Five Basic Functions of a Mother
Young people want their parents to trust them, yet it is not the primary responsibility of parents to trust their children, but to understand them. The more that parents understand their children, the more the children will trust the parents.
Understanding sons and daughters comes by demonstrating a “listening heart.” One of the Hebrew words for “understand,” shama, means “to hear intelligently.” The mother has the best opportunity to be the listener throughout the day.
1. The Mother is the “Heart” of the Home.
Scripture identifies the husband as the head of the marriage. Similarly, the wife can be compared to the heart of the marriage. The head and the heart are vital both to the functioning of the body and the successful operation of a home.
The idea that only the head does the thinking is now an antiquated concept. Researchers have discovered that the neurons which store memory with which we think are not only in the brain, but also in the heart. Scripture affirms this concept; as a man “thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).
Just as the heart gives vital and continuous signals to the head, so the wife should communicate what she sees and hears to her husband so that together they can make wise decisions. For this communication to take place, the husband needs to schedule times for meaningful discussion with his wife about their home education program.
2. The Mother is the “Light” of Learning.
By exercising a listening heart, the mother will know what character qualities, academic studies, and practical skills need to be developed in her children. With these in mind, she is able to make a list of recommendations for the husband to write out in a daily assignment list. Practical training is provided by ATI to assist the father and mother in doing this.
The mother’s role as a light is stated in the following Scripture: “My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother…For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life” (Proverbs 6:20, 23).
3. The Mother is a “Learner-Teacher.”
Many mothers feel inadequate to educate their own children, especially when they reach the high school and college learning levels. What these mothers fail to realize is that children who are praised for their learning attitudes and progress can easily go beyond their parents in learning achievement.
ATI does not look at parents as teachers, but as enthusiastic learners along with their sons and daughters. When subjects come up that are beyond the experience or the understanding of the parents, they are encouraged to search them out or bring in others who have expertise in these particular areas.
Mothers are also encouraged to train their older children to work with younger children. When such mentoring takes place, the older ones not only learn academics, but also develop teaching skills and begin their own preparation for parenting.
4. The Mother is a “Creative Recorder.”
In order to validate learning, it must be documented. There are several creative ideas the mother can use in order to keep valuable records for each child. A favorite method is the “minit-book” approach. Through minit-books, children are taught to comprehend and condense large amounts of material in creatively designed little booklets.
Children are also motivated to better achievement by meaningful charts, graphs, and records. These can be started by the mother and continued by the older children. In the process, penmanship, neatness, accuracy, thoroughness, creativity, and other qualities can be developed.
5. The Mother is a “Coordinator” of Responsibilities.
A mother’s first thought about home education is usually, “How can I educate my children and still get all my work done?” The secret of home education is creatively teaching children to enjoy work rather than to seek after fun by turning daily responsibilities into character classrooms.
For example, washing dishes can be transformed into lessons on gratefulness (doing the dishes in appreciation for the one who made the meal), thoroughness (getting all the dishes and utensils clean), or organization (putting the dishes in the right places).
A wise mother realizes that there are seasons in her life. By investing in her children’s lives, she will reap the rewards of their wisdom and good character.