I asked about your ultimate goal in homeschooling, but perhaps I worded the question ambiguously. There are many benefits to homeschooling; I agree wholeheartedly with most or all of the benefits put forth in comments to Wednesday’s post. But really, Why do you homeschool? What if homeschooling did not produce the benefits listed? Would you still homeschool?
In our household, our ultimate goal in homeschooling is to produce children who will serve and glorify God. Plain and simple. This is, after all, man’s chief end.
Next question: how does this affect our daily practice?
Should we just read the Bible to them, and call it a day?
Why do we teach them to read?
So that they can read God’s Word, enabling them to know Him and His will, learn the way to salvation, etc.
Now that they can read, why do we teach them history?
So that they can see God’s marvelous works of Providence acted out in history, and learn from the wisdom and the mistakes of past men and nations.
A necessity for good stewardship, and for a husband to provide for his family. Keeping a balanced checkbook helps us not to write rubber checks. Well managed finances help us pay our obligations. Many professions and household projects require a working knowlege of mathematics, geometry, etc. A wife needs a working knowledge of math to shop effectively for groceries. She needs to be able to teach her sons and daughters math, to prepare them for their respective roles.
Writing, spelling, and grammar?
Are these really useful when we are busy trying to glorify God and enjoy Him? Yes. We need to be able to communciate effectively – for a multitude of reasons that pertain to our service to God and fellow man.
Art, poetry, physical education?
All have a proper place in serving God. I think you can fill in the blanks as well as I can.
These are just a few, very limited examples. This is by no means a complete list – please help me add to it! The point is, academics ought to be thought of as a side effect, a benefit, but never an end in itself. Education must not become our God or our Savior. We do not homeschool so that our children can get a better education and hence a better job. We homeschool because God has given them into our care, with the command to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. This is how we can best do it.
For more great material on this subject, check out:
- Adrian’s article at Cumberland Island
- R.C. Sproul’s book, When You Rise Up
- Guiltfree Homeschooling
- Spunky’s post on the subject, which was linked in a comment but really deserves front page coverage