by Mike McHugh
Modern educators tend to place little attention upon the past and seldom encourage their students to draw from the wisdom of previous generations. This tendency to de-value the wit and wisdom of dynamic individuals who lived long ago, may well stem from the pagan notion that such people are connected to a more primitive time in the chain of social evolution and, therefore, have almost nothing to offer contemporary society. Christian educators, however, who reject the theory of evolution will not fail to teach their students to value morally and intellectually sound principles even if they are of ancient origin. There is indeed nothing new under the sun in terms of earthly wisdom, because God created man with great intellectual capacity "in the beginning".
The vast majority of influential and successful leaders from world history spent time memorizing pithy statements and powerful quotes from those that came before them. These intellectual gems were often incorporated into the speeches and writings of those individuals that were in the process of making their mark in the world as they acted upon the old proverb that "leaders must be readers".
Home school instructors are in a particularly strong position to provide their children with exposure to great maxims and proverbs from by-gone eras due to the fact that they have greater flexibility in their weekly schedule. For this reason, home educators should make a point to assign their students the task of memorizing at least one great quote or maxim each week. Such a plan will undoubtedly pay rich dividends as students grow in practical wisdom on a regular basis. Whenever possible, as an encouragement to their students, instructors should try to have the entire family memorize the same great quote or saying.
In addition to the great quotes from Holy Scripture, (particularly the book of Proverbs), students should be exposed to a healthy variety of quotable quotes from the realms of politics, church history, theology, philosophy, and the arts. Local libraries often stock books that feature choice or memorable quotes from the past. Such books will commonly classify the statement or maxim in terms of its historical era or perhaps its subject matter, thereby making it somewhat easier to use. Older literature books also contain a wealth of great proverbs and wise sayings from the past that are worthy of consideration.
If we desire as home school instructors to see our students grow up to be wise and influential, then it is important for us to direct our children to learn by heart the great sayings from human history. Students who store up such wisdom, particularly biblical wisdom, will be better prepared to turn the world upside down for the glory of King Jesus.
Copyright 2006 Michael J. McHugh
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