Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Education Part III

Perhaps this has become an old issue since we've been gone to Florida, but I'll make a few concluding remarks nonetheless. If my posts had a single main point, it would be the one that Phil made in his comment, saying that "the most important thing to remember is that no matter which way you go parents are the most important factor in the education of their kids." Furthermore, as "Trail Rated" noted, "that each child will need to be parented, taught, and educated as an individual."

I think that one of the beautiful potentialities of home-schooling is the possibility of really tailoring education to your specific children, in a way that a classroom of 25 kids simply cannot. I like that I would control my children's school schedule - their homework would never get in the way of family time, their vacations would always match up with mine, etc. However, homeschooling would never work if the children are not good readers (I think), and are not somewhat self-motivated to learn. A parent can't lecture at their kids for 20-30 hours a week - they have to be able to get a lot of it on their own. Furthermore, I don't want their education to be pressure/grade driven, but curiosity driven. I think if kids really see what there is to be learned, their innate curiosity will move them forward; homeschooling is far more flexible in permitting this.

Despite all of these potential benefits, I know home-schooling is not for everyone, and I don't necessarily think that it would be a good thing if all Christian families did it. I'm glad we have Christian schools, and I'm glad for Christian teachers in public schools (like Chris K) who are working hard to make a difference in a difficult environment. But I would urge (someday as a pastor, Lord-willing) parents to consider their own children carefully, and not recklessly endanger their child's nascent faith on behalf of their local public school and a perceived gospel witness there; school is profoundly influential on the hearts and minds of kids, and we are not as parents accountable for the public school (an artificial entity anyway - they didn't exist until 150 years ago) but for the souls of our own kids. A child who understands their own role in the public school as that of a missionary might have an effective ministry; a child whose faith we assume, but professes no real concern for mission to his public school, may be at great risk.

I could write 50 pages on this topic. Every issue that is raised pushes back on another question that is more ultimate, so that it is difficult and complicated to get to the heart and the beginning of the issue. Anyways, I am soooo thankful to have a son of my own, to teach and discipline and play with and love.


Kelly Glupker said...

I'm glad your son has such a godly father who thinks through these issues so carefully!

manda said...

I have to say too that with 25 kids do teachers really notice a child potential?

One of my day care kids is really smart (well they all are). This kid tells me things none of the other kids do. Like how many grams of protien are in p.b. He says and does a lot of things the other kids don't. So I ask the parents if they were having him tested. They had no clue he was soooo smart. He in the 99% and his IQ is 127. I think higher than mine!

Nobody ever noticed?
I am soo in tune with these kids its crazy. But on the same note its hared to see things in your own kids b/c they are there always.

manda said...

Is that a smudge on the camera lens? You know thats there right?
Your "married since" pic.