Mary asked me to ponder this a bit. In order to raise healthy, happy, holy children, I think they need these six things everyday:
- Living Liturgy--children need to embrace the faith in all its wonder and glory. They need to celebrate the liturgical year, to frequent the sacraments, and to have a deep family and personal prayer life.
- Encounters with beauty--art, music, literature, nature: while we certainly don't get to all four, every day, at least one a day is necessary.
- Fresh air and exercise--children need an abundance of fresh air and plenty of exercise every single day (so do their parents).
- Meaningful work--there is plenty of meaningful work to be done in a Catholic household. Children can be taught to do it cheerfully and well. And they must be told again and again how vital they are to the well-being of the family. The work has meaning and purpose.
- Ideas to ponder and discuss--I stole this one from Lissa, who wrote the original Rule of Six and got us all pondering. One of the greatest joys of home education is unearthing ideas and discussing them with the people we love best. Every day, for the benefit of all of us.
- Focused attention and affection--every child, every day needs the focused attention of his or her parents and they absolutely need the parents' expression of unconditional love.