Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I Learn So Much From Other Homeschooling Moms

Gospel Principles Gospel Principles by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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Last weekend, I got to spend some time with a bunch of homeschooling moms at a moms' retreat. It seems that moms' retreats have become all the rage lately. I've been to three in the past six months since my baby was born, and I missed one. But before I blog about that, I have to write about the lunch I had with the moms of the North Star Scholars Commonwealth School a week ago. (If you don't know what a commonwealth School is, go to thelemi.com.) I wasn't going to go because it was my son's birthday and I had SOOOO much to do to get ready, but I reasoned, I have to drive my son over to the house of the lunch anyway, so he can take his speech and debate class, and I have to eat lunch anyway, and I need a spiritual boost. (I'm not going to blog about the birthday party because I basically promised awhile ago that my blog wasn't going to be the typical mommy blog that is a bragfest about what we got for birthdays and Christmas.)

Joyce Kinmont, homeschooling pioneer and founder of the LDS homeschooling group LDSHEA (see credits Oliver DeMille, founder of the Thomas Jefferson Education movement, with getting moms to study the classics. She says it's such a beautiful thing. As moms study the classics, kids can't help but have some of it rub off them right? And the bonus? Some of it rubs off on other homeschooling moms. And I'm the lucky recipient.

Some classics rubbed off on me at this lunch. First, Karianne shared that she had taught the previous Sunday her Relief Society lesson, #3 from the Gospel Principles book, "Jesus Christ Our Chosen Leader." She remarked that the lesson emphasized that we each chose Jesus to be our leader in the premortal world. One other mom, Kathy, said "Oh I know those words for the lessons must be chosen so carefully." Karianne then said, "Yes...it's just like in Montesquieu where he says that there are only two types of government...those that involve force and those that involve choice."

Wait, it says that in Montesquieu? I want to read him now. My AP US History teacher in high school mentioned him, that his book, The Spirit of the Laws was the foundation of the separation of powers in our Constitution but that's all I knew. We used a textbook in that class and not classics so I didn't know that cool exciting tidbit of force vs. choice in government. I came home and found that the Spirit of the Laws is going to be added to Librivox.org's collection so then I will be able to listen to it on my iPod. (Oops, I just checked again and it is in French! Oh well! Guess I will have to read it while I am nursing.) I am taking James Ure's Constitution Made Simple class and he refers to Montesquieu too, and how prescient he was. Oh, I am excited to study his works!

Somehow, we then got on the topic of Booker T. Washington and his book, Up From Slavery. (You know how a group of people talking can easily get off on tangents.) Karianne shared how cool it was that Booker had desperately wanted a hat to wear to school. So his mom sewed him one. All the kids made fun of him in that hat. But Booker had such a high moral character that instead of feeling low he felt cool! He felt it an honor that his mom was not about impressing other kids but about doing what she could to fulfill his desires and at the same time not go into debt to please him. So instead of borrowing money to get him a hat, she made it out of what she had at home.

WOW! That really got me thinking. Am I doing things for my kids or in my life that give my kids or others the wrong impression? What do I need to change to be more virtuous like Booker's mom? Now I want to read that book too. Librivox.org has it too, so I can look forward to listening to that while I do my chores. Kathy said it was such a good book that it is chockfull of gems like that and she read it twice. I love learning from these amazing moms. Thank you Kathy and Karianne.

1 comment:

  1. I loved loved loved Up from Slavery. I'm excited for you to read it. I actually forgot I owned it. I'm going to read it again.:) I wish I could have talked to you more at our retreat this last weekend. Maybe a time will come soon. :)