Thursday, August 9, 2007

Keeping Our Focus

Less of Me ~More of Him is hosting a Homeschooling Open House and I thought I would take part in it. On Saturday I posted answering a few basic questions about our schooling. To read that post go here. I thought I would post on something else as well.

My name is Kate and I have six children. The girls are 10, 8 1/2, and 6 1/2. The boys are 4 1/2, 2 1/2 and 5 months. I will be officially schooling the three girls this year- although learning is done every day of your life.

I thought I would share my philosophy on the reasons why we educate our children.

Too often it seems that we Christian homeschooling parents are extremely focused on making sure that we turn out students that are academically superior or more well rounded then the students from traditional schools. If they don't score better on the SAT then it was not a successful endeavor. We need children who are academically advanced to prove the nay sayers wrong.

Then, to ensure that our children get a complete and thorough education, we agonize over curriculum choices. Oftentimes we spend hundreds of dollars on what we deem to be the perfect match of science, math and reading programs only to discover that it is lacking in one way or another. Then its back to the mail order catalogs to spend more money and more time trying to find better materials. I can't see how jumping from one method to another, one curriculum to the next is doing our children any good.

Has our focus gotten off of what really matters? Does it really matter in the end if we mastered every last bit of it? What does a successful homeschooler really look like in God's eyes? I don't think He is too worried about what score our children get on the SATs or how early they learned how to read.

I have several items that I consider to be of utmost importance as I teach my little ones.

First and foremost my goal is to raise up men and women who love and fear God with all of their soul. Every last decision they make in their lives should be with the eternal at the forefront of their thoughts. Our stay on this earth is just temporary and I want to raise my children with their eyes toward their forever future, not just the next 65 years.

Then there is the way they view life as they are living here on earth. I keep reading articles that talk about how Christians today have no idea what a Biblical worldview is. Modern day Christians are so inundated with the carnal mindset that they don't even realize that their view of the world is skewed. We need to teach our children to view life from God's eyes. They also need to be able to defend their beliefs to a world that clashes against their ideals with vicious strength.

Falling along the same lines, we need to make sure that our children have good Godly characters. We need to teach them the fruit of the Spirit and how it is manifest in their lives. They need to learn what it truly means to lead, the 'first shall be last' principle.

The last important quality we need to instill in our children in order to be considered successful in this school journey, is the love of learning. How much learning we cram into them over the course of the 12 years they are under our teaching matters not if the learning stops once they move out from under our wings. If we breed within them a thirst for knowledge, then we can insure that they will continue to grow and mature as they go on through their lives. Not only will this help them to fill in the gaps in their education where we missed teaching them something (and no matter how hard you try to fit it all in there will be gaps) but it is also an essential trait to have as a Christian. Could you imagine if for twelve years a believer read the Bible over and over and studied every book on being a Christian he could find and then never touched the Bible again for the rest of his life? A desire for knowledge and growth is important if a believer does not want to become stagnant.

As you start this new school year, I want to encourage you to reevaluate your priorities and make sure they are in line with what God says is important and not what man puts first. Only then can we as homeschooling parents be truly successful.


Our Family of Five said...

Great post Kate! Biblical worldview is extremely important in our home as well. I read aloud purposefully selected books that will help the boys and I to fight the 'carnal mindset' you spoke of. The worldly culture we live in is so pervasive, that sometimes I, as a mother of boys especially, feel like I am fighting a losing battle. Of course I know that isn't true, God is so much bigger. One book that opened my boys eyes more to the 'carnal mind' is 'How to be your own Selfish Pig' by Susan Schaeffer Macauley. I skipped a couple of parts because its geared to older teenagers. Granted my boys don't come into contact with a lot of people that think the way they do in that book, but I felt it very important to show them some of the different mindsets out there and let them decide for themselves, in the comfort of my living room!, right or wrong. I'm sorry to have left such a long comment, but this is something I feel very passionately about. It's something we have to discuss with them continually (and pray!) or the world WILL, oh so very subtly, bombard their minds to the point where their worldview is skewed and is very far from biblical. It's a hard fight, but so worth fighting!! This was great, thanks so much for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your post. Those are some of the same messages I strive to pass on to the moms of our homeschool group. So many of us get caught up in the academics of it all and forget the "real" importance of home education.

Thanks for sharing!


Melissa Markham said...

This is a very thoughtful post. I enjoyed reading it and will be thinking about it in the days ahead.

TrainingHearts said...

Thank you for visiting my blog this week and leaving me a sweet comment. I'm so far behind on visiting other blogs but I do read and treasure each comment and try my best to return the blessing.

May you enjoy the weekend!

Anonymous said...

Hello! Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. We are from Northeast Ohio and yes we do love the browns in this house! lol We just went to training camp last Monday. Are you Browns fans as well? Congratulations on your up coming anniversary! Our 11th will be next Valentine's. =] It's very nice to meet you!! I enjoyed this post very much-- so true! =]

Happy Homeschooling Kate!


Hilda Rebecca said...

This was a good post... it is so true that the world looks mostly on what we homeschoolers do academically...not the important training we do!