom with rich insight for new and aspiring homeschool parents.  Angel Penn blogs at AngelPenn.com.

She recently hosted a blog party focusing on marriage.  As a result of the blog party, she has compiled 28 days of blog posts.   Please hop over to The Journey Through I Do.  Check out the series. You will be blessed.

She shares her response here.

“ I wished someone had told me my homeschooling style/room/curriculum didn’t have to resemble anyone else’s. I felt pressured to make sure that my boys had a dedicated school area, some curriculum etc…

This couldn’t be further from the truth.  Personalizing your homeschooling experience for your family is a LOT easier when you take steps towards what works for you and not feel pressured to have it look like someone’s else’s.”

This is a great tip! Homeschools are as personal and as unique as families.  This is the way it should be. Don’t fall into the temptation of comparing yourself or your style to anyone else’s.

The goals may be similar but the way we reach that goal should be tailored to the unique personality of your family.  Enjoy the uniqueness of your children.

Amy Michaels’ Key Insights

Amy Michaels

Amy Michaels

Amy Michaels taught elementary school before she became a homeschool mom. She brings her skills and experience as a classroom teacher to the homeschooling community.

Check out her Youtube videos as she walks you through some of the resources she has put together for other homeschool moms.  Her program is called Thrivehomeschooling.

These videos contain a wealth of information and insight that homeschool families will benefit from.

Here is Amy’s answer to the question we posed.

“When I started homeschooling, I put a lot of time and energy into finding the “right” curriculum for my child. However, I quickly realized that the “right curriculum” changed in the various phases of her learning.

Now, I know meeting her where she is and providing natural opportunities to learn skills and knowledge is key for us to stress much less and really enjoy homeschooling together.

Finding the balance between child-led learning and weaving in the skills she needs to know took time to find, but it is a priceless place for authentic and life-long learning!

You can hear the gentleness in her tone as she talks about getting in tune with the needs of her children.

 

Kasha Foster’s Insights

Kasha Foster is another seasoned homeschool mom. She has two girls and two boys who have very different personalities and needs, as is true of all children.

Her insights and wisdom reveal the need to lean heavily upon the Holy Spirit.  She and I had a chance to talk about her insights and she shared that there are things that occur in families that nobody plans for.

Some of those things may make it necessary to homeschool or impossible to homeschool. Prayer is going to be key in every situation.  The Lord knows your needs and your children.  He is faithful to meet those needs so you do not need to worry.  Put everything in His hands.

Kasha’s husband Paul helped in the homeschooling journey which is another factor that can greatly enhance the journey. When both parents are involved in the education of their children there is a bond that is strengthened among all of the family members.

Paul has also co-written a book entitled Competing Realities that focuses on the challenges of living a Christian life in a world that is often opposed to the Christian World View. This book will give you insight into how to handle the challenges ahead.  You will find the link to the book below.

Clearly,  invaluable wisdom is shared. Each mom has shared what they learned on their homeschool journey.  Be sure to visit there blogs and websites to glean even more wisdom and insights.  The support you receive from other homeschool moms can make the difference in your homeschool journey.

I hope you have found this post helpful. Take advantage of the resources I shared.

As I mentioned, educating your child is a huge responsibility.  Our children are our future.  This decision is a personal one and one that should be handled with prayer.  Whatever you decide, I hope to be of help to you on your journey.

Be sure to check some of the other resources that can be found on this blog regarding family and education.

Let me know some of your insights and wisdom.   What have you learned along the way?  Please share in the comments below and remember to enjoy the journey with your family.

You may also want to check out some of these resources as you gather facts on homeschooling.

Reading Strategies for Struggling Readers

Specific reading strategies for struggling readers need to be used to help the struggling reader achieve.  When your son or daughter is struggling with reading you struggle with them.  You feel every agonizing effort to tackle the next word.  Tears of frustration run down your cheeks as they run down your child’s.  Be encouraged.   There is help.

