Homeschool Musings of a Charlotte Mason Mom

Welcome to my Homeschool Musings of a Charlotte Mason Mom

Monday, April 4, 2011

Cultivating a Harvest

                Our children's minds are as a garden, soil waiting to be tilled and seeds planted in. We all know before you plant a garden there is work to be done. Much preparation and planning must take place. First, the decision has to be made to plant the garden, then; we have to decide where to plant it. Next, we would have to decide how big of an area we would want to plant. Then, what are we going to plant. And finally, we would begin the process of tilling the ground and dropping the seeds in.
                Our child's education is so similar to this process. First, we made the decision to home school, for whatever purpose your family chose. Next, we have to have the proper materials we are going to need for our child's education. That's when all the planning and preparation begins to take place. Just like the seed, we have to decide how much ground we are going to cover and with what kinds of seeds (curriculum). Depending on the type of fruit we want to produce will determine what kind of seeds we plant. We can't supply our child with a fabulous background in History and then expect to have a Rocket Scientist lurking about our home. Our children will be cultivated in to the seeds that have been planted and watered in their life. A germination process will occur. The ideas that are planted in their minds by us as their teacher begin to grow. They eventually take root. The more we present a particular subject to them, the more the idea grows in their mind. A fruit will come out in the end.
                Each year as a gardener plants a garden he or she does receive some type of fruit at harvest time. If much time and preparation was taken and the gardener watered and fertilized the garden as it was needed, the fruit come out delightful and tasty. Should the gardener just throw the seeds in the ground and not return to put forth time in his or her garden during the germination process the garden will not produce to its fullest potential. When a garden is not worked, all the weeds pulled out, it is not watered and fertilized, then the fruit tend to be small.
                If we as our child's teacher want him or her to learn at their fullest potential we have to provide them with great materials that would water the idea we are trying to cultivate or the germination process will be affected. Our fruit at harvest time will not be what we were expecting.
                Germination is the sprouting of a seed. All seeds need moisture, oxygen, and warmth to germinate. These requirements, especially the need for warmth, vary from species to species. In our case as home school parents this would mean the need for warmth from child to child. Every child is different and will need different levels of warmth, love and care in certain areas of their study. If we want delightful fruit at the end of each of our children's harvest time we are going to have to devote ourselves to meet each individual child’s need. One of our children may need just a bit more attention in a certain area than another of our children. If we want tasty fruit at harvest time we have to be like the gardener. We will have to show the love and care needed to cultivate that particular fruit. We must nurture the idea we are trying to cultivate. If proper conditions are present, a seed can germinate in a few days. If we take time to walk beside our child in an area they are having a problem with, it is possible for them to learn what we are trying to present to them in a few days. We should keep in mind that it takes seeds in a garden time to grow. With that in mind, it may take time for our child to grasp information being presented to him or her.                
On the other hand, not all seeds germinate. Some seeds take a while to germinate and others don't. The seeds that don't are dormant.
                Your child may not learn everything you are trying to teach them at a particular time. It may seem as if they are rejecting what you are laying before them. This should not cause you to worry. Take time to check out the soil you are trying to plant your seed in. Is it ready to cultivate the fruit you want to produce? The condition of the soil (your child's ability) must be properly nourished to produce your fruit.
                Dormancy of a seed does not mean it will not germinate. Sometimes the gardener has to give the seed a little time for the conditions of his soil to become favorable in order for the seed to begin to grow. Sometimes we just have to wait a little later to feed our children some ideas. Their minds ar just not quite where we think they need to be to absorb what we are laying before them. This means we have to just slow down and take our time. We have to give them time to grow. Fruit is not grown over night and neither will our child's ability to learn happen overnight. A garden is a work in progress and so is our child's education.
                When a young plant can gather water and minerals in its roots to make food in its leaves, the germination process is complete. As we take the time to teach our children how to gather material to feed the ideas in their mind we are bringing them to the end of germination. When we can get our child to step in to a place to where he or she can begin to learn on their own, our process of germination is complete. Just as the gardener sits and watches his fruit grow, so shall we sit back at this time and watch our fruit unfold before our eyes. As harvest time draws to a near, the purpose we started this home school journey will then come in to view. What goals that have been accomplished will be our harvest. The seeds we planted will be the fruit we receive.


Richele said...

Traci, thanks for the reminder that not all ideas will take hold immediately.

We'll see you at the carnival!

Nadene said...

As farmers and gardeners, we know this analogy is so true! We can chose the seed, prepare the ground, but only the Lord produces the life. And then, we must steward and nurture that life! Parenting and educating our children is really done on our knees.

Traci's Teaching Times said...

Amen Nadene, Through God is the only way we can be successful raising and homeschooling our children. I can't begin to count the times that I would need a direction, but not know which way to go next. I would drop to my knees and when I would arise I would know exactly what we were going to do.

Charlotte Mason in the City said...

This is such a nice analogy. The sentence that really popped out at me is this one:
"Depending on the type of fruit we want to produce will determine what kind of seeds we plant."

Traci's Teaching Times said...

Yes, Heather, we have to be careful about what seeds we drop in the ground. We don't want any wild weeds to come up and choke out our good fruit.

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