Why We Homeschool: Goals

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.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

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.

You may also be interested in the other posts in this series:
Disagreeing in Love
Why We Homeschool Part 1: Public Schools

It’s not all serious here at Raising Olives. Read some of  our more light-hearted posts like Not Me! Monday’s.

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21 Responses to Why We Homeschool: Goals
  1. Joy @ Five J's
    May 20, 2009 | 12:09 am

    Great post! You mirror much of our thinking as well. Although we did not begin homeschooling for “religious” reasons, we have the same goal in mind as you have when we teach our children.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thank you Joy! So happy that I was able to meet you.

    It would be fun for our like-minded families to meet.

    [Reply]

  2. Jennifer @ The Toy Box Years
    May 20, 2009 | 9:20 am

    I give homeschooling mom so much credit. I would love to homeschool our girls, but I know that deep down I am just not that disciplined to do it. Therefore, I do my best to supplement what they are learning in school with educational & spiritual activities, etc. around the home. It’s the best I can do given my personality. LOL!

    Great post! Thanks for sharing!

    ~ Jennifer
    http://thetoyboxyears.blogspot.com/2009

    [Reply]

  3. Melissa
    May 20, 2009 | 3:23 pm

    Yes! My husband and I just had a conversation about this very topic. We strive for academic excellence, but that’s not the most important goal.

    [Reply]

  4. Jana @ Faithfully Following
    May 21, 2009 | 9:55 am

    “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.” That’s a good reminder, thanks! I have been getting all worked up over curriculum and conferences, but the most important thing is always their spiritual growth.

    [Reply]

  5. Jama
    May 22, 2009 | 9:34 pm

    Great post Kimberly! I often tell people that one day God will examine my children’s hearts…not their S.A.T scores.

    [Reply]

    Raising Olives Reply:

    It is wonderful to have many like-minded readers. Thank you all for taking the time to comment!

    Jama,
    You said that perfectly. Thanks! I wish that you had been around while I was working on this post. 🙂

    [Reply]

  6. Pam
    February 10, 2010 | 6:03 pm

    We have been homeschooling for 2 years and honestly it has been a struggle. My son started having severe anxities for the first time after his 3rd month of Kindergarten and the school didn’t know how to help us. So after Kinder we decided to homeschool. My son LOVES homeschooling but honestly it’s hard for momma! I keep thinking I’m going to send him back to public school but I really feel a tug at my heart from God to keep him home. So I’m feeling now this has been a God thing all along and home is where he wants my boys!!

    I love your blog!!!!

    Pam

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I wish that I could sit down with you over a cup of tea (or coffee if you prefer) and talk.

    It is hard for mommas who homeschool. It takes time and commitment and often a complete change in our way of thinking.

    If you continue to struggle I would suggest that you look at and pray about your curriculum choices. I’ve found that when we found things that work well for our family and fit with our goals I ENJOY homeschooling, but that when we are stuck with curricula that we don’t enjoy or is not a good fit I really struggle with homeschooling. This may not be your problem at all, just something to consider.

    I do think that you are right, God wants those boys at home with you! 🙂

    [Reply]

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  15. Lou-Ann
    April 29, 2011 | 2:37 pm

    I love reading your blog and am so amazed at the homeschooling idea. I’m praying that God makes it clear to me if this is what I am called to do eventually. Unfortunately, right now I am a working mom and can’t convince my husband that I should be staying home with our son (2.5yrs). I pray everyday that his heart will change because I’m sick to my stomach everyday that I have to leave the little guy. Any other advice on that issue? I’m feeling defeated!

    [Reply]

  16. Kelsey
    January 16, 2012 | 12:18 am

    Hi! Thanks so much for all this info. I am trying to wrap my brain around homeschooling right now. We love the Lord…want our kids to love the Lord…don’t want them to be tainted and corrupted by the God-less public school system…but don’t have the first idea how to “start” homeschooling. My son is 3 and VERY smart…and my daughter is 18 months so I know I’m a little ways off with needing to start everything. I would majorly appreciate any info you could give me that would point me towards a starting point. There just seems to be so much info out there! Love your blog…I’m a new follower! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Kelsey,

    I suggest you start slowly and start with the Bible. We did a lot Bible reading and memorization when our kids were very small.

    We also began by teaching our kids to read. Here is another teaching reading post.

    You may also find it helpful to browse my homeschooling page where I have many of my homeschooling posts listed and you may also browse by category.

    Remember that this is something that God has called you to do and He will be the one to equip you to do it.

    [Reply]

  17. Elina
    June 10, 2012 | 1:39 pm

    I really enjoyed this post! You humbly present the reason for homeschooling from a biblical worldview, which should always be our reason for homeschooling. As a former homeschooler and present homeschool support teacher, I often find myself defending homeschool from a secular (logic) perspective. Thank you for reminding me that the most important reason for homeschooling isn’t only for the quality of education, but primarily to equip, disciple and raise up servants for the kingdom of God.

    [Reply]

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