5 Quick Reading Comprehension Tips

5 Quick Reading Comprehension Tips

Reading Strategies for Struggling Readers

Online tutoring is a great way to support your child academically as well as save time and money. Parents that utilize online tutors are smart.  They avoid having the hassle of traveling home, preparing dinner, cleaning up after dinner and then getting back in the car to make that trip to the tutor. All of this happens after a long day of work for the typical parent. If the tutor is coming to your house, you have to make sure there is a tidy place for work to take place.

Supporting your child academically is the ultimate goal.  Online tutoring is a brilliant way to provide reading strategies to struggling readers.

Unique and individualized learning experience.

A good online tutor will give your student an assessment to determine academic weaknesses. Click To Tweet.  This enables targeted and focused instruction.  The tutor will determine which specific reading strategies for the struggling reader. The assessments will provide the tutor information needed to customize instruction. Tutors teach specific concepts and monitor to determine progress made.  They also develop an authentic connection with their students and they make learning fun. This is important in keeping the student engaged during tutoring sessions.  Tutors often provide reinforcement activities that are fun and engaging while also practicing concepts learned. A good tutor will take the time to talk to parents and give them strategies to use when the tutor is not there.

 

Greater retention and personal growth.

Students that have online tutors experience a greater level of retention of material learned.  Online tutors are able to modify lessons and discern what may or may not be absorbed by the student.

Students feel a great sense of accomplishment when they have mastered a concept.  This not only helps children feel good about what they have accomplished but also gives students a sense of being able to accomplish other tasks.

Deeper and more independent thinking.

The online tutor engages the student in conversations that foster deeper thinking.  This is one of the key reading strategies for struggling readers.  When the student is able to have a conversation about the text, learning has begun.

Tutors are able to hear whether or not a student is confident in their level of knowledge. When a student is able to explain a math problem with clarity and ease, the tutor knows they have a firm grasp of the material. Similarly, with reading, students that retell a story with a great deal of detail show they have absorbed the story. They are also able to share opinions about what was read.

Some struggle is good.

Students have to apply some real thought to their answers.  It may appear they are struggling and in fact, they are but that struggle is good.  This is the stretch.  Growth happens at this point. Reading Comprehension and numeracy take root and the student is impacted in a positive way.  This is the goal!

Greater engagement.

Online tutors are able to keep students engaged which means students are spending more time learning.  The online tutoring experience lends itself very nicely to in-depth conversation between the student and the tutor. Click To TweetThe online tutoring experience lends itself very nicely to in-depth conversation between the student and the tutor.  Math problems are talked through so that the student can hear their own thoughts and the tutor is able to catch errors in thinking.  The tutor often uses tools that the student can use that is a bit novel for the tutor so the student stays engaged.

Foster Independent learning.

Online tutors help students become independent learners which is the ultimate goal. Click To Tweet

Online tutors help students become independent learners which is the ultimate goal.  Students are successful and naturally curious.  When they see they can be successful they are more likely to explore and learn on their own.

If you have considered getting help for your child, be sure to consider an online tutor.  This can make a huge difference in your student’s attitude about school.  Get them the help they need.

Contact me if you are in need of online tutoring services.  We can talk about reading comprehension issues, phonics, and math.  Get your free assessment scheduled.

Charlotte Mason on the Difference Between Living Literature vs. Twaddle

Charlotte Mason on the Difference Between Living Literature vs. Twaddle

 


Living LItrerature Vs Twaddle

Living LItrerature Vs Twaddle

Charlotte Mason on Living Literature vs Twaddle

Living literature is critical when instructing children.  Living literature is the type of literature that ignites the imagination.  Children are able to see the scene they are reading in their minds eye.  Their imagination is on fire! It is rich in vocabulary and causes children to wrestle with big ideas. The text that is filled with living literature, exposes the child to characters that display heroism and self sacrifice. These are the character traits that we want our children to emulate.  Charlotte Mason believed children are wired to take in challenging thoughts and ideas. Children thrive on living literature.

