“Read!”

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One of our grandsons is a sweet four-year-old. To respect the privacy of our grandchildren, I’ll call him Mason. When I read to Mason and his three siblings, ranging from age two to nine, interruptions are common. When Mason gets tired of waiting during one of those interruptions, he reminds me to “Read!”

Yesterday Mason’s family and Ray and I were together outside. Mason came to me and asked me to sit down beside him and tell him a story. I joyfully agreed. Inevitably, two of his siblings joined us, sharing adventures and eavesdropping on the story. After waiting patiently during an interruption, Mason could take it no longer. “Read!” he said.

I looked down at him with a grin, and asked, “Read?” His sweet smile and embarrassed expression were precious.

The exchange reminds me of something I’ve been thinking about a great deal lately. As a whole, Americans need to become better educated—much better educated, especially in the political climate in which we live. We need to depend less on various forms of media and more on other sources of knowledge and information. Of first importance is learning God’s Word. Also important are learning from wise authors who tell the truth and from mature and wise people whom God places in our lives.

In 2014 Ray and I had the great privilege of hearing a lecture by Dr. Ben Carson at a homeschool convention. Dr. Carson credits much of his success to the heroic efforts of his single mother. One of her requirements for her two sons was that they “Read!” books from the library. I agree with Mrs. Carson, with the proviso that those books be chosen very carefully.

“CCC Boys” in the library of a Civilian Conservation Corps camp during the Great Depression. Courtesy of the National Archives.

Carson encouraged his listeners to spend time every day learning something new. Of course, reading is a great way to do that. He also encouraged us to get together with other Americans and discuss the issues we believe are important.

I agree with Dr. Carson’s idea of raising the education level of America, one citizen at a time. That’s what you homeschooling mothers do every day–raise the education level of America, one child at a time.

In doing so, you also raise the level of your own education. Homeschooling was one of the best forms of education I ever had for myself. When our children were young, a popular periodical had short intelligence tests. I remember my surprise and delight when I took one of them after only a few months of homeschooling. I knew that I had done much better on the test than I would have before because of what I was learning through homeschooling our children.

The mind of the discerning acquires knowledge,
And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
Proverbs 18:15

 

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