How Do You Decide Core Subjects for Your Children?
There is a debate that has been going on for centuries about what truly are Core Subjects. Greek and Roman Classical Education listed core subjects which were important to them, the Western universities of the Middle Ages outlined the Trivium (Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric) and Quadrivium (Arithmetic, Astronomy, Music, Geometry) and as time passed other subjects such as literature, poetry, drama, philosophy, history, art, and languages were added. In Modern times science and economics have been added as "standard" core. The U.S. Government defines the core subjects as: English, Reading or Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Foreign Languages, Civics and Government, Economics, Arts, History, and Geography. We accept these all as core subjects and important for the development of children, however, the most essential core subject we can teach our children is Values. This is often left out in the curriculum of children, but parents everywhere rightfully feel it is the central and the most important subject to instill in their children. History shows the importance and wisdom in the subject of Values being core. According to Tom Eldredge and Douglas W. Phillips in their book, "Safely Home," their study of history shows that civilizations in which children are instructed in their homes to learn values and work ethics have been the longest lasting and most successful over time. They cite as an example the Hebrew civilization which has held the teaching of Values as central in the education of their youth for thousands of years and it has been one of the strongest and longest lasting civilizations humankind has known. The Hebrews have weathered horrific trials throughout history, however, they continually survive, flourish and prosper as a nation, as families and as individuals in life as well as in academia. We believe that as we instill values in our children we too will give them the tools to succeed in life and in an understanding of the standard core subjects.
Understand Our World
An understanding of exactly what the core subjects are and finding resources to learn them and teach them to our children helps in all areas of life. An unfortunate truth is that many people, parents, teachers and students, greatly differentiate between subjects and gain a dislike toward one subject or another. The core subjects are divisions, yet like life, they all are intermixed. If you open your mind you will see Mathematics in English and Literature (Language is based on mathematics), you will see Art in Economics (there is beauty in the systems of our economies), you will see that a lesson for your children on birds in nature can turn into a course on Mathematics, Science, History, Literature, Art, Music etc... as you count the birds, figure out the forces which enable them to fly, learn how they have been used by man through the ages, read poetry about them, draw them, study artistic renditions or photographs of them and listen to their music. The core subjects overlap and an understanding of our world involves an understanding of each of them and how they work together. We have found that as we study one area, it connects with many of the others and subjects which were previously disliked become fascinating.