Is There a Difference Between Living Literature vs Twaddle?

There is a huge difference between living literature and twaddle. Click To Tweet The textbook versions and anthologies are what Charlotte Mason would call “twaddle” or “predigested” texts. Another characteristic of twaddle is short choppy sentences as well as dry facts.  Allow me to share with you two renditions of One of Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories. The title of the story is HOW THE WHALE GOT HIS THROAT

Notice the Difference Between Living Literature vs Twaddle.

The first paragraph in the living version reads: In the sea, once upon a time, O my Best Beloved, there was a Whale, and he ate fishes. He ate the starfish, and the garfish, and the crab and the dab, and the plaice and the dace, and the skate and his mate, and the mackereel and the pickereel and the really truly twirly-whirly eel. All the fishes he could find in all the sea he ate with his mouth–so! Till at last there was only one small fish left in all the sea, and he was a small ‘Stute Fish, and he swam a little behind the Whale’s right ear, so as to be out of harm’s way. Then the Whale stood up on his tail and said, ‘I’m hungry.’ And the small ‘Stute Fish said in a small stute voice, ‘Noble and generous Cetacean, have you ever tasted Man?

Compare the Same Paragraph but in ‘Predigested’ Form.

Once upon a time, there was a giant Whale who lived deep in the sea. He was always hungry, and more than anything he loved to eat fish of all different kinds: mackerel, salmon, tuna, crab, octopus, squid, eel, and more. He ate and ate, until there was only one fish left in the whole sea! Luckily, the Last Fish in the sea was a clever one. Before the hungry Whale could chase him, the Last Fish took a bow and asked, “Oh, mighty Whale, have you ever tasted man? I had much more fun reading the first version! How about you?

We Prefer Living Literature

The child that is exposed to the first paragraph is going to enjoy it more and have more questions which will stretch the mind. Even if the story is read to the child, the child, and the adult will enjoy the experience far more when reading the living version. What a wonderful experience for the child to stretch the mind and struggle with questions and ideas after having read the living version.

Not only is the living literature version of the story more fun to read but it is also more engaging with its complex, lyrical sentences.  A child would find it easier to picture the scene in his mind’s eye after having read the living literature version. I’m sure you can imagine a variety of learning experiences that could be engaged in with the living version.

Let’s delve even deeper in the area of living literature and Charlotte Mason’s ideas. Come along for the ride. I encourage you to share your thoughts and encounters with living literature. It will be a great adventure! Do you have any favorite stories that inspired you?  What are some literary pieces that ignite your imagination?  Please share your thoughts in the comment section.

Healthy Families! Bad for Children! Read How You Can Help.

 

Healthy families are bad for children! I couldn’t believe it!

Reading to your children is unfair!

Providing a nurturing atmosphere is unfair to children!

I couldn’t believe my eyes as I read a Facebook post questioning the value of reading bedtime stories to children. This is what healthy families do!

Children benefit from healthy family interactions. Read to find out how important healthy families are to the health of our children. #Children #Family #families #HealthyFamilies.

Parents read to their children.

They talk with their children.

They play with their children.

I quickly shot a response to the Facebook post letting all those parents that might be confused about the benefits of reading to their children. My response made it crystal clear that reading to your children is a good thing.

Little did I know that the premise of the post was that families are unfair to children. My jaw dropped as I read the work of Adam Swift which acknowledged the benefits of families but also proposed that maybe we need to do away with families Click To Tweet.

Healthy families are unfair to children.

Swift was interested in understanding factors that contributed to people having access to opportunities. His research demonstrated that having a loving family nurtures and protects children.

He determined that this is unfair to those children that do not benefit from a loving family. Many of the responses that I read indicated that people understood that the idea that family life should not be supported was ridiculous.

