I’ve homeschooled for 15 years now, more if you count my oldest’s toddler years. Through the years our school has had a few different mottoes. Right now it’s the phrase up in the blog header, Maxima reverentia debetur pueris which is Latin for “The greatest respect is due the students”.
Isn’t that nice? Actually, it’s quite radical. I lifted it from A Philosophy of Education by Mason in her chapter on “The Sacredness of Personality”. That title alone should pique every educator’s interest.
Mason goes on to talk about all the different ways we encroach upon the child’s personality in order to get him to learn. It’s not so much the awful, violent and negative means (think Dickens) but also love, emulation, ambition and suggestion, to name a few. Even seemingly positive methods can undermine the learning process within a child.
Back to the motto. If I respect my children as persons, it affects everything I do – from how I teach them Math to how I put them to bed at night. That motto reminds me, in the end, of who I am in the scheme of things.