Why We Homeschool ~ Part 2

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” ~Albert Einstein

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Educate, v.t. [L. educo, educare; e and duco, to lead.] – To bring up, as a child; to instruct; to inform and enlighten the understanding; to instill into the mind principles of arts, science, morals, religion and behavior. To educate children well is one of the most important duties of parents and guardians. (Webster’s American Dictionary of the American Language, 1828)

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Using the above definition, I actually prefer the term “home-educate,” to the more common “homeschool.”  For the sake of simplicity, I use both terms interchangeably.  But, I think that “home-educate” is a more precise term.  We are not simply trying to “do school at home,” mimicking and attempting to recreate a secular classroom experience.  I do not simply want to “school” my child(ren), I want to educate her.  And, I believe that my child(ren) will receive a better education at home.

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I want my child(ren) to learn how to think – not what to think.  Although I have been accused of this, I am not opposed to, or afraid of my daughter hearing, or being exposed to differing, or opposing views.  Quite the opposite, actually.  But, prior to exposing her to those differing views, I want her to be well-rooted morally, doctrinally, and spiritually.  I want her to have a strong biblical foundation, and the ability to confidently and intelligently interact with those opposing views, so that she is not “tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” (Ephesians 4:14)

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“‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’” ~Matthew 22:36-37

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I find it sad that Christian homeschoolers often have a reputation for being anti-intellectual, or anti-academic.  Maybe it is earned, even deserved.  But, this should not be the case.  While it is true that, as believers (homeschoolers or not), we are not to seek knowledge simply for the sake of amassing knowledge.  But, that does not mean that a Christian cannot be both “smart” and “spiritual.”  Scripture has much to say about the use of our minds.  We are to seek wisdom, and understanding, and insight.  We are to renew and transform our minds.  And, as with any other endeavor in our life, we must heed the admonition of 1 Corinthians 10:31 in our academic pursuits as well: “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

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I believe that there is, or, there should be a connection between the pursuit of spiritual, doctrinal, and theological excellence and academic excellence.  Christians should be among the greatest thinkers, and philosophers, and apologists, and scholars of our day.

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“The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youthLet the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. ~Proverbs 1:1-7

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Because God’s Word speaks to every area of life, it must be the lens through which every subject and academic discipline is taught: Reading, grammar, and comprehension should lead to a greater ability to study, understand, and obey Scripture.  Science should point to God’s order and handiwork in creation.  Math should point us to a God of logic and order.  History should show us God’s sovereign hand at work in every era, culture, and individual.

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“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” ~2 Timothy 3:14-17

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Originally, we had planned to use what I called a “classically-eclectic” Christian approach to our child(ren)’s education, utilizing the trivium (grammar, rhetoric, and logic) and the quadrivium (arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music).  However, we recently made the decision to go a different direction, in which we will be using a more traditional “textbook” style.

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Regardless of our methodology, or what curriculum we choose, we still believe that it will give our child(ren) a “good” education (even by many secular standards), and could easily be considered “college-preparatory.”  But, that is not necessarily our ultimate goal.  We must have a standard for “success” that is different from the world’s. My goal is not to have the smartest child(ren), with an off-the-charts genius-level IQ, bound for a prestigious Ivy League university.

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Yes, I want my child(ren) to be well-educated.  But, I do not want her to pursue education as a means to an end – to get a good grade on a test, or to get into a “good” college.  Although college may, in some cases, be beneficial, I do not think that should be the ultimate focus and goal of our child(ren)’s education. College is not out of the question, I just do not believe that it has to be the only answer to that question.

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Currently, we have one child – a daughter.  And, while her gender does not shape all of our academic goals and purposes, it does impact some of them.  (This section will be updated with adjustments or additions should we, one day, have a son as well.)

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Part of our educational goal is to give our daughter(s) a clear understanding of biblical womanhood that is not constantly muddied by the feminist agenda.  I do not want to put her in a position to cultivate desires, or to pursue opportunities that will distract from or contradict Scripture’s calling for her, as a woman.  I want to use the limited years that I have with my daughter(s) to cultivate in her a heart for her future husband, family, and home.  Therefore, our curriculum will include instruction and training in practical domestic tasks (many of which are no longer taught in the public school system), but not to the exclusion of other academic pursuits.

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“…and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” ~Titus 2:4-5

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Scripture is quite clear about the calling and role appointed to women.  But, a well-rounded education in no way detracts from that calling.  In fact, I believe that it will only better equip her to obey and fulfill it.

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Cooking, knitting, and housekeeping are valuable skills.  But, I want her to be a “suitable helper” for her future husband in other ways as well.  I want her to be interested in, and knowledgeable of a variety of subjects, and current events so that she can hold up her end of an interesting conversation or intelligent conversation.  I want her to both challenge him intellectually, and to be competent to help him to think through the tough issues of life, marriage, and ministry.  I want her to understand the importance of organization so that she can capably manage her home.  I want her to learn math so that she can wisely develop a household budget, and be trusted in her use of the family’s finances.  I want her to develop a love of learning so that she can competently and diligently teach her own children someday.

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But, above all of that, I want her life, her conversation, and yes, her intelligence to be a shining testimony for Christ.  Ultimately, the end goal of our home-education studies is “that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” ~2 Timothy 3:17

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I want to teach my daughter (and, Lord-willing, any future children) that Scripture speaks to each and every area of life.  I believe this can be accomplished by studying every question, every issue, every problem, and yes, every academic discipline through the lens of Scripture.  And, when our years of “formal schooling” are complete, if I have taught my child(ren) that God’s Word is absolutely sufficient for “all things that pertain to life and godliness,” then I will have done my job.

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“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” ~2 Peter 1:3-4

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To be continued…

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

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8 Comments

Filed under Biblical Womanhood, Homeschooling, Mommyhood, Thinking Biblically

8 Responses to Why We Homeschool ~ Part 2

  1. Excellent. You’ve really done your homework 🙂

  2. Pingback: School – A Disputable Matter?

  3. So good to meet you last night, I love your blog and can’t wait to read more!

  4. Pingback: Why Homeschool? | Truth Proclaimed

  5. Very thoughtful post to which I concur wholeheartedly. I wish you many blessings on that journey.

  6. Hi Veronica!

    I found your blog via Everyday Mommy, and I gotta say, I’m glad I came! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and convictions on home educating and how it really is the best option for Christians. Praise God, for your diligence in studying scripture! 🙂

    I can’t wait for the next parts to the series!

    The Lord bless and keep you!

  7. Pingback: A Quiet Heart… » Blog Archive » Why We Homeschool ~ Part 1

  8. Pingback: A Quiet Heart… » Blog Archive » Why We Homeschool ~ Part 4