I have a child who instinctively grasps natural concepts, processes, philosophies, mechanics, laws, etc. She is not as good at connecting with people-things, for instance, how to relate to others, why people do the things they do, the idiosyncrasies of human nature. She likes things she can quantify, analyze, etc.
I am not willing that this child grow into an unbalanced adult, and so I draw out some of the thoughts in her history and literature books that she would not see on her own. She often says, "I never realized that." And you know what? She probably would not have. But I am helping her to be more sensitive with the pointing out that I do. If she were left to study certain books on her own, these people-concepts would be neglected, and she would have a rather stilted education, focusing only on the things that 'speak' to her, to the neglect of other things just as vital.
I have another child who instinctively grasps the poetic meaning of things-- poetry, music, psalms, art, why something 'feels' right or wrong, how even when a person 'says the right thing', they might not be saying the right thing. This child is very relational, and automatically draws out the motivations and feelings of the people in the books she reads-- something her sister misses oftentimes. However, processes and mechanics must be gone over and over for her, for she does not delight in them.
I am also not willing that this child grow into an unbalanced adult, and so I draw out some of the processes and systems and natural laws in her books that she would not grasp on her own. She often says, "I don't think I need to know that." And you know what? She probably won't use a lot of it. But she needs to know it is there, and be able to describe it, because it is as much a part of God's world as poetry. If I left her to study certain of her books on her own, these system-concepts would be neglected, and she would have a rather stilted education, focusing only on the things that 'speak' to her, to the neglect of other things just as vital.
I guess my point is that sometimes we have to draw out the lesson. We don't want to be pedantic lecturers, or beat the child over the head with the concept, and, yes, not everyone will go into science, or music, or philosophy, or art. But all of these things are vital, and we want to set our children's feet in a *large* room, to help them care about a great many things, not only the things they gravitate toward. Every person who is a *person* (and that includes all of us, and our children) has it in them to relate to a great many things. But some things want more relating help than others, and there is nothing wrong with providing that help. I think a lot of CMers get scared of 'pointing the moral' or 'preachifying' or 'dumbing things down', and take themselves right out of their children's education, hoping the books will do it all. But God gave us to them for a reason. We *are* some of the 'great minds' that God has provided for our children to help them relate to all the ideas and things in the world. I know we don't always have great thoughts, but why did He give us to our kids, anyway? Aren't we called to train them, to talk of vital concepts with them in our daily life? We must respect ourselves as persons, just as we respect our children, and allow ourselves to be a part of our kids' discussions regarding the world and everything in it.
(On a related note, I know the fable of the Animal School and how everyone has their own abilities that we should encourage, etc., and how we mustn't be so hard on students who don't do well in every area. I *do* think we should encourage our childrens natural abilities, passions, etc., and not be too hard on them in the areas they don't take to as naturally. However, they also ought to be encouraged to understand-- not quite as deeply, perhaps-- the areas they are not inclined toward. I see a significant flaw in the analogy of the Animal's School: those animals were not all of one 'kind', in the biblical sense of the word. We are. We are all people, created in God's image, and CM taught that all people, regardless of birth, s*x, socioeconomic status, or natural inclination, are gifted by God with the ability to relate to a great many things. Even the things that don't come as naturally. So I can't accept the Animal School analogy as apt. Of *course* you can't teach a fish to climb trees. But you can teach a science girl history.)