Friday, May 25, 2012

Teach 'Em Young

I have two little munchkins named Julia and Joshua and they are presently the ages of six and four respectively.  I have come to understand that many people consider it impossible or somehow damaging to seek to render to them a strong and very early education.  I fear this is one subject on which I cannot agree with the masses and cannot submit to the naysayers.  I know it is possible and even advisable because my children are quite familiar with such names as Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Wolfgang Mozart, Beethoven, Vivaldi, Galileo, Thomas Jefferson, Dr. Louis Pasteur, Helen Keller and countless others.  They do not consider these things boring; they whole heartedly embrace them and ask repeatedly for more.  How does one accomplish this?  Begin early. 

I read to  my children in the hospital when they were born.  My daughter first received some passages of scripture and then some passages from Milton's Paradise Lost.  My son again received scripture as his first newborn education and then some passages from John Bunyon's Pilgrim's Progress.  I have created picture books for them for years including such subjects as human biology, nutrition (what various vitamins do for the body and what foods supply them), architecture, art, history, our genealogy, and most recently I butchered A Midsummer Night's Dream into a twelve page book consisting mostly of pictures.  I'll ask forgiveness of my dear Will Shakey later.  I'm sure he would understand. 

How do children receive this?  How do children receive learning about the Holocaust, the Black Death, fast paced family history stories, the explosion of the Italian Renaissance, and the like?  My four year old Josh, who is quite the deep philosopher, told me today, "Mommy, all of life is one big cartoon.  God and Jesus watch all the things that happen like it's one big cartoon."  The fact is that these things are just interesting.  Teach what you love to learn, for as we know, all children love a good cartoon.

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