K-12 Plan For A Christ Centered Education

Here at Schamelot we take a living books approach to education, allowing for lots of free time to explore, create, experiment, imagine, and cultivate the virtues, particularly piety, obedience and diligence. What is called "The Charlotte Mason Method" permeates our homeschool philosophy, and Kolbe Academy and Mother of Divine Grace are the spring boards for our curriculum, which I put together for each child each year. I hope you will find something I have shared helpful to your homeschooling adventure! (scroll down after clicking a link)

Catechism and Character Formation

Science and Natural History


Language Arts and Literature

History and Geography

Music and Art


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Character Formation at Meal Times

Somewhere in his great treasury of wisdom, the Summa Theologica, St. Thomas draws a connection between man's appetite for food and his appetite for certain other pleasures which he will have to master later in life. For this reason as well as practical ones, my husband and I have always insisted that the children eat whatever is put before them, or eat nothing until the next meal. Before they can choose to skip a meal, however, they have to at least taste their food, one bite of each course.

When John Michael was a baby, no more than three years old, I made brussel sprouts (which I'd say is one of the most controversial foods on the planet--seems everyone either loves them or hates them!) and at first glance I think he was sure this meal wasn't going to go well at all. He has a funny gag reaction to certain textures, like raisins IN the oatmeal, for example (raisins or oatmeal alone were fine), but I was in no way prepared for what he would go through with brussel sprouts! The first bite had a serious problem with gravity, trying, despite his best efforts, to defy all the laws of physics. He reached for the milk, gulping the entire cup to wash down the offending orb. Mission accomplished!

The next time I made them (everyone else in the family loved them from the start), I could see the uncertainty in his expression. He saved them for last, refilling the milk glass after everything else on the plate was consumed, and braved the beligerent brussel sprouts once again. These brussel sprouts were a little heavier, I guess, requiring less effort to keep down, but the milk was once again employed as a safeguard. His confidence was growing.

The third time was a charm! He confidently speared one of the bite sized morsels and popped it into his mouth. With a smile he chewed and swallowed, master of his meal, captain of the cabbage, he had bested the bothersome brussel sprout and rather enjoyed it. After that there emerged a sort of competition out of who got to eat the last scoop of brussel sprouts.

All of our children are rather adventurous eaters, enjoying everything from Indian to Italian food, Thai to Texican fare, Japanese to Just Plain Made Up fodder.

I really think that when it comes time to master their other appetites, which it has for some of them, they'll have an easier go of it, having had years of practice, three times a day at the dinner table. The Battle of the Brussel Sprouts won, the preservation of their purity perhaps "un peu" more probable--the grace of God provided, of course!

Happy Parenting!

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