So how we accomplished our goals in the lives of our children? By being an example? By teaching them? By giving them the tools? By providing books? By listening to them? Spending time together? Yes, all this and so much more.
When Isaac was five years old we wrote out our goals as parents. Now we have nine children our goals haven't really changes much, so here's the list...
We want to instill in our children a love for learning, discovery, and exploration.
We want to help them to grow in faith, love and good character.
We will seek to live a life of faith, love, prayer, forgiveness and devotion to that they will have an example to follow and a sure foundation to build their lives on.
We will help the children to learn from mistakes.
We will give opportunity to learn through creative play.
We will provide fun educational experiences that spark interest in new subjects.
We will make the tools for learning and discovery easily accessible.
We will teach foundational truths that will be the building blocks of future learning.
We will teach foundational truths from God’s Word that will be the foundation of a life time.
We will seek to teach them by example and explanation what it means to be a strong happy family, one that follows Jesus and obeys the Bible.
We will help children to discover the lessons of life and science in everyday tasks and events.
We will challenge the children to set goals small and large and work toward those goals.
We will give the children freedom and opportunity to explore their world.
We will foster delight in God’s amazing creation by teaching them about the amazing things God has created.
We will show them what it means to have a good work ethic, allow them to work, build, create and be helpful with household tasks.
We will let the children enjoy the fruits of their labor.
We will make an effort to help them to understand that actions have consequences, positive and negative, they will reap what they sow
We will strive to teach them to be attentive and precise in communicating with others, this happens by example, and by spending time in meaningful conversation with them.
We will introduce them to beautiful literature, art and music.
Teach them to listen carefully by giving them opportunity to listen to fascinating subjects using books, audio and mixed medias.
We will pay close attention to their special interests, and give them opportunity to learn and discover all they desire about the things they want to learn.
We will be careful to be attentive to each child’s interest and ability in understanding the concepts of reading, writing and mathematics; we won’t push these abstracts concepts to early, if the child is not ready. But we will frequently give them the opportunity to see these concepts in action though life, play, example and lessons.
We will introduce the children to the use of graphs, equations, scenarios, theories, money, time, maps, globe atlases, computers, letters, numbers, and measurements. We will try to do this in interesting ways, so that they hardly realize that it’s part of their formal education We want them to embrace these things as part of their personal world of discovery. We will try to show an example of interest and excitement in using these tools of discovery and knowledge.
We will help them to grasp the basic facts about the history of the World, the history of the United States, the history of Indiana, the history of our family and their own story beginning with life in the womb.
We will use local resources for hands on education, such as the zoo, museums, state parks, grocery stores, libraries, farms and local industries.
We will allow freedom to get creative with art and music, but also provide challenging directed opportunities for exploring the arts and making their own creation
We will help the children to develop good character, by teaching moral lessons alongside academics as we will strive to live with integrity in our personal lives.
We will help them to learn about interesting people, cultures and traditions.
We will tell them stories about missionaries, heroes, explorers, inventors, and other people with inspiring life stories, we will introduce them to some of these heroes when we can.
We will tell stories well so that they will learn to be good story tellers, and we will listen to their stories too.
We will try to be patient and understand that many of the things the children need to learn will happen naturally by playing freely and by working alongside mommy and daddy. We should consider what is best for the child above what is easiest for the parent.
We must protect them from deceiving influences.
We must teach them to teach themselves.
We must allow them to excel in their areas of strength, talent and interest. Help them to overcome weaknesses, but invest the most their areas of greatest potential.
We ought to be careful not to bog them down with to much paperwork at a young age, we want them to love learning.
We must remember that their education is not limited by a classroom, the whole world is our discovery zone.
We will watch them take joy in educational discovery in order that they would love learning for a lifetime.
We will go on adventures together.
We will play their games and read good books together.
We will seek to listen carefully to their hearts and minds.
We will pray with them, we will pray for them.