Monday, August 6, 2007

Quotes to Ponder on Children and Education

Through the grace of the sacrament of marriage, parents receive the responsibility and privilege of evangelizing their children. Parents should initiate their children at an early age into the mysteries of the faith of which they are the "first heralds" for their children. ... Education in the faith by the parents should begin in the child's earliest years. This already happens when family members help one another to grow in faith by the witness of a Christian life in keeping with the Gospel.
(The Catechism of the Catholic Church 2225-2226)

It should be the objective and is definitely the responsibility of every rational Catholic mother and father to see that the child is educated, so that he can be truly Catholic with the consent of all his faculties.
(Francis Crotty, Implementation of Ignatian Education in the Home)

Jesus…said to them, "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them.
(Mark 10:14-16)

So often people say that we should look to the elderly, learn from their wisdom, their many years. I disagree, I say we should look to the young: untarnished, without stereotypes implanted in their minds, no poison, no hatred in their hearts. When we learn to see life through the eyes of a child, that is when we become truly wise.
(Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta )

When married couples and their children show their human and supernatural affection for one another, they personally encounter Jesus Christ, who has said, "Believe me, when you did it to one of the least of my brethren here, you did it to me."
(Javier Abad, Eugenio Fenoy Marriage: A Path to Sanctity)

…in the Divine solicitude for children was the affirmation that there are certain elements in childhood which ought to be preserved in the highest manhood; that no man is truly great unless he can recapture something of the simplicity and humility of the child.
(Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

Who does not know that to teach a child to feed himself, to wash and dress himself, is a much more tedious and difficult work, calling for infinitely greater patience, than feeding, washing and dressing the child one's self? But the former is the work of an educator, the latter is the easy and inferior work of a servant. Not only is it easier for the mother, but it is very dangerous for the child, since it closes the way and puts obstacles in the path of the life which is developing.
(Maria Montessori The Montessori Method)

Patience is faith in action. Patience is emotional diligence. It's the willingness to suffer inside so that others can grow. It reveals love. It gives birth to understanding. Even as we become aware of our suffering in love, we learn about ourselves and our own weaknesses and motives.
(Stephen Covey The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families)

What use is it to pile task on task and prolong the days of labor, if at the close the chief object is left unattained? It is not the fault of the teachers--they work only too hard already. The combined folly of a civilization that has forgotten its own roots is forcing them to shore up the tottering weight of an educational structure that is built upon sand. They are doing for their pupils the work which the pupils themselves ought to do. For the sole true end of education is simply this: to teach men how to learn for themselves; and whatever instruction fails to do this is effort spent in vain.
(Dorothy Sayers "the Lost Tools of Learning")

If I were to have to label much educational material today, I'm afraid a large percentage would definitely be twaddle. How colorfully and scientifically our generation talks down to the little child! What insipid, stupid, dull stories are trotted out! And we don't stop there. We don't respect the children's thinking or let them come to any conclusions themselves! We ply them with endless questions, the ones we've thought up, instead of being silent and letting the child's questions bubble up with interest.
(Susan Schaeffer Macaulay For the Children's Sake)

The most basic element … is parental love, which finds fulfillment in the task of education as it completes and perfects its service of life.
(Pope John Paul II Familiaris Consortio)

To educate means to help someone understand the elements of reality in their fruitful multiplying, up to a totality which is always the true horizon of our actions.
(Msgr. Luigi Giussani The Risk of Education)

Our Lord wants us all to be the leaven in the dough of society. But He wants us to do this when we are properly prepared. Our job as parents is to prepare our children to be ready for the service to which God will call them. We need to furnish the children's minds and hearts with the true, the good and the beautiful, so that they may speak "in season and out of season" of the faith they have been given.
(Laura Berquist "Character Formation" Sursum Corda Fall 1998)

Kindness has converted more sinners than zeal, eloquence or learning.
(Fr. Frederick W. Faber )

Catholic education is the comprehensive system of interior formation which is ordered throughout by the concept and confidence in the Incarnation. The mystery of the Incarnation itself rests on an orderly sense of Creation and the confidence it gives is sustained in the face of sin by faith in the mystery of the Cross of Jesus.
(Mary Daly, Essay on a Curriculum for the Culture of Life)

Talk to your children about their academic work. Conversation with you is the most formative part of their intellectual life.
(Laura Berquist Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum)

It has always therefore been one of my main endeavours as a teacher to persuade the young that first-hand knowledge is not only more worth acquiring than second-hand knowledge, but is usually much easier and more delightful to acquire.
(C.S. Lewis, Introduction to On the Incarnation by St. Athanasius)

It is necessary not only that religious instruction be given to the young at certain fixed times, but also that every other subject taught, be permeated with Christian piety. If this is wanting, if this sacred atmosphere does not pervade and warm the hearts of masters and scholars alike, little good can be expected from any kind of learning, and considerable harm will often be the consequence.
(Pius XI, On Christian Education)

Unless a man's will has a purpose and it is a good one, education will do nothing for him except to fortify his own egotism.
(Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

"Diligence must be cultivated as daily habit so that it is a joy."
(Shinichi Suzuki, Young Children's Talent Education and Its Method)

God wouldn't have given us an intellect, if he didn't want us to think straight.
(Msgr. Ronald Knox)

