Those yellow school buses have started to roll by here in Colorado. And though not as visible, homeschooled kids are gathering on couches and at kitchen tables for a new school year as well.
As you dive into a new year (or not, depending on your schedule), now may be a good time to review your big picture vision: Why do you want your kids to be educated? What is the point of education?
Here’s my take on it.
At a basic level, I believe we all want our children to be able to survive in this world when they grow up. That is usually easier with some education and some job skills.
On a deeper level, we all want our children to be happy and fulfilled in life. We want them to be able to do something they enjoy as they make their way in the world. Of course, I want that for my own kids and grandkids.
But as Christians, we have an even deeper motivation for education. We believe our children’s stories matter in the grand scheme of things. We believe God is working in the world and that we are part of His story. We believe God has plans for our children’s lives; plans to bless others through them. And because of this, we want our children to be prepared to live the life God has for them.
Which brings me to my fundamental belief about education:
Education should help children develop their gifts and equip them to do whatever God calls them to do to further His Kingdom.
We are not educating our children just for their own sakes. We do not teach them just so that they can get good jobs and make a lot of money. We teach them, nurture them, help them discover and develop their gifts so that when God calls, they are ready.
I believe God calls us in (at least) two ways: God’s general call for all Christians and God’s specific call for an individual. God clearly asks all Christians to love their neighbors, to help care for the poor, and to be a witness to Christ in the world. We should try to nurture the hearts and minds of all our children to live like that.
And God also often gives people specific calls. God’s plan for your daughter might be that she becomes a medical missionary. If that’s true, she better study up! She’ll need an effective education in math, science and the humanities, plus solid training in the faith. (Don’t worry – Sonlight helps you do that!)
But here’s the thing. You often don’t know what your children will be called to do later in life. That girl who will grow up to serve in medical missions may only be six years old now. How do you know how to prepare her for her future life? I offer that you do what I believe all Christian homeschool parents want to do: notice and nurture your child’s gifts, and help give her a well-rounded education from which she could launch in any direction that God calls.
That doesn’t mean each child needs to excel in all subjects and all areas. But we should help all children who are able to gain proficiency in key subjects and then to really thrive in the areas where they show interest and special skill.
And of course, this is exactly what Sonlight helps you do. Whatever God calls your children to do down the road, Sonlight gives you and them the tools now to help them thrive and be ready.
A solid Sonlight education has launched children toward careers in the sciences and the humanities, mission-work and entrepreneurship. Students who complete Sonlight are really ready for whatever comes next for them. I’ve seen them go on to become doctors, pastors, attorneys, missionaries, homeschool parents, politicians, engineers and more.
I’ve seen Sonlight students with significant disabilities grow in their abilities, their character and their faith to become the people God wants them to be. (God knew what He was doing when he created your children, no matter what their innate abilities. They don’t have to work for NASA or become Bible translators in order to be where God wants them in His Kingdom.)
This is at the heart of why I created Sonlight. I want to help you equip your unique children, develop their specific gifts, and nurture their hearts toward God and towards God’s work in the world. I want our children to graduate high school with a deep love for God, compassion for the world, and the confidence that they can do what God asks them to do. Even if that seems hard or scary.
Sonlight comes alongside you to help you nurture and bless your children. So as God directs their lives, they are open and ready to continually follow. Isn’t that what we all want for them? We are with you in this!
Blessings to you and yours,