On Monday, while going over Lucy’s Discover the Scriptures we discovered that she had accidentally skipped the chapter about The Passover. So she went back and read that chapter instead of the one on King Saul.
Reflecting on what she had read previously, she says “Mom, I don’t understand something. I don’t understand why the Israelites wanted to stay slaves instead of dying in the wilderness. Isn’t it better to be free?”
These are the questions that make homeschool magical (but that is a post for another day).
In that moment, our routine, plan, syllabus, whatever you want to call it went out the window (or at the very least, on the back burner). After a brief discussion about slavery and the Israelites, I went on to explain that there are a lot of people in our country today, want to be “slaves” even though they don’t know it. Freedom isn’t easy, but it is certainly more fulfilling. There are a lot of people who would rather sacrifice freedom for security (Benjamin Franklin said “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”) And I made a promise to read her Animal Farm.
We talked about how important freedom was and why, even though it is harder, it is better. Ancient History lesson books were put back on the bookshelf and out came the American History. Even though it goes against the grain, I flipped to the middle of the book and started with the first stirrings of the American Revolution and why we fought so hard.
While she is enjoying the history lesson(and so am I) it occurred to me that there is a more basic and also more important issue. Agency or “Free Will” .
Yesterday I started with a lesson about Satan,why he was cast out of Heaven and what the all time, most important thing is to our Heavenly Father. I told them what agency is (being able to choose what we do) and told them that while we can choose our actions, we cannot choose our consequences.
Then I started reading The Giver to her. It is a heartbreaking and heroic tale. I cried (having finished it the night before), and I’m sure she will cry. But it is an important lesson to learn. You can never have a perfect society without free will and the ability to choose. Without the bad, there is no good. And in order for there to be no bad, people need to CHOOSE the good, and not have the good forced upon them.
It goes all the way back to Adam and Eve. It was worth it and they would do it again.
So, my top three children and/or teen books on Agency or Free Will (because I can only thing of three at the moment).
So our lesson for the week (or however long it takes) is on Agency with sprinklings of the American Revolution and freedom.
I would love any additional books on the subject. Leave your suggestions in the comments!