"It is a great thing to be brought into the presence of a law, of a whole system of laws, that exist without our concurrence--that two straight lines cannot enclose a space is a fact that we can perceive, state and act upon but cannot in any wise alter, should give to children the sense of limitation which is wholesome for all of us, and inspire that sursum corda which we should hear in all natural law."
(Charlotte Mason, A Philosophy of Education)

Let us be faithful teachers. No matter what the pace, children need to know they can accomplish the tasks set before them. Meeting grade-level requirements in the early years is not as important as steadfast effort.
(K. Andreola A Charlotte Mason Companion)

No amount of pious training or pious culture will protect the faithful, or preserve them from the contamination of the age, if they are left inferior to non-Catholics in secular learning and intellectual development. The faithful must be guarded and protected by being trained and disciplined to grapple with the false systems of the age…. They must be better armed than their opponents - surpass them in the strength and vigor of their minds, and in the extent and variety of their knowledge. They must, on all occasions and against all adversaries, be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in them.
(Orestes Brownson Catholic Polemics)

You [should] think effectiveness with people and efficiency with things… I see many parents, particularly mothers with small children, often frustrated in their desire to accomplish a lot because all they seem to do is meet the needs of little children all day. Remember, frustration is a function of our expectations, and our expectations are often a reflection of the social mirror rather than our own values and priorities.
(Stephen Covey The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)

The answer is a balance between structure and non-structure. But this balance must be reached after a consideration of various factors. These factors include the age of the student, the learning ability, the best learning style for the student, the teacher-mother's ability, and the subject matter itself.
(Mary Kay Clark Catholic Home Schooling)

Hence every form of pedagogic naturalism …Every method of education founded, wholly or in part, on the denial or forgetfulness of original sin and of grace, and relying on the sole powers of human nature, is unsound. …If any of these terms are used, less properly, to denote the necessity of a gradually more active cooperation on the part of the pupil in his own education… this would be correct, but in no way new. It would mean only what has been taught and reduced to practice by the Church … in imitation of the method employed by God Himself towards His creatures, of whom He demands active cooperation according to the nature of each.
(Pope Pius XI, On Christian Education)

It has been said that some of the great geniuses of the past never read half as much as the mediocre geniuses today, but what they read they understood and incorporated into a deeper dimension of knowledge.
(Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

True followers of Christ were meant to be at odds with the world: The pure of heart will be laughed at by the Freudians; the meek will be scorned by the Marxists; the humble will be walked on by the go-getters; the liberal Sadducees will call them reactionaries; the reactionary Pharisees will call them liberals.
(Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. They bear witness to this responsibility by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and disinterested service are the rule. The home is well suited for education in the virtues. This requires an apprenticeship in self-denial, sound judgment, and self-mastery-- the preconditions of all true freedom. Parents should teach their children to subordinate the "material and instinctual dimensions to interior and spiritual ones." Parents have a grave responsibility to give good example to their children. By knowing how to acknowledge their own failings to their children, parents will be better able to guide and correct them.
(The Catechism of the Catholic Church #2223)

If it be true that the world has lost its respect for authority, it is only because it lost it first in the home.
(Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

We teach our children more effectively when we develop our interior life with God, learn the Faith better through ongoing scriptural and catechetical instruction, and grow in virtue.
(Hahn & Hasson Catholic Education: Homeward Bound)

The key to successful Catholic homeschooling is living the sacramental life.
(Mary Kay Clark Catholic Home Schooling)

Besides giving an example of personal holiness, we can encourage maturity and spiritual growth in our children by providing ample opportunity for them to grow steadily in unselfish ways. Virtue and vice are both habits, learned through repetition. Help your child to learn early in life the good habits of virtue, first through service to his family then in going out of himself to love and serve his neighbor.
(Catholic Heritage Curricula, 3rd Grade Lesson Plans)

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
(Matthew 5:14-16)

Any book which inspires us to lead a better life is a good book.
(Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

All knowledge is sterile which does not lead to action and end in charity.
(Cardinal Desire Joseph Mercier)

There is little point in keeping children out of Hell if you don't afford them the means of getting into Heaven. So give them solid catechetics, strong preaching, good example, healthy exercise, supervision in a general and determinant way but not in each particular and by all means permitting them the freedom of the good, dangerous books as well as the dangerous games such as football, or mountain climbing. Given the state of man, some will break their necks and sin; but in good Catholic families with common sense, the falls should be few and the bodies and souls recoverable.
(John Senior, The Restoration of Christian Culture)

... the rights of the family and of the State, even the rights of individuals regarding a just liberty in the pursuit of science, of methods of science and all sorts of profane culture, not only are not opposed to this pre-eminence of the Church, but are in complete harmony with it. The fundamental reason for this harmony is that the supernatural order, to which the Church owes her rights, not only does not in the least destroy the natural order, to which pertain the other rights mentioned, but elevates the natural and perfects it, each affording mutual aid to the other, and completing it in a manner proportioned to its respective nature and dignity. The reason is because both come from God, who cannot contradict Himself.
(Pope Pius XI, On Christian Education)

The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried.
(G.K. Chesterton What's Wrong with the World)

Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day.
( Matthew 6:34)

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