Let children feed on the good, the excellent, the great! ~ Charlotte Mason 😊 I am gaining some fresh insight into what activities my children should do or take part in. As a mother, I have always been very purposeful in having my children engage in productive activities that build them up such as reading or painting or building with legos. Recently though, this purposefulness has been heightened to offering the best over the good. Stephen Covey says, “The enemy of the ‘best’ is often the ‘good.’ “ I am beginning to agree with him.
A few days ago, my children and I went to the library to pick out some picture books. A healthy, noble activity I thought. That evening, as I was purposing to read some of those picture books to my children, I looked up to see on my bedroom dresser the 2 chapter books we have been reading most nights at this time for a few months now: On the Shores of Silver Lake and The Secret Garden. 😳 In that moment, it dawned on me that I was offering my children the good over the best. Through my example, I was teaching my children to compromise in their hearts in quality and time. I was teaching my children to partake of the good over the best in terms of what they read. And I was teaching them to use the time we had purposely scheduled to read these ‘best’ books to now read books that were not really that important.
It was definitely an eye opener for me. It made me look at other things we do in our home to see where I was offering my children the good over the best? Another example I found is we have painting supplies for our children to engage with, but there is also the paint program on the computer. Both of these mediums are there to help our children to be creative, right? Well, it dawned on me that they essentially are similar activities but one was superiorly better than the other. A child gains so much more skill in using paints and paintbrushes than painting on a computer screen using a mouse. She learns to take her time to observe, being careful to draw the lines of the object accurately, and then being thoughtful of the colours she chooses to render the object as realistic as possible. (contd in comments)