As another school year is under way I find myself asking the question that I do every year.
"What's really important?"
Really that's a question that I ask myself all the time....but when it comes to home schooling our children, it holds great weight.
When we decided to home school our children, back in 1995....I would say our #1 goal was to be the primary influence in our childrens lives. We couldn't imagine that God would have given us the gift of children just to send them away for 8 hours a day...5 days a week....10 months of the year. Instead we took the verse from Deuteronomy 11:19 "You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up." When we looked at this verse and the context surrounding we realized that raising children was a full time ministry of teaching our children to learn the heart of God and to train them to walk in His ways.
So in 1995 we started schooling Joshua and Jennifer at home in the best way we knew how. We were blessed to have a couple of families in the area who homeschooled as well and were able to learn from them. But still every family is different and every family has to figure out what works best for them. So we bought the books....and dove right in.
I think it took a few years of plowing before we asked the question once again...what is really important. Because as the years went on ....homeschooling became more popular.....so there was more of a market for curriculum......so there were many, many choices. And I will admit I got caught up in the 'the more you spend the better the education' lie.
But when we began to re-evaluate we realized that we had gotten stuck in the 'education trap'. You know...the one that says your children need to sit at a desk doing school 9-3....that you measure their success on the scores of their tests...and that textbooks were the only way to teach school.
Then we were introduced to 'unit studies'. This was a refreshing way to bring all our children learning together as a family. We had a lot of fun with these and they were a great way to learn. We did this for a few years and really enjoyed it. But even with these our focus seemed to get off track really quickly and knowledge became more important than wisdom.
Again.....re-evaluate the question again. "What is really important?" The last few years as we have asked this question over and over our perspective has changed. Maybe it is because we have adult children that we are seeing things in a different light. Maybe it is because we are getting older and uh um....slowing down? But the things that seemed so important to us before just don't seem so important anymore.
So what was the reason God gave us children? What was His desire of the way we spend our time with them? How much time does He want us to spend with them? How much time does He want them to spend away from us? What does He want us to teach them when we are with them? What does He want them to be taught if they are away from us? What will He ask us concerning the education of our children when we stand before Him one day?
Which brings me back to the question again. What's really important? Really this question has nothing to do with education but everything to do with every day life. Book work is such a small part and has become a smaller and smaller part as we are becoming to understand what is really important.
Our goal...our aim is to please our Heavenly Father above all. Our desire is to raise every single 'gift' that He has given us to bring glory to His name. That they might be a reflection of Him and a light to the world around them. (Matthew 5:14) That they would love Him with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. (Mark 12:30) That they would always live for an audience of One. That they would honor and repect who and what God has created. That whatever they would do they would do it with all their heart for the Lord. (Colossians 3:17)That they would have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22). That they would learn when at all possible to live peaceably with all men (Romans 12:18). That the joy of the Lord would be their strength.(Nehemiah 8:10) That they would do everything without complaining and arguing.(Phil. 2:14) That they would have a heart fully commited to God.(2 Chronicles 16:9). Of course the things we want to teach our children is this and so much more....but these are some of the things that are priority.
What's your goal......in your home.....in your homeschooling......in your family......in your marriage....in your life? It's always good to stand back and re-evaluate and ask "WHAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT?" Have you done this lately? If not I encourage you to do it today.
ps Read today's verse on the sidebar :)