From Charlotte Mason, quoting Swiss education philosopher Pestalozzi:
The mother is qualified,” says Pestalozzi, “and qualified by the Creator Himself, to become the principal agent in the development of her child; … and what is demanded of her is––a thinking love … God has given to the child all the faculties of our nature, but the grand point remains undecided––how shall this heart, this head, these hands be employed? to whose service shall they be dedicated? A question the answer to which involves a futurity of happiness or misery to a life so dear to thee. Maternal love is the first agent in education.”
This, I think, sums up my educational goal for my children. I don’t expect that they’ll be in Yale at 12, or “super-genius” at things. I’m more concerned with the development of their inner sanctum: what do they hold dear? In what do they believe, and what will they defend? Are they equipped to delight in life, to be useful, to serve God?
When I keep this idea of a “thinking love” close, I find I’m more productive in sharing my delight and curiosity about the world around us. We have more interesting conversations, read more interesting things, do more together, and squeeze the very marrow of life in thousands of small ways.
I will likely never be a perfect or ideal home-educating mom. But I can be a mom with a “thinking love”… and that may be just enough.