Saturday, April 05, 2008
Day 7 (already?): Looking Forward
Home Education Week concludes:
What are your goals for home education? What do you hope to instill in your children? Are you planning any changes to how you educate your children?
I don't guess homeschooling parents' goals are much different from their public- and private-schooling counterparts. I want to give them a broad education, with deeper knowledge in their own areas of particular interest and expertise. I want to help them find their gifts and talents. I want them to have good writing and speaking skills.
A liberal arts education, one might say.
I want them to love learning and see it as an activity that goes on all the time. I don't want to forget the person we ran into one late summer day - I don't even remember the circumstances - who said to my kids "wow, school hasn't even started yet and you learned something already." In what real life does everything stop for 2 or 3 months of the year?
I want them to be curious, always, and learn how to find the information they need or want. I want them not to be attracted to the mindless entertainment provided by tv and video games too much. I want them to find productive ways to deal with boredom.
As they grow older, our methods for this will change. We change constantly, though not always perceptibly. Slowly I am forcing them to be more independent in their work. A shortish-term goal is to have them in the local community college by age 16, and earning money in some sort of entrepreneurial venture. (They've already been talking about a dog-poop-cleaning up business, but have found all the good names are taken, and think maybe the market's saturated already. Besides, they don't do such a hot job of cleaning up after our own dog. My girl is also a little too hung up on the color of the uniform. The boy thinks the most practical choice would be brown. Of course.)
On the larger scale I want them to love and wish to serve God. This does not mean they will become missionaries, pastor/pastor's wife, etc., necessarily. But I don't want their main goals of life to be "making lots of money" and "being happy." Those are fine things, but not the pinnacle, and not to be desired at the expense of fulfilling our purpose:
What is the chief end of man? Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. (Westminster shorter catechism, question 1.)
Also I want them to love to read. So far, so good.
Came back to add: I want to teach them to see and tear apart logical fallacies with ease. Too many people today feel when they should think, act on feelings rather than logical thought processes. This is one of the big challenges facing the US now, I think, and one of the reasons we homeschool: logic does not seem to be an important part of the curriculum anymore. We need it to be important.
For more posts on this topic, go to Principled Discovery.