What’s more intriguing than a treasure hunt?
Well, according to scripture, that’s exactly what the quest for knowledge and wisdom is.
My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. (Proverbs 2:1-5)
According to these verses, learning sounds adventurous and exciting. Unfortunately, the realities of schooling don’t exactly fit that description. I was reminded of this disparity during the search for images to use on this website. Keywords like school, student, classroom, or learning led mostly to images of desks, chalkboards, computers, and stacks of books. If children weren’t sitting and listening, then they were sitting and writing or sitting and reading.
On the other hand, keywords like explore and discover led me to images of kids “doing” and using their senses.
Schooling today is more about absorbing information than it is about actively discovering it, but that’s not to say that bookwork has no place at all. The mind is something we’re supposed to develop, but we need to remember that it can be developed in a variety of ways. Besides that, the mind is just one part of our being (1/5 if we count all parts as equal), and yet schooling focuses almost exclusively on that one part. Homeschoolers are often just as unbalanced; it’s what we know and what we believe education is supposed to be.
But this time around, I wanted to introduce my daughter to learning as a daily hunt for buried treasure!
Once we adopted the Mark 12 verses as our general daily structure, I tried to think of a way to incorporate the idea of wisdom as treasure. It wasn’t long before the perfect idea came to mind. We imagined that the Mark 12 points of heart, soul, mind, body, and service were 5 different lands that we needed to visit each day. If we managed to do or learn something new in that land, then I would give her a “jewel” (only one in each category per day).
I went to local dollar and craft stores and purchased the following items:
- A glass votive candle holder
- 5 Different colors of glass “blobs” or “gems” used in decorating (1 color for each of the Mark 12 points – heart, soul, body, mind, and service)
I actually found plastic diamonds used for wedding decorations and used them as the jewel for “the heart” (relationship with God) since that was so important. I also purchased some fancy specialty beads that my daughter could earn on occasion. They were awarded for things like going “above and beyond” what was asked or for persevering through a difficult task. If I noticed her struggling with something but catching herself before any melt-down, I gave her an extra special bead.
Once the jar was full, we’d celebrate by going out for ice cream, and then we’d start again. Of course, we also had fun sorting and counting the different colored jewels to see how balanced we were. Did we fall short in any area? Should we watch for more ways to serve others or take better care of our body?
I’ve always been horrible at keeping up on incentive charts, but this was easy! If we missed a day (or two or three), then we missed it. What’s important is that this was fun, pretty, and it reinforced the biblical point perfectly. In fact, since the Mark 12 verses apply to all life and learning, I now have my own jar to fill as well!