Thursday, September 23, 2010

Family Culture and Home Education

I was thinking about the next Pillar in my Home Education, Pillar VI.  And the word culture kept coming to my mind.  I began to think about the word, it’s definition and how it applies to us.  I have read often that “education is an atmosphere”  from many of Charlotte Mason’s works.  (6. When we say that "education is an atmosphere," we do not mean that a child should be isolated in what may be called a 'child-environment' especially adapted and prepared, but that we should take into account the educational value of his natural home atmosphere, both as regards persons and things, and should let him live freely among his proper conditions. It stultifies a child to bring down his world to the child's' level.)
(Random bird picture)

And, being a mother to children who are home through adoption, I have heard and read about exposing my children to their past cultures (China, S. Korea, etc.).  When most of us think of “culture”, we usually think of other countries than our own; Asia, Mexica, for example.  We think of what “makes” China “China" or Mexico “Mexico”.  So for China we may think of their way of living, customs, traditions, art, music, religion, beliefs, practices, language and the geography of the country.  We might think of the differences in appearance like eye shape or skin color.  
I have come to believe that I must be intentional and thoughtful about my “Family Culture”.  What do I mean by this and why is it a pillar for my children’s education?
It’s funny how you grow into some thoughts without realizing it....
Family Culture, to me, would be defined as what makes the Hassoldt’s the “Hassoldt’s”....our way of living, our customs and traditions, art or music that we enjoy, our religion and the beliefs that define us, even our language and where we live.  The thing that is really cool is that each person in a “family culture” adds something. 
Here’s an examples from our oldest son, Jace.  Home educating that brilliant child was a challenge, but it was also an amazing time of growth and learning for me.  His desire to learn and know pushed me every day to learn and know, and because of him, I fell in love with learning.  I had NEVER loved school...if you have read past posts, you know I was a “failure” in school, but teaching Jace taught me that I could learn and I loved it!!!  As Jace got older, he fell in love with Jazz music.  So like everything else he loved, we immersed our family in Jazz.  Many nights were spent as a family dancing, singing and just enjoying each other to some of the best of Jazz music.  We studied some of greatest best music voices and players of Jazz, the time period when it was born, where it’s influence came from, the art that resulted, and all things good related to Jazz.  Jace painted an awesome Jazz picture above his bed and we even named our little dog “Bluez”.  
See, his love for Jazz became part of our family culture.  Kalyn’s love for poetry followed, and Caresse’s passion for herbs and medicine’s.  Kiana is quite the artist and it brings such beauty to our home.  I love photography and Steve, honestly!!! - I even asked him - likes to fix things!!!  Each of these become part of our family culture.
Also, I really do love other cultures, and so that is an important part of our daily lives.  Of course, having children who were born in so many different places gives us an excellent opportunity to celebrate and learn about their birth countries.  We are re-studying China, since Asher is waiting for us there.  However, we talk and learn about all countries, because we believe that all people are made in the LORD’s image and are valued and precious.  This is also part of our family culture. 

Now, not to throw you, but here is an interesting definition of “culture” from the Webster 1828 dictionary (which is my favorite dictionary):
1.  The act of tilling and preparing the earth for crops; cultivation; the application of labor or other means of improvement. 
2.  The application of labor or other means to improve good qualities in, or growth; as the culture of the mind; the culture of virtue.
3.  The application of labor or other means in producing.”

Isn’t that interesting...some words stand out to me...growing, improving, producing....
As I consider my "Family Culture”, I must also reflect on this questions:  “What acts of preparing, what works or labor do I need to do to cultivate a “Family Culture” where each one of us can grow, improve and produce for THE LORD’S GLORY.  Because the most important part of our family culture is that we follow Jesus and believe the whole Truth of the Bible.  Ultimately, this guides me every day.  And as my farmer grandfather use to prepare his field to receive the cotton crop, so I must thoughtfully prepare my family to receive the Seeds of Truth...from the Bible.  
My Home Education is part of “who” we are and I have the privilege to use it as a tool to cultivate our family culture. 
I encourage you to think about your family culture and ask the LORD to help you cultivate a home that nourishes the growth of every one in your family, and don’t forget to nourish mother!!!!


  1. What a GREAT post! Thanks for sharing!!!

    :) :) :)

  2. Beautifully said!

    Love you and know that I am praying for you sweet friend!

  3. GREAT POST! Love this! We feel the same way....and I love the way you put it.

  4. Oh this is good and I agree 100%!

    Thank you fro sharing.

  5. Very thought provoking. Thank you for sharing this. God bless, Jennifer

  6. So true how we all have many cultures and can also bring other cultures into our home. How wonderful the Lord gives us so many opportunities in the world today. May we only open our hearts and minds to them.

  7. Wonderfully thoughtful post Shonni! I just shared your ideas with my husband...we're homeschooling all of our kids for the first time this year (the teens we just adopted last year) and it's challenging...but I'm excited to shape our "culture"! Oh and my last comment was supposed to be "love to you" not love you to. ;o) lol


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