Most of us have deeply rooted concepts of learning and education, based primarily on our own educational experiences. But rather than automatically replicating that system at home, we have an opportunity to begin at the beginning: redefining education. We have an opportunity to start over, sowing new seeds that will grow into a hearty framework with strong healthy roots and blossoming flowers!
All wisdom and knowledge comes from above. Our source of wisdom and knowledge is not a textbook, a seminar, a conference or the world. All wisdom and knowledge comes from above. He will prepare us for every good work when we humbly allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, nurture us, teach us, and prepare us for His purpose. Remember whom you serve and commit all of your homeschool plans to Him. Keep His Word central in every educational endeavor and trust Him to guide you and your family into true wisdom!
My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
Wisdom starts with the heart. Knowledge for its own sake is anemic. If the core of what we teach our children is dates, facts, and arithmetic tables, will they be any wiser? As parents who teach our children at home, we have a unique opportunity to impart the foundation of wisdom — to shepherd our children’s hearts. If our eyes are focused on the Lord, our hearts will reflect His love and grace — and wisdom. Dates, facts and arithmetic tables, which have their place, will be in their proper place — not as the goal, but as a tool for reaching the goal, which is for our children to grow in wisdom and stature with their hearts reflecting our Saviour for His glory!
Education is the training needed to develop the tools of learning. If we have been properly trained, we have the tools we need to learn any subject on our own. These essential tools are reading, writing, arithmetic, and reason. One’s ability to “catch on fast” or “think out of the box” is correlated with this ability to learn. Whatever method or approach we use, the basis of our approach should teach our children to learn for themselves. If our children are properly educated, then the end of our mentoring should leave them able to procure knowledge on their own. Besides providing our children with an invaluable skill, we will have given them a lifelong gift!
- The Lost Tools of Learning
“For the tools of learning are the same, in any and every subject; and the person who knows how to use them will, at any age, get the mastery of a new subject in half the time and with a quarter of the effort expended by the person who has not the tools at his command. To learn six subjects without remembering how they were learnt does nothing to ease the approach to a seventh; to have learnt and remembered the art of learning makes the approach to every subject an open door.” Complete text of the essay by Dorothy Sayers that is the basis for modern classical education.
Learning is a 24-7 proposition. There is no time frame capable of containing meaningful and authentic learning. Learning takes place constantly — for good or bad. Consider the myriad ways we learn: modeling, experimentation, research, investigation, manipulation, play, exploration, reading, apprenticing, and of course drill. With what type of activities do your children involve themselves outside of “school” time? Do they spend hours in front of the television? Or are they interacting with a rich environment of literature, music, art and nature? Do they spend hours with computer games? Or are they developing their interests and hobbies? Keeping a 24-7 mindset helps us remain aware of what is being learned every minute of every day in every situation.
True learning is finding out for yourself. Have you ever tried to memorize something trivial and found it the most difficult of propositions? Ever amaze yourself with the things you can remember when it comes to your favorite subject? The difference is who or what is directing the learning process. True learning is not a passive activity and it is much less cumbersome than trying to open up the mind of someone else and shove things in!
Children are born with a unique purpose. Each child is wonderfully made with his own unique characteristics fitting the unique purpose for which he was created. No two children will respond in exactly the same way, or learn in exactly the same manner, nor have the exact same interests. This is no accident! The homeschool environment is an ideal place to nurture each child’s unique gifts and guide him in that purpose.
- America’s Educational Crisis–A Christian Response
“How can we recover a concept of authentic education? The Christian response to this question will be very different from that offered by alternative worldviews. As the psalmist instructs us, ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.’ [Psalm 111:10].” Dr. Albert Mohler explains that all true education begins with the knowledge of God.
- The Christian Compass
“As our children’s teachers, we are responsible to give them all the tools and skills they will need to succeed in life. If my child becomes a doctor and saves 1000 peoples’ lives, or becomes the President, or just a hardworking man who gives 100 percent in any job he does, yet does not know God and fails to make it to heaven, all of my teaching was in vain. I cannot make the ‘salvation decision’ for him, but I will teach him — foremost — REAL life lessons, and that ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.’” By Jenefer Igarashi.
Other thoughts on education.
- The gods of Education
“An even harder question, will it be said of my children, ‘they have been with Jesus.’ While math is important, and grammar skills well and fine, reading the classics enriching, and high SAT’s nice, they are no substitute for being with Jesus. Educational success will impress others. Never will it be more important than Jesus.” Marla Nowak reminds us where we are to put our hope and why.
- The Heart of True Education
Powerful message by Marilyn Howshall. “This message is about parents who truly know how to walk a surrendered life, by faith ~ with the cross ~ becoming empty of self and filled with the love of God that imitates who He is for their children. So filled with the love of God that they are able to love their children as unique individuals instead of enforcing generic, artificial substitutes in exchange for what God has planned for the child’s unique purpose.”
- Home Education: Learning for God
Why do we need to start by establishing a new educational framework? “…The ‘fear of the Lord’ is the beginning of knowledge. True learning begins with the spirit and the heart, not just with the mind. A godly mind comes from a godly or God-directed spirit and heart. You cannot separate that relationship. It is clear that Solomon believed that parents were the ones charged with giving children the ‘wisdom and discipline’ that will guide their search for ‘knowledge.’” Article from WholeHeart Ministries.
- Just What Are Schools to Do? The Aims and Purposes of Education
It is always important to consider “why” we do a particular thing rather than accepting current wisdom without consideration. Does the aim of public education coincide with your idea of education? “Seen rightly, education is all about what we want children to know, how we want them to think, and what kind of people we want them to be. Education is never only about what most people think of as education.” – Dr. Albert Mohler