Tuesday, June 3, 2014

being intentional with our children's education

"Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it." 
Proverbs 22:6
last week, i went to a 3-day homeschooling conference and i was just blown away by what i heard and experienced.  we are trying to be intentional with the way we educate our kids and this conference was so encouraging!  i share it because I’m extremely excited about what God is doing in the lives of our family!

our speaker was amazing and really challenged our thinking. here are 10 things that I walked away with...
  1. our mission as parents and as our kids most influential teacher is to educate them in a way that they know God and make Him known.
  2. we are teaching our children how to learn, not how to take a test.
  3. we want to strive for excellence not perfection!
  4. modern education- child-centered, subjects are isolated..no connection.                           classical christian education- God-centered, all subjects are from God and go back to God, interconnected.
  5. public Schools began in the 1700s with the primary purpose to educate children about God.  today, God is out of schools. 
  6. as parents we are responsible for our children's education.  it's up to us, to recapture the hearts and minds of our children. 
  7. children must first soak in knowledge in order to grow in understanding, which will lead to bearing fruit in wisdom.
  8. community is important in educating our children.  
  9. who knows your child better than you do? no one.  who knows what they need? me.  who knows where they are struggling and what are their strengths? me.
  10. train the brain to retain...the more we memorize the more the brain is used to memorizing.  teach for mastery.
i share this not to cause controversy or bad-mouth other forms of education.  i'm just simply pondering the facts.  i do have the perspective of both worlds...being a former public educator and now a homeschooling mom.  i see this shift with many public educators. they are choosing to not send their children to school, but rather homeschool them.  why is this?  

i can only speak from my perspective.  as a former elementary teacher, i know first-hand, the demands of a teacher...demands that are impossible to meet.  i taught to a room of 20-something kids.  my husband taught to a room of 34 kids.  as a teacher, we are supposed to meet all the kids needs.  this is just simply impossible, no matter how hard we try.  as much as i cared for my students and wanted to see them succeed, i couldn't meet all of their needs.  the best teacher won't meet your child's needs like you can.  am i a supporter of homeschool, absolutely.  but, i'm also a bigger supporter of children.  i just want to see all children succeed, whatever form it may take.  it's interesting this trend that is happening...public educators homeschooling their own children.  there's a lot to ponder there.

the biggest thing i've learned is...follow God for what is best for your children, regardless of what others are doing.  it's not me saying, "my way is better" or "your way is better." all we need to worry about is doing what is best for each of our own families according to God.