In the homeschooling circle we speak of enabling a child’s natural bent. What I mean is if he talks about cars constantly, teach him to change oil. If she shows an interest in crafts, get her the materials to create. (Sorry if that sounds sexist, but those are mini-portraits of my first two children.) One of the reasons I like homeschooling is that children have more time to follow their natural bents.
Several 1800’s figures showed inclinations at early ages toward their life works. Winfield Scott Hancock (1824-1886), who was born and raised near
Elisha Kent Kane (1820-1857) born in
A third nineteenth-century man showed his abilities early. Edwin Forrest (1806-1872) loved to recite for friends of his family. He was apprenticed at the age of ten to merchants, but still practiced his speaking and acting. He belonged to a Thespian society at the age of eleven and played the parts of children in plays. At fourteen he played a part that received requests for more performances. At seventeen, he began to act in
So watch for your children’s natural abilities and encourage them. Who knows? You may be raising the next famous general, space explorer, or actor. Thinking about natural bents reminded me of song, “The High Chair,” by Steve and Annie Chapman.