Thursday, November 30, 2006

All In The Family

Education has an impact on family life, whether our children are in the home or in public schoool. The effect can be good or bad depending on our perpsective and response.

Are Schools Becoming the New Social Workers?

In the 18th century, schools played a small role in the lives of its students -- unlike today, when school and school-related activities take up the bulk of students' time, Ball State University professor Jill Miels said...

Because schools have a large number of children in one location, the job of teaching children character, proper nutrition and providing health care services -- things that previously might have been dealt with by families, churches or the community -- has been bestowed upon schools, Randolph Eastern Schools Supt. Cathy Stephen said.

As a result of the shift from family to school, children who are growing up too fast - often leaving parents struggling to figure out how to manage their own families.

Is Ten the New Fifteen?,

Kids look and dress older. They struggle to process the images of sex, violence and adult humor, even when their parents try to shield them. And sometimes, he says, parents end up encouraging the behavior by failing to set limits - in essence, handing over power to their kids....

It's an age-old issue. Kids want to fit in - and younger kids want to be like older kids.

Younger children copying older children is nothing new. God designed it that way. But God designed it in the context of a family, to insure that young, impressionable minds were not subjected to every thought and idea before they can understand its meaning.

On the flip side, parents and especially Christian homeschooling parents need to guard against making the family more than it was intended to be. The end goal is not just a wonderful family life.

Worshiping Idols, Family Style,
When we get ourselves backwards and pursue as our primary goal the family-integrated thing, the homeschooling thing, the patriarchy thing, the breeding thing, the modesty/home-baked bread thing, or the "making sure our boys are tough warriors and not wimpy" thing, instead of God's glory, idolatry is just around the corner. Don't get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with any of these things I have just mentioned. But they are means, not ends.
Many of the things I read talk about the richness of a family integrated "home-centered" life. They are often a source of inspiration and encouragement. However, I resist the urge to make my home the center of my life. (And it is a strong urge.) If I seek to make my home or family the center of my life, I risk turning my eyes away from Christ and His glory. That may get a few of my goals accomplished, but I miss the larger goal entirely. (HT: Dana)

Finally, a few days late...
The Carnival of Homeschooling is up at The Common Room.

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