“What do you think is most important for your children to learn?”
This was the question I pondered during the nerve-wrecking planning stages of our homeschool journey. Like any good adventurer, I was researching and had been reading Cathy Duffy’s book, when I stumbled upon the question. Putting it another way, she asked, “If there were no laws requiring you to educate your children, what would you want them to learn anyway?”Think about it; that is a deep question - one that cannot be answered frivolously. I posed it to my husband. It made us re-think the concept of ‘education’. What was ‘most important’? It was obvious to us, that the answer to this question would greatly influence the how and where of our children’s ‘education’. Not only would it affect our long-term goals for our children, but also it would touch the very fabric of lives - our daily interactions as a family. What is ‘most important’?
In my previous post, I wrote about ‘remembering never to forget’ with a focus on searching for the answers to the big questions ‘behind your beginning’. I didn’t share with you then what I had found, what I had written those four years ago, what had had such a profound effect on me when I read it. But now, here they are, my friends – the answers to our ‘what’ behind the beginning of our journey.
I want my children to learn who God is and who they are in relation to Him.I want them to recognize their need for a Saviour.I want them to commit their lives to Christ and live lives of honour, integrity and loyalty.I want them to understand and accept their God-given responsibility to care for the earth we call home.I want them to know their purpose in life – to be in right relationship with God and to glorify Him.I want them to appreciate the wonders of creation and the story of the world and their part in it.I want them to develop a good work ethic and always strive to be excellent.I want them to be able to read, write and communicate well.I want them to appreciate the differences in cultures and peoples but know the importance of being set apart for God.I want them to live without fear.I want them to be fluent in another language.I want them to be able to care for their basic needs – to be able to cook, clean etc.I want them to love to learn – to love reading and discovering new things.I want them to be trained in godliness… to know the ‘scriptures’ well and be able to apply it to their lives.I want them to care for their bodies in a way that is pleasing to God i.e. healthy eating, exercise, rest and sexual purity.I want them to know the power of technology but also how to control its effect on their lives.I want them to know that they can do anything God has called them to do and that they should use their gifts to glorify Him.I want them to know the importance of self-control and discipline.
This list had nothing to do with our 'method' of education - this was on a much deeper level.
My dear husband also shared with me his desires for our children and although more succinct than mine, it clearly showed his heart for his children. His was a focus on the ‘old way’ – the classics, art, languages, music and communication. Here is what he told me – ‘I want my children to be well educated with a knowledge of who God is – saturated in the Word. Their worldview must be corrected – they don’t need to grow up to be rich and famous but they should have a high level of understanding of lots of things. They should be cultured with a high level of analysis – they should ‘know’ who they are.’There my friends, is a whole plate - full of food for thought… and an opportunity to pause and remember never to forget.What about you? What do you want for your children? For yourself? Why not take some time now – ponder it and write it down. It just might motivate you to renewed action. Remember there’s sweet, convicting power in the written word.