In my prior blog post I told you that I was going to take you down memory lane, and that is exactly what I am going to do. I have enjoyed all the stages of my four son’s lives. It is very fun to sit around the table and now hear all about their business ventures. The older they get the more they appreciate the classical Christian education they received. They acknowledge that the way they look at the world is different (and we believe better) because of the education that they had.
But there are times when I am driving down the road and the ghostly sound of young voices comes from the back seats as they chat away (chatting—of course, my boys never fought in the car :)). Car rides were a daily event, and I soon realized that was time spent that needed to be redeemed. Sometimes I can’t believe the amount of hours one spends in the car—between sports practice and lessons it seemed we were in the car a lot every day. For their teenage years we had graduated from a minivan to a high top van—one of those with the track lighting and a television/VCR. Back then the boys thought this was awesome, the Taj Mahal. Now they inform me they would not be caught dead in one of these vehicles. I laugh and think to myself, “Wait till you have children.” It seemed it was just an extra room in our home. In the back you could always find a duffle bag with a change of clothes for everyone, water bottles, some kind of snack and four blankets. I never knew when plans might change and we would go meet Daddy somewhere and need to clean up, or nap time might sneak up on us. I have fond memories of those three high top vans we went through over the years; they were used to form some amazing memories. Of course, by the time we were done with them, the science community would bid to buy them and run experiments on the newly discovered plant life and organic matter that had been festering in them.
From their earliest educational years our boys’ education was according to classical Christian educational principles, so that meant that in the grammar stage we were interested in memorizing lots of information. My husband describes this as putting the information on the hard drive. And the car was a terrific place to do that. With our cassette tapes in tow—remember them?—we headed to our destinations groovin’ away. I often wondered what people must have thought with kids bouncing around, clapping hands and this woman at the wheel singing right along with them.
We would sing our history and Bible chronology songs, grammar chants, linguistic rules, math tables, Latin songs and anything else that I wanted to get ingrained into their young minds that they would both have for the rest of their lives and make good educational use of in a few years. We had fun, and when their dad was in the car, things got even better. Okay, I am fun, but Marlin on the other hand just knows how to enjoy life. He would also play math games with them. Throwing out numbers to see who could add them up the fastest, or just calling a child’s name and giving them an equation.
But, there was more here than just memorizing. You see, I wanted our children to see that learning is fun and it’s not an isolated activity that just happens while “schooling.” I also knew that memorizing and doing chants was the thing that I always seemed to push off at home. It felt funny to chant with just one child, and I always felt the pressure of getting this reading done or that math worksheet completed. So the car became the natural place. It really became a built-in part of my lesson planning.
Reclaim this time. I promise you won’t regret it. Before you know it, they will have more information in their heads than you can possibly imagine.
Now I get to do it all over again with grandchildren, and I can’t wait. Do you think a seven-month-old is ready to start?
This link is to a class that covers much of the material we recommend committing to memory. Even if you don't want an online class, the materials list for the class will give you great ideas:
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