Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Home Schooling Part 1

I want to do a few posts on homeschooling and my views on the subject as well as what we do as a family to teach our children. I want to start out with this little story, it is very insightful.

There is a story about a man who once had three horses: a racehorse, a plow
horse, and a pony. The man made up a schedule whereby he could get the
most work out of his horses. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, all
three horses worked in the fields, hooked up to a plow. On Tuesdays and
Thursdays, the man took all three horses to a racetrack so that each horse would
learn how to run fast. On the weekends, he used all three horses to give pony rides
to children. At the end of the week, the man complained that not a single one of the
horses had met his expectations.

The racehorse turned to the man and said, “I could not run properly when my back
ached from plowing. If you had let me stay at the racetrack all week, I could have
spent time doing and improving at what I do best.”

The plow horse said, “If my feet were not so swollen from racing, I could have pulled the plow straighter and farther. If you had allowed me to stay in the fields all week, I could have
spent time doing and improving at what I do best.”

The pony said, “I have had it! If I didn’t ache all over from doing things I was not made to do, I wouldn’t have been so grumpy to all the children who rode on my back. If you had only allowed me to give rides to children all week, I could have spent time doing and improving at what I do best.”

Each of our children has different gifts and talents. Who was the person who decided
that educational goals should consist only of certain subjects, some of which are only used by a small percentage of the population? Is the goal of education to make everyone the same? Should the goal of education be to make everyone the same? You can’t make everyone be the same by forcing them all to learn the same thing. No one person can learn everything there is to know, and God has given us all very different gifts and talents.

The metaphor used by the apostle Paul (see 1 Corinthians 12:12–31) that the Church is the body of Christ illustrates this perfectly. We can’t all be the arms, or the eyes, or the ears, or the feet. We need each others’ gifts and talents in order to be the most effective people we can be.
God knows more about our children than the public school system does! And we can
trust Him with our children’s futures. God’s Word promises that if we acknowledge God
in all our ways, He will direct our path (see Proverbs 3:6). We know that God has made each of our children for a specific purpose. If we teach them what He commands us to teach them, He will guide us to prepare them for the plan that He has for them—
knowingly or unknowingly.

God can prepare us for the future in many ways. Just think of your life right now. What had to happen in your past to prepare you and place you where you are and for what God has called you to do and be today? Did you learn what you needed to know in school? From your parents? At church? From different situations or relationships? God uses all things for good—for the people who love Him (Romans 8:28). All of life is a classroom. God can and often does use bad situations to help us turn our weaknesses into strengths. Each of our children is different from any other child who is currently being educated—or has ever been educated throughout history.

(excerpts taken from HOW)

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Oh that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever! Duet 5:29