Family Reading Together 1

Back before WinterPromise was born, back when my kids were younger, and WinterPromise was just our own family lifestyle, not a curriculum, we discovered that our family experiences provided windows into the souls of our kids.   That each of the things we did together, enjoyed together was an opportunity to see inside them.

A prime example was our family’s love for Playmobil.  If you’re not familiar with Playmobil, you’re really missing out.  Playmobil is a combination building and relating toy.  Sets of Playmobil allow kids to build houses, businesses, firehouses or adventure scenes, while also including people, animals, furnishings, and vehicles to allow imaginations to run wild.  Better still, many of the toys are based in historical time periods such as the age of piracy, the American West or Civil War, and medieval times.

Our family used these toys not only for hours of imaginative play, but as directed props in recreating our favorite scenes from our history books.  The kids named the characters after people we read about.  A little guy with a map and a sextant became Nathaniel Bowditch (of “Carry On, Mr. Bowditch), while western heroes and villains like Wyatt Earp or Billy the Kid carried out frontier justice or broke out of jail.  For hours our kids would re-enact what they’d been taught in elaborate scenes.  Some were pitched medieval battles, others were slowly unfolding chases or taut moments in history.  Either way, they built it and populated it with Playmobil and their own imagination.

It was the ultimate narration tool!

But equally fascinating was how these experiences provided windows into the hearts and souls of our children, allowing us to see not only what they’d learned, but who they were becoming as people.  While the girls of the house fastidiously decorated castles for soon-to-arrive hostile forces, the boys arranged their weapons and set elaborate traps around the perimeter.  When the battle came on one of the girls could be heard tenderly whispering to a victim, “Hold on, help is coming!” while the boys’ shouts bared souls filled with courage and sacrifice, protection for the helpless (or hapless) souls inside the castle.  In short, the experiences were “soul windows,” peeks inside the true character of our children.  What they’d do in ‘real life’ in the same situation, practicing acts of kindness or bravery.  A million facets of the complex people they were to become.

Here at WinterPromise, we offer you a variety of experiences in part because each of them provides a “soul window” for you as a parent.  Not only are they designed to provide rich learning opportunities, but they are deliberately constructed to give you a great chance of peeking inside your child’s very soul.  These are the opportunities we have to change our child’s character, praise him for his gifts, smooth off rough edges, polish up the best in them.

For us here at WinterPromise, we hope to bring you a curriculum is living, well beyond just an educational experience — one that allows you to ‘bring up your child well,’ to mentor and grow them, to reach for the best in them and make them blossom and bring joy to those around them.  This should be the ultimate goal of education.  It was Charlotte Mason’s goal, and it is our goal.  And every one of our children deserves nothing less than that.