Sunday, February 27, 2011

Applying Work, Study, & Service

 Applying the study, work, and service method of home education can require that a parent-teacher think outside of the box.  Most people think of schoolwork, textbooks, copywork, and the three R’s when they think of a home-school curriculum.  But, the development of the intellectual is only one facet of education.  When combined with work and service, the academic aspects of home-schooling become one-third of a whole.  In the beginning it takes effort and concentration to figure out exactly how to apply study, work and service.  It is generally recommended that each aspect receives equal time.  Planning purposefully to achieve this goal is essential, although there is room for an ebb and flow on scheduling.   Over time it becomes easier and how it is applied becomes natural and unique to each family.

A formula that works well for any homeschool where the whole child is being developed is:

100% study
100% work
100% service

Children should be encouraged to experience life purposefully. They should be encouraged to learn and given time and freedom to explore. They are to give it their all. If they are deep in a subject and interested, they should not asked to stop learning because their time is up.  Decide early on that it is a mistake to halt or stunt a child’s learning.

The children should be encouraged to work each day. Routine chores should happen daily and occur each morning and night teach children life skills. As the children grow older, study melds its way into gainful work as they apply their education to skills that earn them money during their teens. The dividing line becomes blurred. They should always be encouraged to do their best work.

The children should be encouraged to be compassionate and to always think of others. Service can be something done as a planned event, but mostly should become a way of life — thinking of  family members, friends, neighbors, and others around the world. It can be mixed with study (writing a note to a shut-in or drawing a picture for a sick child) — or service, by keeping a continuous prayer and praise journal during family devotionals each day — or work, in a grandparents or neighbors yard in an effort to serve them because they were not able to.

Each one of these traits blends with the other and together they create a whole. One some days, more time can be spent in study, while on others more time spent on work or service. During our homeschool years, I first kept notations in my plan book (study, work, or service) but over time, as it became a part of our life learning, it became organic and just happened because of habit and inculcation into the thinking of us all. It becomes easier over time. In the initial stages of applying the formula for study,work, and service, it is important to be purposeful about implementing all three aspects of the program.

Planning each segment of the whole creates a home-school where study, work, and service becomes an integral part of learning and the creation of the whole child

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