Homeschooling has always been the norm to me.
I was homeschooled from the very beginning of my education, WAY before it was cool and popular. I grew up explaining to my peers the values and benefits of a home education and had plenty of compelling reasons and persuasive statistics. (And there are MANY!)
I’ve long since graduated from formal schooling, and now I’m the mom. I’ve never seriously considered any other option besides homeschooling. It’s my comfort zone. It’s in my blood.
My oldest is starting preschool at home. So in a sense, we’re total newbies at this. But at the same time, I’m a veteran. I’m sure being on this side of the homeschooling relationship will be far more gut-wrenching.
So as we set out on this incredible journey, I’ve decided to create formal goals. I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage, “if you aim at nothing, you’re bound to hit it.” Well, here’s what we’re aiming at in this crazy endeavor to educate our children at home.
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Desiring to Learn
One of my top priorities is to make learning enjoyable. I want to instill a curiosity in my kids that is not easily satisfied. I’ve been reading Proverbs lately. Solomon is pretty clear that wisdom should be gained at all costs and a teachable spirit will positively effect every aspect of life. It’s scary how many kids hate school. Actually it’s sad. Learning should be exciting! And it shouldn’t end at graduation. I want my kids to be life-long learners.
Knowing How to Learn
This obviously goes hand in hand with the first objective. Wanting to learn isn’t enough, you need to know how to do it. I’ve often been asked about why I liked being homeschooled and what benefit I’ve seen from it now that I’m an adult. I always bring up this second goal. I was equipped by my education. I was not spoon fed information. I was given tools to discover information. I was shown effective study methods that fit my learning style. And my confidence grew. I may not know it now, but I know how to learn it. And that makes the world a lot less intimidating.
My dad is a thinker. Alright, he’s an arguer. 😉 Ideas were constantly evaluated in our home to see if they were truly logical and valid. I grew up knowing that the world is deceptive and my own mind and heart are not exempt. Having a critical mind has safeguarded me from so many devastating pitfalls. I want my children to be diligent to question both new ideas and long held assumptions. I want them to know that there is a solid truth to stand on and that the truth can stand up to scrutiny.
If I somehow manage to instill those first three goals in my kids (ie only by the grace of God), I’ll be thrilled! But I have one more desired outcome when it comes to educating my kids at home. I want them to be able to pass on their education to others. Communication is the only way to do that. I want my boys to not only speak and write eloquently, I want them to know how to change the hearts and minds of their audience. They have to understand people, they have to love people.
Writing out these lofty goals is slightly horrifying to me. Clearly I’m in over my head. Let me humbly say, I haven’t the foggiest how to pull this off. In fact, I won’t be able to pull it off. But I believe a God of impossibilities.
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