Saturday, July 18, 2015

Four Family Waypoints - #3, Worthwhile Learning

Isn't there a Weird Al song about riding a bus?
Did our family sell out the morning my oldest son, Darling Bride, and I sat in our community high school guidance counselor's office?  Here we were, in the process of transitioning our firstborn from a lifetime of home school to public school.

Good move.

Today he is very much a young man and he may have found his calling in music - marching band, jazz band, concert band...he has gained in maturity, ability to organize himself, make friends, and in wisdom.

Lesson learned:  while our parenting priority regarding worthwhile learning stays the same, how the priority is fulfilled can and often does change.

Number three in our series of Waypoints is Worthwhile Learning.  These Waypoints are four priorities, or landmarks, to guide us as we lead our family and stay on mission.  Previously we considered #1, Authentic Worship and #2, Loving Relationships, and #4 is Excellent Life Experiences.  In thinking about how these all contribute to our mission of discovering, nurturing, and fulfilling God's call on our lives, learning is an integral part of the adventure.

Until July, 2014, we were a lifelong home schooling family.  Our family's network includes those who have home schooled from beginning through the end, those who have begun home school and transitioned to community school, those who utilize private school, and those who have attended their local schools from beginning to end.  An observation I've made, and I try to incorporate into my parenting:

When the family is committed, all learning is "home" learning.

What I mean by that is our oldest in the community high school, our others in an online public charter school, and wherever your children may be, does not necessarily mean that we are removing ourselves from primary responsibility and the primary education provider role.  Perhaps even more so as we prepare our teenagers for engaging the culture as an ambassador for Christ by controlled exposure to the world they will soon inherit.

No matter how we prepare and provide for us and our families, we are responsible whether we embrace it or not.  Consider these these familiar scriptures:

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord - Ephesians 6:4

Hear, O Israel:  The LORD our God, the LORD is one.  You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates - Deuteronomy 6:4 - 9.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it - Proverbs 22:6

If we are to train up a child in the way he and she should go, that charge includes finding what works best for them in the long run.

Whatever your model or approach to providing an education, worthwhile learning is includes
  • Identifying your children's gifts and abilities
  • Connecting your children to those resources
  • Accepting responsibility for the process
Action Point:  What is the best way to equip your family (and you) for what God has called you to do?

Go back to Waypoint #1, Authentic Worship
Go back to Waypoint #2, Loving Relationships
Go ahead to Waypoint #4, Excellent Life Experiences

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