Education of an Imagination – Part Two

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What Does This Matter to Me?

Now that we have scanned the childhood of Hannah More we return to our original question: What does it take to educate an imagination that changes the world? What practical gleanings can we take for our own teaching?


Start Early

Hannah learned to be a great writer by reading great writing. Imagine if she had been brought up in our modern world? What if she had been handed a smartphone flashing a cartoon when her mother was busy teaching her sisters to read? What method did Mama More use to teach them anyway? In a day when books were sacred, a family library would only have consisted of the best literary works, and while we don’t know exactly what reading Hannah was weaned on we can be sure it was quality writing.


Tell Worthy Stories

Hannah’s nurse didn’t give her a lecture on Dryden and then hand her a test. She simply shared life stories she had experienced first-hand (which are the best stories in molding a child’s soul and imagination) of an individual Hannah desired to emulate as a poet. Mr. More obviously loved his Greek and Roman history or else he wouldn’t have committed so much to memory. And that love was contagious enough to spark a flame in his daughter. For another parent that love might be earth (scientific) history, American history, or best of all the history book of Scripture. What matters is father and daughter enjoyed it together and a young imagination was nurtured.



He That Walketh With Wise Men…

I’m convinced one of the worst ways to stunt imagination growth is to surround a child with her peers. Even if you diligently restrict your child from the moral and intellectual numbing effects of technology, if her time is spent with children who feed on foolishness, she will be foolish. (See Proverbs 13:20) The gravest error we see in Hannah’s education was her lack of spiritual instruction. This defect would be remedied only many years later in her adulthood. But from her teen years, she surrounded herself with learned men. Even before faith would be an influence, Hannah expressed repulsion for the light persons she often found in elite society; evidence that the acquaintances of her youth had whetted her appetite for worthwhile knowledge.

So the gems for us are these: provide an environment of constant learning, tell stories that interest and inspire your child, and surround them with voices of wisdom. While this will never compensate for the loss of Scripture hidden in the heart and a breathing faith in Christ (please see the article series on Newton and Wilberforce), it will mold an imagination that will leave the world trembling in its wake, making your children fascinating persons to be around, and preparing them for a life chocked full of learning.


Kenzi Knapp is a follower of Christ, homeschool graduate and student of history. A fourth generation Missourian she enjoys writing about daily life enrolled in Gods great course of faith and His story throughout the ages at her blog, Honey Rock Hills.

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"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).