I am currently an hour into checking out links through TOS's 2009 Homeschool Freebie Directory and I came across a website called Soli Deo Gloria Resources. The author explains the name as Latin for, "To God Alone The Glory". Amen to that.
As I am skimming through this website I came across this:
Why do we educate our children?
- If we educate our children so that they will be intelligent and successful - we may be seeking THEIR glory.
- If we educate our children so that they will impress our family, friends and neighbors - we may be seeing OUR OWN glory.
- If we educate our children so that they can pour forth facts and figures accurately - we may be seeking the glory of KNOWLEDGE (and knowledge puffs up).
- But if we educate our children so that they have a big view of God, are aware of their individuals giftings and seek to use them for the advancement of God's Kingdom around the world and in eternity - then we are seeking GOD's glory.
Wow. Do I feel humbled at His feet now.
When I first started homeschooling, my oldest was in 8th grade (as some of you already know, he still isn't homeschooled like his younger 3 siblings for complex reasons). If you factor in Kindergarten and preschool and all of the volunteer work I did through the years in district, that is over 9 years of publicly educated influences on my ideals of what school should be. Add to that a close and dear friend who is a retired elementary school teacher and the influences on my "teaching" techniques in home educating has been riddled with faulty indoctrination.
Among this indoctrination is the idea that children should be trained to recite, perform, and exhibit a general knowledge of facts based on local and federal mandates of what education looks like. Hmmm... this doesn't sound or look like a way to train up children for the Glory of God.
I spent 6 months out of the last 2 years unschooling my children. I had read early on that the best thing to do when you pull your children out of public school is nothing at all! Sound counter-productive? I thought so too. But it is like starting a good diet/eating habit. Sometimes you have to purge your system of all the toxins and chemicals that have polluted your body and created a cycle of unhealthy habits.
Children who have been in the public system first have been polluted with the unhealthy habits of what makes you "popular" in "normal" society. All of these habits have nothing to do with Glorifying our Heavenly Father.
As I gathered together our daily schedule and unit studies for this year I considered the necessity of keeping our focus on Him. Yes I want my kids to know their history, math, science, and language arts. They need those to function later in life and obtain degrees, jobs, and support families. But first and foremost, I want them to know the God that blesses these routes when we pursue all goals through His guidance and His grace.
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" Matthew 6:33
We must seek to glorify God through all that we teach our children. After all, children are God's gift to us. They are not ours, but His. What better "thank you" can we express than to train them up...
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6