educating for life :: how we plan our days {part 1}

Another year of home-based education has passed.

Swiftly moving at times, heavy laden in various spots :: a gathering of moments and days.

As in each previous year, each passing of time in our family, this year has been a gift.  Oh, not everything went according to plan (at least not this Mama’s), not all was simple or easy — but all was blessed.  We have memories to treasure, others we would rather quietly leave from our minds, uplifting moments and spots of disappointment and challenge.

But this is family life, is it not?  The active dynamic of this ever-changing organism called FAMILY.  It’s always growing, becoming…whether you homeschool or not.

And so, we bottle up the experiences of this year, offer them to God as living sacrifices and approach our next steps.  The last month or two found us as parents considering plans, weighing decisions for the upcoming year.  A fresh start on educating the ones entrusted to our care.

We seek to educate for life.

The sum total of any person is more than academics, and the final evaluation of years homeschooling will not be how our children perform on standardized tests.  Our standards for academic accomplishment are not weak — they are simply not the final authority.

We choose homeschooling (or rather home-based education as we consider our entire community and world a classroom) not because of superiority to public education — for across the board, in every home, this is not true.  Just as across the board, in every classroom there is inconsistency.

We choose this path, with fear and trembling at times, because we view education as a whole-life project.  The growing up of a whole person, not just some parts.  Kevin Swanson, the author of Upgrade: 10 secrets to the best education for your child, calls this ‘paedeia’ : a Greek term used to describe educating the total person.

For life.  For relationships — with God, with ourselves, with man, with the world.

A daunting task for any parent, despite the educational path chosen!

With this foundation in mind, we plan our days.

Several years ago, I came across words that enabled me to define this way of education.  Used with permission from the lovely Ann Voskamp, we seek to reflect seven aspects in our daily pursuit of educating our children for life.

Please know that this simply describes our family and our thoughts for the upcoming school year — not defining or suggesting how any other family should function.

We first LISTEN (prayer, intake of the Word, scripture memorization)

:: prayer is fostered throughout our days, not only given to a certain time slot.  Next year I hope to focus more on the importance and discipline of prayer with our 12-yr old.  Bible quizzing will offer her the opportunity to memorize Hebrews and 1 & 2 Peter (last year was the book of John) and I’ll choose scriptures for the younger ones as we are no longer participating in AWANA clubs.  We’ll continue together little ones and big ones with morning basket time — at this link you’ll find a list of some favorite resources.

We LOVE (laying down our lives, character growth)

:: how can we serve as a family?  how can we grow in thinking outside of ourselves — to be like Jesus? So far I’ve used two tools that have been helpful, A Child’s Book of Character Building for young ones and also the excellent character booklets from Institute in Basic Life Principles as our children mature.  Though the most valuable resource is simply studying the life of Christ. We’ll continue to serve our community (local, national and international) as needs arise and where we choose to lend help and we seek daily to grow in serving one another — perhaps the greatest challenge of all!

We LABOR (chores, life skills, creativity, physical exercise)

:: as part of the family, the children offer their skills at whatever level to help our home function.  Work is God’s idea and a gift from Him (not a result of sin), so we embrace the opportunity and ability to work.  Then there’s the practical such as learning to manage money, etc.  Exercise is a growing aspect of our education; sometimes we pursue this together, often apart as children take dance lessons or participate in a sport.  Creative pursuits for both Mom and kiddos is important — so we draw, cook, paint, write, sew and otherwise get messy making with our hands.

 

This educational life is a wild one — full of adventure and surprises!  Tomorrow, I’ll finish the remaining four aspects to our home education.

Grace until then….

 

edited to add:

educating for life :: how we plan {part two}

 

photo credit

{I need to make a disclosure policy listed here on the blog, but to be clear — no, the links in posts are not affiliate links}


Want to share your thoughts? Click here to send me an email.

4 comments

[…] in our home education, exceptional literature is the backbone of all we’re attempting to accomplish across the curriculum.  But if a list is unimportant, resources for finding a great story can […]

[…] the first of several posts as I outline our whole life education plan for […]

[…] are great and we aim for solid standards there — but life is about everyday life skills and everyday relationships as […]

[…] call it educating for life ( affiliate links – based somewhat on the books Upgrade by Kevin Swanson and I Saw the […]