excerpted from Living Education (April 1982)
I always find the change of seasons to be such a fascinating time of year, for it offers opportunities for new insights into the nature of the world, and thus into ourselves and our children.
As parents and teachers, we have an obligation to learn as much as possible about the laws of nature, for these laws govern not only the plants which are so apparent at this time of the year, but every being in the entire universe. For there is only one set of laws under which we operate–the basic principles of the cosmos, and as we learn to see the operation of these laws in one realm of manifestation, such as the plant kingdom, we can begin to apply these laws to other realms, such as the education of children.
When we learn in this way, we are able to encompass diverse fields of knowledge very quickly, because we pierce to the heart of the matter, rather than spending years lost in the details.
We should always try to teach children in this manner, helping them to see the operation of basic laws which are common to many realms, rather than burdening them with details of each realm.
In this way we will be helping them unfold the greatest talent imaginable: the ability to look beyond the forms and discover the life which continually creates and sustains all forms.
When children have learned to recognize this, they will have in their possession the key to all knowledge, and will grow into true students of life itself, continually learning more about themselves and the world in which they live.
This article first appeared in its original form in Living Education: The Monthly Journal of Oak Meadow School in April 1982. The early incarnation of Living Ed (as we fondly refer to it) provided a then-rare space for homeschooling parents to explore and share their thoughts about learning, parenting, and related topics.
What do you think of Oak Meadow founder Lawrence Williams’ profound and provocative words from three decades ago? Are there lines you agree with and lines that don’t fit so well? Do any of these ideas or phrases resonate with you? Would you add anything from your own experience?
As parents and educators, reading others’ thoughts, asking challenging questions, and considering new ideas will open up different opportunities for ourselves and our children. Our ideas continue to evolve as we move along our journey. How have your own thoughts grown and changed since your homeschooling adventure began?