Sarah is a homeschooling mom who has started implementing and sharing with us her journey of applying the Well Educated Heart Philosophy in her home. This post focuses on how she has used some of the Well Educated Heart Resources to Inspire herself and her children.
I have been pondering deeply about one principle I have learned on my Well Educated Heart journey. As mothers, I believe we all have a journey with the Well Educated Heart because each of our hearts need to undergo some stretching and changing. We all have something to learn deep within our hearts so that we can then break through those thick barriers and come out feeling new and changed.
The process is beautiful!
If you turn to the resources Marlene has shared, you are sure to have a changed heart and to see things in a new perspective. The principle I have been pondering on is the principle of inspiring, not requiring. Doesn’t that sound like the antidote to everything we do in so many settings today?
Here is an example
My daughter is in a wonderful music program. Although she has learned a lot about music theory (much more than I would have imagined existed as the basics of learning to play the piano), I am seeing that they are required to push through it, and I am not seeing her play music for the joy of playing.
I find myself getting frustrated the longer she is in the class, so I talked with her and tried to let her know that maybe trying a different method would be more enjoyable and beneficial. My daughter insists that she stay and complete her class. This was a real world situation where I had to practice this principle.
Was I going to push my will on my daughter’s or was I going to allow her the personal will to make her choice. I have observed that since we had the conversation, she is taking more responsibility of her practice. Regardless of what her motivations of staying in the class may be I have expressed worries to other moms that I think she just fears looking dumb or failing. Whatever the case, I have let her make a decision and I have not required my will on her.
How do we inspire when we are busy mothers and have so much on our plates?
This is particularly hard if we homeschool in addition to the many other responsibilities and desires that we have. I thought of two examples of neighbors who have been inspiring me.
Neighbor #1 –
One lady in my neighborhood has been attending painting classes for a long time. I loved looking at the beautiful artwork she created for her own home. She inspired me by sharing her pictures and experiences with me, and then inviting me to come along. I will be going to my first official paint class next weekend.
Neighbor #2 –
Another man in my neighborhood is passionate about emergency preparedness. He kindly walked over to my house, told me he had a large collection of ideas from various websites that he saved, and then shared them with me. These conversations are ongoing.
He hasn’t required anything of me, or put a deadline on anything.
By his simple gesture, my husband and I have set a monthly area where we prepare further for temporal needs and we have built a food storage rotation shelf. He inspired us with first living the principle himself.
So back to me as a mother who wants to inspire learning of the arts.
I know within myself that inspiration drives me further than requirements and imposed deadlines. Those just stress me out! We know that requirements can train us to dislike authority figures, do what is expected, learn to hate a subject, do the minimum to get by. Time and time again, the Well Educated Heart philosophy reminds us to fill our own hearts, and minds, first.
Do you feel selfish to spend time learning and studying?
I know that I do. However, I have found that when I make time to learn everyday, things I am learning will benefit them when I share it with them later. I either read something I want to share with them or spend time doing something to increase my own knowledge of poetry, music, or the fine arts.
Sometimes, I just renew myself with something I desire to listen to, either music or an audio story. This is so important. We cannot pour from an empty bucket. Yet, how often and easy it is to get feeling empty. I love the principle of always feeding our hearts and minds. We can never have too much, but we can often have not enough.
Well Educated Heart Resources that Inspire
Here are some things that have become inspiring to my children as they have learned and observed from me or from others.
I started listening to My America Storybook. These are audios of American stories that Marlene Peterson, from the Well Educated Heart, has recorded to go along with the rotation in the Well Educated Heart. If I have extra time, I will notebook the stories that inspire my heart.
My oldest daughter likes to cut and glue the pictures for me. I then write my thoughts about the story. I am so glad that she knows these great people by their faces and would be able to identify them from the pictures. How many children can do that today?
#2 – Landmark Series
I found a beautiful series of books called the Landmark series, written by Shirley Raye Redmond. There is one book called Patriots in Petticoats (this book is pricey on Amazon. Check out Abebooks or Ebay for cheaper versions). My daughter LOVED reading the true stories of female patriots during the American Revolutionary period.
She loves this time of history because of the stories she has heard from myself an another teacher.The story of Mary Katherine, a lady who risked her life to print the Declaration of Independence in her newspaper, was one of her favorites. Mary Katherine even funded the whole thing.
#3 – My Example
I am also noticing my daughter being more willing to try her hand at drawing. She sees me drawing more often myself. We enjoy drawing and painting or using oil pastels together. It makes my heart joyful to see her happy and content doing this! A few months ago she had screamed and kept telling me what a bad artist she was. Gratefully that has changed and it all started with exploring together.
We attended a paint night with some of my friends. I was so grateful to have my cute daughter telling me how good my painting looked (she was too confident), and how great of an artist she is. You know what? She’s right. A true artist has tapped into the joy of learning.
There is another mom I have recently become friends with, thanks to the Mothers of Influence group associated with the Well Educated Heart. We both strive to inspire our children. Yesterday, we had to smile when an art activity flopped. We wanted them to be inspired with a beautiful picture idea. Instead, the boys wanted to color Darth Vader.
We had to remind ourselves to be happy with their growth in this process too. We’ll continue to think of ways to inspire their hearts. In the meantime, we’ll fill our hearts for the times they are ready.
The best of the Well Educated Heart resources I am using to fill my heart and further Catch the Vision is the Well Educated Heart Reference printed books Marlene has recently published. It is everything she has shared with us all in one place. They are $39 for all of them. They can be purchased on her website.
I hope this has inspired you to find ways to Inspire and not just to require. The hardest part for me is to trust the process as it unfolds ever so slowly. Do we trust that our children will be inspired by us, or do we feel the intense need to always be prodding them in the direction we want them to go. I want to show them the way, and then get out of the way. This is not natural for me, but it is something I desire to learn and become.
Remember the Well Educated Heart resources are free to view online! There have been so many hours put into the compiling of all of these beautiful stories and art!