Learn to Learn

Church is by nature a learning environment. If your children have not learned to learn, church (and school) will be a bore, a chore, and a war!

The Bible says in James 1:21, “Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” Some children do not function well in learning environments. Perhaps they find the classroom boring. Their behavior is a distraction to others in the class. They do not respect their teachers. They do not have a desire to learn. For a person to learn they must want to learn; they must have an attitude that is conducive to learning, i.e. “meekness.” It is dangerous for any person to have an unteachable attitude, but it is especially dangerous for a child to be unteachable.

If a child is not being challenged to learn at home, it will be a challenge for him or her to learn in a structured, academic environment. The home is the primary learning environment for a child, not the church or school. It is at home that a child should learn how to sit and be quiet when an adult speaks. It is at home that a child should be challenged to think and process new information. A child who learns to respect his parents in the home will most likely respect his or her teachers in the classroom.

Some parents allow their children to roam freely all week. Yet, because they want to “raise their kids in church” they clean up little Johnny on Sunday, take him to a Sunday School class, and demand that he behave. This is like putting a tiger in a cage at 9:45. Johnny won’t do well in a cage! He will have a hard time understanding why behavior that is freely allowed in the home is suddenly wrong at church. Johnny needs to have boundaries at home before he gets to church. If you want your child to behave in public places then teach them to behave at home. Suddenly demanding good behavior is not the same as teaching good behavior.

I do not mean to minimize the struggles of parents who have children with learning disabilities. Yet, I do believe there are parents who irresponsibly label their child’s disinterest in learning and their unruliness in the classroom as a learning disability. I would also ascribe to the idea that the problem with our public education system is not so much a rash of bad teachers as it is a plague of bad parents. The problem with some children with “learning disabilities” is that they have never learned to learn. Theirs is not a learning disability, but a learning deficiency. The deficiency is in the home. If you allow your children to watch countless hours of television, to participate in unstructured play, to do anything they want to do just as long as they are “out of your hair”, then you are not raising teachable children, but rocks. Your child’s heart will be a stone. He or she will lack the attitudes and behaviors that are necessary for learning. This is most critical when it comes to the Word of God. If your child does not learn from the Word of God, your child will not be born again. Your child needs to see a Bible before Sunday!

Turn off the television. Introduce structure into the day. Challenge your child, especially those under five, to learn new things. Be an intentional teacher. If you do so, you will notice that your child’s time at school and church will be greatly enhanced. Parents need the church and school to reinforce the behaviors that are to be taught in the home. It is not the function of the church or the school to introduce the idea of discipline and structure to a child. I would submit that schools having trouble meeting the requirements of “no child left behind” are not laced with bad teachers but bad students. You would probably find that in those schools the students have serious behavioral issues. Students are not learning because their home lives are chaotic. Chaos at home will translate to chaos in the classroom. Teachers cannot teach because they are constantly having to address bad behavior.

If you rely on the church or the school to replace you as a parent, you have failed. If you create a learning environment and attitude in the home, the hearts of your children will not be stones, but teachable sponges. They will be eager to learn because they have learned to learn.


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