Friday, November 25, 2011

Musings on the Education of our Children

I just realized that I have harped on this before, but I think it's a message that bears repeating.  I recently attended a home education conference, and the speaker really brought these things to the forefront of my mind again.

I am very thankful to live in a country where we as parents are free to educate our children as we please.  It has not always been so.  Our home-education pioneering forefathers and foremothers of the 1970s era risked jail and even losing their children so that we could enjoy this freedom to educate our children in the way that God outlines in His scriptures.

However, it seems that many of today's home educators have lost that early vision.  All around me, I see home educators trying to re-create school at home.  Why is this?  Why do we feel like we need to adhere to some school standard issued by a godless institution?

Revelation 2 says to the church at Ephesus, I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.  Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.

Of course, home education is not the context here.  But some parallels can be drawn.  The home-educating community perseveres and endures hardships, working very hard to educate our children.  But there are many of us who have lost the very hearts of those children through the striving to be more public-school-like, and to achieve the idol of high academic standards. Algebra in preschool?  Latin and Greek at age 7?  Are these things beneficial to the child, or to the parental ego?

Sadly, I have seen so many crack under the pressure to measure up to the godless educational standard, and they end up sending their kids back to public school. Then they get to deal with the hours and hours of homework, assigned by an outside authority in their child's life, including content that they may even be opposed to. Not to even mention the ungodly influences that reign in the public schools.

Seven times in God's word, He tells us, The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom/knowledge. (Job 28:28, Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 1:7, Proverbs 9:10, Proverbs 15:33, Isaiah 11:2, Isaiah 33:6).   Do you really want your child sent to a place for education, six or seven hours a day, where the source of wisdom is man, not God?

We know through scripture that the home and the family was the center of biblical Hebrew education. Deuteronomy 6 tells us, Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!  You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.  “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

The language in our modern vernacular says, focus on these things 24/7!  I see nothing here on math, grammar, French Literature, or any such thing.  This doesn't mean never study those subjects; that isn't my point.  My point is, what is THE most important thing?  If they learn all those other things but miss loving and serving God, it was all for nothing.

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