book review, Childhood, Homeschooling, parenting, Quotes

For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

Before you read any further, you should be aware that this book is written from an explicitly Christian perspective, that I, myself, don’t necessarily agree with. So, if that’s a deal breaker…. don’t read it.

Disclosures aside, this book has a lot of awesome content about education, and a particularly a parent’s involvement in education whether they are public school parents, private school parents or homeschooling parents.

Continue reading for an excessive amount of quotes from this book, my poor pages are so dog-eared upon just one read through…. I’m going to let the quotes speak for themselves.

“Assume and tell a child again and again that he is bad, selfish, or lazy, and you will bind him by your expectations. If you expect what is good, and are not shocked by the reality of the faltering footsteps toward it, you will be well on the way to leading.”

“True appreciation [of literature] will help give the child the lifelong strength of not having to struggle for a proper self-respect.”

“The parent has to exercise great self-restraint. It is easy to keep giving extra orders … we must only give commands that we truly intend to see carried out to the full. This last is probably more powerful than spankings and punishments.”

“The child is not to be forced to ‘do his duty’ … because if he doesn’t all hell will be let loose on him. Nor should he be enticed to do so … to make somebody he cares about happy. One day you won’t be there to see! No he must learn that he does it because it is right.

“A child is very sensitive. He knows if he is though of as a D student, hyperactive, a problem, an intelligent animal, a victim of unhappy circumstances, or as anything rather than a capable, separate person.”

“The habit of noncommunication is also very easily produced. Mix busy adults with little time, and hours spent with large groups of children; add that nobody is especially interested in that particular child’s mind or experiences, and you will have, perhaps, a person with no ability to communicate at all.”

“We shouldn’t wait for the really hard test of ‘owning up’ to some wrongdoing to try to teach the habit of truth.”

“Bad habits makes slaves of those who have them. But good habits are like tracks along which our usual behavior runs. This frees us to concentrate on the important choices we have to make in life.”

“The child is not made for education, but education is to serve the child.”

“Do the children know the feel of dew-fresh grass on their bare feet, and lush freshness of the shade of a leafy tree on a hot afternoon? Do they know the fun of autumn leaves, and the fairy tale beauty of an icy morning? Wherever the child lives in the world, we should consider his contact with nature as part of his life.”

“Whenever possible, a child should partake in real work situations. Children like company and variety in work, and there should never be so much that the all-important play/free growing time is excluded….In trying to give a child a carefree existence, we often leave him stranded with meaningless tasks. A sensitive balance must be established so that the routine of a child’s life is not burdened with work responsibilities that rob him of a childhood growing time.”

“Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.”

“If a child is respected, one does not talk down to him. One can give simple and quick answers that are genuine. Honesty is another rule. ‘I’m not sure’ or ‘I don’t know’ are helpful replies when such is the case.”

“These young people are used to reading non-frivolous matter so they can ‘grapple intellectually.’ This isn’t talking about stuff that is ‘intellectual for intellectualism’s sake,’ but deep consideration of questions, ideas and answers.”

“In literature, a child is introduced to persons who think deeply and sensitively, and who express themselves well…Literature has a great natural power. Through it, we receive the gifted communication of other persons. In literature, perhaps more than any other art form, we are able to get into the other man’s shoes.”

“The child [who has had great books read to them] has had a daily diet of books written by persons of well-above-average abilities of communication. They are deeply influenced by the ideas, standard, and breadth of expression in such nurturing.”

“It is amazing to us who have experienced mediocre education to think that quite ordinary boys and girls are capable of such growth. And these are children who have not been pressured with an ambitious program. They were the ones who started out with only ten minutes of writing at six and seven so that they wouldn’t become restless and tired. They weren’t given homework, and had free afternoons and evenings for generous leisure in and out of doors. How was this acheived? Is it an unattainable ideal? No. Many schools excel in wasting time.”

“Music! Into the drab and hurried blur of breathless [modern] life, allow time and enjoyment for this aspect of our humanness. It is part of a liberal education.”

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