Learning: To Follow a Furrow or Track

I was studying the word learn today. The word’s earliest origins refer to a furrow, or track; the idea undoubtedly being that learning meant to follow a furrow or to follow tracks. Which of course caused me to wonder who made the furrow, or who made the tracks. That’s where YOU come in!

You see, if children are to learn, they have to follow someone. If you’re a homeschooler- you are that someone! Now you can tell them all kinds of things to do. You can demand, assign, plead, threaten or give ultimatums. None of that will help of course. Because learning takes place when a child follows a furrow or a set of tracks laid down by someone before them.

If you want your child to be a learner- you have to be an enthusiastic leader. If you want them to read their Bible then you need to read your Bible. If you want them to treat others with kindness and respect, then you have to treat others with kindness or respect. If you want them to deal with financial integrity, then you have to deal with financial integrity. Because of course your children are following your tracks. They’re walking in your footprints- whereEVER those footprints lead!

So be a learner today. Ask questions. Look up information. Read for both information and for pleasure. Treat others with dignity and work hard at the tasks before you. Your children will follow in your footsteps- they will plow along the same furrow you plow.

Let’s learn about tracks today, shall we?

There are railroad tracks of course. Vanishing tracks in the distance provide a wonderful art lesson in vanishing point. The parallel tracks seem to converge in the distance, don’t they?

There are animal tracks. Take advantage of summer weather to go near a stream or pond and look for animal tracks in the mud nearby. Animals often come at dawn and dusk to drink and they leave their soft footprints in the mud. Have your children draw the tracks and look them up when they get home- or take a field guide and see if you can identify the tracks on site.

You can talk about race tracks of course; everything from auto racing to velodromes (bicycle race tracks) to the local high school track which is usually 1/4 mile in length. And there are tracks on a CD- usually identified on the cover or label. And there are the tracks that dirty shoes leave on carpeting. Today is a good day to remind children about removing shoes or wiping them carefully before entering someone’s home.

And then there’s the art of tracking- of following someone, or perhaps an animal by following the tracks left behind. Native Americans were some of the most skilled trackers. Today might be a fun day to learn more about tracking skills online, or from a library book.

Mt. 8:19

Mk. 10:28

Lk. 9:61


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