For many years, my husband balanced a double life. Though by day he shook hands and handed out suckers at the local bank, by night he changed into a secret identity. And one evening, my daughter found out.
Each night, he left after everyone slept and returned just before dawn. Silently, he crept back under the covers where he would snore until the alarm clock woke him up three hours later for his unassuming day job. And few people were the wiser.
Until one night, our toddler daughter crept downstairs to use the restroom. Lo and behold, if she didn’t catch her father returning, in the middle of the night, through the front door.
His secret was out. She knew in that moment that she had witnessed the superhero’s return, exhausted from a night of fighting crime. It must be true: her father was Superman.
Our children often use what seems to them perfectly logical reasoning to jump to completely wrong conclusions. My preschool son believes that simply wearing underpants and no shirt will make him a slave, because his Sunday School illustrations show biblical slaves in similar garb.
We asked you on Facebook to share similar stories, and they are just as funny. Gayle’s nine-year-old daughter believes the gallbladder must hold urine, because word bladder is in the name. Becky’s son insists it is dangerous to drink diet cola, because the word die is at the beginning. Amanda and Jessica both have children who don’t recognize black or white people, because no one is really all black or all white.
As homeschool mothers, one of our most important jobs—maybe the most important?—is simply to teach our children how to think. A sobering thought, since I don’t always have my own head on straight.
With the rise of worldview everything—worldview seminars, worldview experts, worldview books, worldview courses—there is a permeating feeling that we don’t know how to think, let alone how to teach our children what to think.
And though I am the first to admit that worldview is important—I’m attending those worldview classes, reading the books, and now writing articles myself!–I wonder if it must really be that confusing.
Worldview is simply how to think: one’s own perspective on the world, on philosophy, on religion, on truth itself. While it is true that these issues can be pretty deep (how often do we work the word epistemology into a conversation?), the fact remains that we mommies can teach worldview to our young children.
We mommies are teaching worldview to our children.
What do we do most often every day (other than pick up something we just stepped on)? We answer questions. A million and a half are hurled our way (not counting why?) daily. And each of them offers another teaching opportunity.
“Why are there no dinosaurs at the zoo?”
“Are boys only different from girls because their hair is shorter?”
“Where do barbarians live today?”
“Why does Shakespeare talk funny?”
“What’s for dinner?”
How we answer these questions and more lead our children in truth of some kind. We mommies are giving our children a framework, a perspective, a set of presuppositions that will guide their future reasoning, assumptions, and beliefs.
“What is Adam’s birthday?”
“How high is heaven?”
“What time is Daddy coming home?”
The apostle Peter described this very process:
“Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15).
We see in this verse there are simply three steps to simple worldview instruction.