Monday, July 21, 2008

Classical Education - **Yawn**

What a difference a year makes.

Last year I had the pleasure of attending my first ever homeschool conference. I learned so much about the how-to's and legal requirements and heard wonderful speakers.

I have to admit my favorite part was visiting the convention hall where there were no less than 20,000 items- or so it seemed - for sale. It was overwhelming and exhilarating all at the same time. (Can I mention that I do love to shop?) I darted from booth to booth talking a mile a minute to my husband telling him all my grand thoughts.

Every booth had something I wanted, that is, any booth that had NOTHING to do with classical education. I could spot them easily - mounds of dry looking historical books, with vendors that all looked and talked waaaay too smart for me. Words like, "boring, elitist, and no fun" immediately came to mind. Who in their right mind would choose to be boring, elitist and a no-fun education for their children? Do you want your children to hate you? How could that kind of education possibly honor God?

Fast forward a few months as I begin diving into various Christian curriculum. You know the type- Spelling with Jesus, I am a Perfect Christian Child - Don't you want to be like me?, and 101 Ways to Look Christian on the Outside: Maybe Then No One will Notice my Black and Sinful Heart on the Inside. Okay, I just made those up, but do you see what I'm getting at? So many of these curriculum look good on the outside, but we need to be educating our child's whole self - not just telling and showing them what a 'good' Christian looks like.

Thankfully, it was about this time that I was challenged by a friend as to what a classical education really was and it slowly began to dawn on me that I could buy the latest, greatest and prettiest curriculum out there (to be honest, a lot of it does look like fun) or I can educate my children with a goal in mind and that goal is not simply to graduate, find a job and be a good little Christian.

So, here we are.

The goal is simple - To know God and to make Him known. Classical Education provides this by teaching them Who's they are and what they were made for. They are encouraged, especially in the later years, to debate and challenge, and to think critically for themselves. Heresy- you say! A Christian parent that encourages his child to think for himself? To think critically and to question the world and God's role in it all?

Yup. And to be honest, if I were at the end of my homeschooling journey and I had not shepherded my children's faith in such a way that they had a genuine relationship with the Lord then I honestly believe I have failed, no matter how much scripture they had memorized, no matter if they had perfect attendance in Sunday School, no matter.... what.

Anyway, it's time again for the homeschooling conference. This year I am definitely more focused. The dull, dry books suddenly appear rich. The vendors may appear smarter than me, well, because they are smarter than me. But that's okay. I'm just beginning.

1 comment:

Ali said...

I cannot wait and I'm so glad that you were enlightened! HA! I look forward to a lifetime of learning about...EVERYTHING!

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