Friday, October 19, 2007

On mothering and on education

Molly has a post on a "mothering test" - what sort of mother are you?
I tried the test ~ and here is the result. Mmm. Kinda true...Perhaps.

Your type is: entp —The “Independence” Mother

“When I held my babies, I always faced them outward so they could take in the world.”
Full of energy and confident in her own self-sufficiency and competence, the ENTP mother encourages her children—as a role model and as a teacher—to be independent and confident on their own in the world.
A “big picture” person, she points out options and possibilities along the way. Objective and logical as well, the ENTP wants her children to evaluate their choices and learn from the consequences of their own decisions.

The ENTP mother is resourceful and action-oriented. She likes going places and doing things with her children, exploring all that life has to offer. She is less concerned with rules, routines, and schedules. Introducing her children to new concepts and activities, challenging them, and stimulating their intellectual development are top priorities.

Our babies were always out in the world, taken everywhere, held by everyone, propped up to see the world.....

I guess both the ideal of independence and the concept of exploring the world have shaped not only my mothering but also my educational philosophy - they describe why we are unschoolers rather than more timetabled homeschoolers.

We pick ideas and activities from here and there. We flit around, but always with a big picture in mind. (Mostly with a bigger picture in mind ).

Some internet friends and I have been discussing educational methodologies as Catholic homeschoolers. A couple of quotes have been shared. Quotes I want to remember. Quotes which describe my unschooling - Charlotte Mason - Classical practice.

The first is from Pope Pius XI, in his encyclical On Christian Education ~

The Christian teacher will imitate the bee, which takes the choicest part of the flower and leaves the rest, as St. Basil teaches in his discourse to youths on the study of the classics. Nor will this necessary caution, suggested also by the pagan Quintilian, in any way hinder the Christian teacher from gathering and turning to profit, whatever there is of real worth in the systems and methods of our modern times, mindful of the Apostle's advice: "Prove all things: hold fast that which is good."

The actual quote from St Basil , referenced above ~

For just as bees know how to extract honey from flowers, which to men are agreeable only for their fragrance and color, even so here also those who look for something more than pleasure and enjoyment in such writers may derive profit for their souls. Now, then, altogether after the manner of bees must we use these writings, for the bees do not visit all the flowers without discrimination, nor indeed do they seek to carry away entire those upon which they light, but rather, having taken so much as is adapted to their needs, they let the rest go. So we, if wise, shall take from heathen books whatever befits us and is allied to the truth, and shall pass over the rest. And just as in culling roses we avoid the thorns, from such writings as these we will gather everything useful, and guard against the noxious. So, from the very beginning, we must examine each of their teachings, to harmonize it with our ultimate purpose, according to the Doric proverb, 'testing each stone by the measuring-line.'

I guess this explains, in part, our reading of Harry Potter and St Teresa of Avila - all in one day.

Or watching both The Nun's Story and The Breakfast Club.
It can all be good.

Most of the time.


Mary G said...

Leonie -- thanks for this wonderful post and for including those quotes -- they really need to be tattooed to my arms (maybe my legs too ;-) as I'm kind a short) so I remember to extract the good from the bad (or worse, the mediocre) and always bring beauty to my home ....

I'll take the quiz and see what kind of mom I am ....

Beate said...

LOL, I was intp! Pretty similiar, just more of an intorvert than you ;-)

Leonie said...

Mary - how'd the quiz go?

Beate, funny that we are similar - but, me an extrovert?? No way!
( just joking, :-)I'm not much of an introvert, really.)