As I mentioned in my first post about why we homeschool, our reasons are deep seated and diverse. In order to adequately explain why we homeschool I want to explain some of our goals for our family and our children.
Our primary goal for our children is for them to love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. A solid education is a means to accomplish our goal, but it is not our goal. So while we do believe that it is important to be able to read and write and be otherwise “well educated” it is not our primary goal.
For example, if one of our children had an IQ off the charts, was able to read Plato, Aristotle and both the Old and New Testaments in the original languages, memorized the Bible and became a beloved world leader who brought peace to our world, but did not know and serve the living and true God, we as parents would have failed to accomplish our goal. On the other hand, if for some reason, one of our children was never able to read or write and yet loved and served God and applied His Word to all aspects of life then we have succeeded as parents.
Let me be clear, we do believe that a solid education is important for our children. It is vital for them to be able to read God’s Word for themselves and communicate it effectively to others. We believe that they should have a solid basis in logic, history, grammar, mathematics and science so that they will be able to give an account of their faith and be effective servants for the King of kings and Lord of lords in whatever field that He has called them. However, those academics are worthless if they are not used for God’s glory.
Our view of education as a means to an end and not the end itself affects every aspect of our educational decisions. Therefore our focus for the education of our children is primarily their relationships and character. If they do not love the Lord, if they do not wish to please Him, if they are not willing to be servants then anything else that we teach them is in vain. (Matthew 16:24-26)
For what shall a man be profited, if he shall gain the whole, and forfeit his life? (verse 26a)
So how do we help our children learn to love God? How do we encourage them to develop a servants heart?
Hear, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah:
and thou shalt love Jehovah thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be upon thy heart;
and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thy hand, and they shall be for frontlets between thine eyes.
And thou shalt write them upon the door-posts of thy house, and upon thy gates.
We should love Jehovah with all our heart, soul, and might. We must build relationships with our children so they will listen to us as we teach them the most important lessons in the world. We should teach the Word of God to our children, diligently. We should be teaching them all the time, while we are in our house, when we are running around town, in the evening and in the morning. (Do you see another reason for family worship in the morning and evening?) We should diligently use the tools for training our children that are clearly set out for us in the Scriptures. We must evaluate each and every decision for our children’s education in light of God’s Word and we must adopt God’s educational standards, not the world’s. (Proverbs 1:7-9)
You may be interested in how we practically work some of this out and how it makes our homeschool different from most.
It’s not all serious here at Raising Olives. Read some of our more light-hearted posts like Not Me! Monday’s.