How can we best incorporate our goals as a family into our children's education?Or perhaps, more specifically, our goals as parents.
Here are a few things my husband and I would hope for our family, and perhaps you can refer to the goals specific to your family.
We want our children to enjoy life-long friendship with each other.
This is especially poignant for me because my relationship with my siblings has been often strained. However, I must say, when our sixth amazing, incredible miracle Addie was born, my younger sister was the only family to come. Our kids had an awesome time with their aunt. She took them to the park and cooked oodles of food in my kitchen for us all (no small task when you're used to cooking for two!) That was so special and such a blessing to me.
Home education is great because our kids don't have the mindset that anyone is less interesting or less smart or more smart or more cool because of their age/grade. They relate well to people of all ages, from infants to great-grandmas and yes, they fight and quarrel like all kids, but they are each other's best friends. When one of them is away at a friend's for the day, or at work with their papa, all I hear is, "when is ________ going to be home????" This makes this mama's heart very glad.
We want our children to learn about God in all of daily life so that they can develop their own relationship with Him.
This means God isn't relegated to Sunday and church and the rest of our lives a separate category. The Bible says, "In Him we live and breath and have our being", and this is the way life can be. If the sunrise is gorgeous, we praise Him. If a child loses their temper and speaks harshly, they can be encouraged by a reminder of He who is always ready to come and help when we ask. Clothes are folded, and neatly arranged colorful pencils in a jar can be appreciated because God is a God of order and beauty. The living nature pages of our science lessons fall under His domain too. And math. The thought that, "this is a bit of the wonder by which God makes the universe work", makes memorizing times tables and the way to find circumference more enjoyable (tolerable?) for all.
We don't want to send our children mixed messages.
I'm a faulty human. I fail. I ask my kids to speak gently with each other but when I'm tired and have a headache or am just being a bad mama, I raise my voice, or say "no" too quickly and then get to practice humility and repent. We want our kids to see a genuine faith lived out, with all its ugliness of life overshadowed by incredible grace. We are thankful that we don't have to worry about teaching our kids about faith for a few moments a day and what is squeezed in on the weekend, hoping it *sticks* as they are in a secular environment which is contradicting us for the majority of their moments in childhood. I know there is no formula guaranteeing that a child will love God but I do enjoy knowing that my cards are not stacked against me.
Now, these aren't exactly the reasons why we home educate our kids but they are, hopefully, an example of how homeschooling can be a blessing to the vision of a family. The above photos are from our first official day of lessons. Blueberry pancakes and decaf coffee. My kiddos are nuts about coffee!