The post originally popped up in my Facebook feed sometime in 2015.  I hadn’t given it much not thought until I saw it again in May of 2017.

I thought I should do a little research and make sure I wasn’t just reacting to some crazy story that was not true.  We know there are plenty of those floating around. Much to my dismay, the post was based on actual research done by a professor by Adam Swift Click To Tweet.

As noted earlier, he found that healthy families are unfair to children that do not have the benefit of a family life. It seemed logical to him that family activities, such reading bedtime stories to your child, or eating meals together are activities that nurture children.

Truly these are some of just a few things that he regarded as unfair to children that do not live in healthy families.

Families are good and should be nurtured and not done away with. If there is any confusion left.  Let me say it loud and clear.

Healthy families are good for children!

Healthy families are good!

Furthermore, reading to your children is a good thing! Go ahead, snuggle together and read!Reading to your children is a good thing! Go ahead, snuggle together and read! Click To Tweet

Participating in other activities within the family context is also good for children. So, to all of you mothers and fathers out there that are pouring into your children by playing with them, providing opportunities to participate in sports, ride bikes, have play dates with friends and any number of other things that happen in families, I say be encouraged and keep doing your part.

Let me give you some more indicators that families are good. Thankfully, we can look to the Word of God.

Gen 1:28 KJV And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Healthy families serve a specific purpose

Here we see that God had a plan and design for the family.  He is telling Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply.

He tells them to replenish the Earth. If we take a closer look at the word “replenish” we notice that there are some interesting synonyms for the word.  There are words like restore, renew, provision, furnish, provide.

The definition of the word is To make full or complete again, as by supplying what is lacking, used up, etc. In Psalm 68:6  God setteth the solitary in families.

The previous scriptures indicate that within the family, we have the opportunity to grow and learn, love and be loved, and create and tame.

We also learn that we are different with unique gifts and talents and we each have a specific call on our lives.  

In the family, we also see the concept of passing something of value down from one generation to the next. In addition, Gen. 18;19 makes it clear that family roles are important to the health of the family and in turn to society.

Gen 18:19 For I know him, he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.

Clearly, God had in mind that in the family unit, there would be instruction and correction.  God saw the character of Abraham and noted that he would be a man that would instruct and direct his children.

The scripture says that God knew Abraham would keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment.  Our children learn about justice and how to conduct themselves from their parents.

Healthy families help children.

Clearly, there are children that struggle in life for a variety of reasons.  This is where the Church and families step in and support those children and families.

I encourage you to not spend any time feeling guilty about being a part of a healthy family.  Adam Swift thinks that it is appropriate for you to feel guilty if you are nurturing your family.

I disagree.  That is misplaced guilt that will sap your energy.  Furthermore, carrying that burden will prevent you from reaching out the family that is need of your strength.

On the contrary, pour more love on your children.  Encourage them a little more.  Let’s not embrace this idea that families are unfair to children. Be strong, healthy and able to help other families in need.

Healthy families are good for society

The healthy loving family environment strengthens human beings. These strong, healthy individuals are the people that are going into our schools and in our courthouses as lawyers and judges.

They will impact government and business.

Healthy individuals will have character and integrity. These are important elements that we need.

What sense would it make to do away with an entity that strengthens our society and provides safety for future generations?  How would that be a good thing?

I don’t understand how making everybody come down to the lowest common denominator is a good thing.

The other thought from Swift is to have children take the driver’s seat in the family.

They would create the atmosphere and the protocol for the family and the parents would simply facilitate.   I would venture to say that this is one reason why we have “snowflakes” running around on college campuses now.

Well, I have done my duty. I have made it clear that families are good.  My children are grown and just about on their own so I can’t read them a bedtime story.

Let me see.

Where is my cat?


Let me know what some of your healthy family habits are.  What can you as a family unit do to help a child that is not part of a healthy family? Leave a comment below.

Pin It on Pinterest