An amazing verse. The application of it, though, must be very real. I have decided that I need to create a vision - something tangible that reminds me of what my goals were when I began homeschool so many years ago. In short, I decided to outline my goals - my vision - for what I truly want to achieve in these years of teaching my children.
I think you'll be shocked to find they have nothing to do with a curriculum, or a person, or creating genius' or little robots that spout information on command.
- "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and he delighteth in His way." Psalms 37:23 In short, I want my children to allow the Lord to guide their steps. Too often children, especially teenagers and young adults, find themselves trying to 'find their heart and their way'. Well, this is in direct opposition to God and the Bible. It says the LORD is to guide their way. Not impossible, but it would be hard to allow the Lord to guide your way when you are only around others all day long who are looking to themselves to guide their way. It can happen - I did it. I want better for my children than what I did, and I think every parent would agree with that.
- "Children, obey your parents in the Lord; for this is right." Ephesians 6:1 This is fairly self-explanatory. I want them to obey me. Not someone else over me, unless that someone else is the Lord and I am telling them to do something the Lord doesn't want them to (and no, they will never convince me that throwing their clothes in the floor is what God wants them to do, or any other silly thing like that). I want them to obey others, don't get me wrong - but I don't want someone telling them all day long that they should listen to someone else more than their parents, whether it be a friend, teacher, or what have you. And yes, that means we know where our children are at all times. They don't have 'free time' to be without supervision. Not even at home.
- "And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." Deuteronomy 6:5-7. It would be very hard to teach my children to love God with their 'heart, soul, and might', and talk of these things when I 'sit in my house, and walk by the way, and lie down, and rise up' if the rush to get them to a public school, or private school, or even from one extra curricular activity to the next is taking up my time. Which means not only should they be here with me, but I shouldn't get so busy 'socializing' my children - or myself - that I don't make time to teach these important things.
- "Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think of these things." Philippians 4:8 I won't get in to great detail, but there is a plethora of things that can enter a person (or child)'s mind that are NOT just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praise-worthy. Most I thought of growing up is when I was away from my parents and figured I could get away with it, or if I was with friends who readily engaged in such thinking.
- "That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:" Psalms 78:7 I don't want them to forget what God has done for us, or his commandments, and I want their Hope to be in Christ Jesus. Once again, hard to do when I am not with them.
- "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." Psalm 119:11 I want them to hide God's word in their hearts. I want them to sing it, say it, hear it, memorize it. I promise you, in all my 12 years of public schooling, not one time did I learn one. single. bit. of. scripture. Ever.
- "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest." Ecclesiastes 9:10 I want them to have character. I have young boys and girls now, but one day they will be men and women, Lord willing. They will have jobs, families, and responsibilities of their own that they must take care of, They must be able to plan their day, week, and month accordingly and I know they won't get EVERYTHING done - but neither do I. I just want them to possess the ability to be able to try, to be hard workers, and to not settle for less than the best they can do. I want them to do things the RIGHT way and not the lazy way. And - the kicker to this one - is it applies to me, as well. I can't do it with all my might if I send it - my five children - to a public school house (I heard a preacher once call them an indoctrination station) and give that job to someone else to do, just to leave me with a few short hours in the evening to try and fit in all of that. It's not possible - it's a fight enough to get it done when I have all day. 4-5 hours at night is cutting myself short and not going to get the job done right.
All these visionary goals have nothing to do with Montessori, nothing to do with any type of curriculum, or how many hours a day we are sitting down, or playing, or out, or teaching, or - anything. I don't EVER want to get bogged down by anything that is going to prevent me from doing what I should and meeting these goals to the best of my abilities. Are we Montessori-inspired? Yes. I like some of the teaching methods used to teach children. I do want learning to be fun, I don't think it all has to be trudging through knee-deep mud and hating it. After all, I want to teach and enjoy it, and make it enjoyable for my children, in such a way that not only do they learn, but THEY have a desire to homeschool when they are grown and have children of their own.
Where there is no vision, the people perish. I am not willing to let that happen - I will put up a fight. And if 'God be for us, who can be against us?' which means I'm convinced I'm on the right side of this war!!!