“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
~ I Peter 2:9
One of the great benefits of homeschooling is that it provides more opportunity for character development. Not only that, but, it affords a platform for independent thinking. As Christians, we are instructed in Scripture to teach our children the Word of God and to discuss it often.
“You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”
~ Deuteronomy 6:7
One of the most important character traits we, as parents, can convey is integrity. What happened to the days when one’s word was his bond? When people followed through with what they promised? I always tell my kids to be “a finisher”, not a quitter. We finish projects or duties; we do not do a half way job. If we start unloading the dishwasher, we finish it. If we remove the trash liner from the kitchen trash can, we take it all the way to the outdoor trash can. We don’t leave it in the garage. We follow through.
My daughter has a part time job now, so she is in the process of learning all sorts of life lessons. We had to establish a checking account for her, so she’s learned how to write checks and balance a checkbook. The most difficult lesson she has had to learn is time management. She’s had to learn the importance of being on time to work, and also balancing work and school. I think she’s making great strides and I’m proud of her commitment level thus far.
She encounters all sorts of people at her job, which leads to interesting conversation when she gets home and shares it with me. If we hadn’t spent the last 16 years instructing her in the ways of the Lord and developing her character, she would be much more susceptible to making poor choices at this stage.
We also discuss being a dependable worker, one who puts forth her best efforts. She has seen, firsthand, co-workers who do a sloppy job and one who may, in fact, be terminated because of their slothful work ethic. These are lessons she’ll carry with her for the rest of her life. Her boss and older co-workers love her and are her biggest advocates, which is a great blessing. They recognize her reliability and positive attitude.
Independent and critical thinking skills are vital to thrive in this big world. Problem solving capabilities surpass our schooling experience. These are all highly valuable attributes our children will need as adults. Tenacity is another often overlooked quality. Never ever give up! (Reminds me of the Winston Churchill quote…”Never, never, never, give up!”)
If our children are not taught to think for themselves and easily go along with what everyone else is doing, they are like the “Blind leading the blind.” We must instill in them core Biblical values so they will have a reservoir of truth to draw on in times of decision or simply everyday life.
It is our responsibility to also teach them to dig deeper, investigate and research the “Why” of things vs. taking ideas or opinions at face value. Be inquisitive! Scrutinize. For example, anyone can write a book and present their own ideas. I often remind my kids that just because it’s in print, doesn’t make it true. Somehow, as children, it is easy to believe that if an adult says something, it must be right or if it’s in a book, it has to be accurate. Nothing could be further from the truth, however. Another medium through which many lies are portrayed is television. It’s amazing how subtle a variety of agendas are presented via cartoons and preschool programs, not to mention other venues. This is why we must remain vigilant, as parents, as to what goes into our children’s young minds and hearts.
Input = Output
I saw this quote on a poster at a Christian bookstore once and it is so true:
“What goes into the mind, comes out in a life.”
Our job, as parents, is to work ourselves out of a job! In other words, the goal is to raise our children to be independent adults one day. Not only independent, but ambassadors for Christ. If we’ve put forth the effort and hard work during their formative years, by faith and much prayer, we will be raising a royal priesthood, holy nation, a peculiar people…a people prepared for life and set apart to do awesome things in this world!