A year ago, if you had asked me what my educational goals were for my kids, I would have probably said something really deep like, “Have them graduate from high school.” Or maybe, “I hope they learn stuff.” You know, very well thought out priorities like that. I didn’t honestly think much about our educational goals for our children, because I was never expected to. That’s why we send our kids to school, right? Educators have entire conferences and planning sessions on school goals, so I figured I’d just leave that with them. Actually, I never consciously made that decision. I just went with the flow of our culture. I sent my kids to school because that’s what we do. We send our kids to school so they can graduate and either go on to get more schooling or get a job. Hopefully they find something they like to do, and then they can have kids and send them to school so they can get jobs too. That’s what makes the world go ’round.
But then I started to question this cycle. What did I really want for my kids? Is my top priority that they graduate from high school and get a job? I mean, there’s nothing wrong with that, but is that the main thing? Because traditional school takes a lot of time. And if I have other goals or priorities for my children, do I have enough time to devote to those too? Is there possibly a better way for us to approach raising our kids? We decided there was. For us, it started with distilling all our parenting priorities down to one. What is our top priority in raising our kids? What is our #1 desire?
That they would truly know who Jesus is and adore him.
That’s what we want most for our kids. Everything else that we hope for in their lives, stems from that. And so, based on that, we laid out 5 goals, in order of priority, that we keep before us in this journey. If we devote our time to these 5 things in the years our kids are at home, we will consider ourselves faithful to the high call God has placed on our lives as their parents.
1. That they would have an intimate relationship with Jesus and a commitment to Christian community.
- know and apply God’s Word, pray, serve, worship, give
- model Jesus to the world through Christlike character
2. That they would have meaningful relationships with others.
- be gracious, merciful, and compassionate
- be loving, sacrificial, and thoughtful
- enjoy, laugh, celebrate
3. That they would discover and develop their strengths and passions.
- explore a variety of interests and pursue what they love
- be a blessing by using their gifts to their full potential
4. That they would be competent in academic skills to both discover their interests and open doors of possibilities.
- read, think, write, articulate
- study history, science, english, math, geography, languages, and fine arts
5. That they would be competent in practical life skills to lay a strong foundation for success.
- care for their physical selves
- care for home and life (cooking, budgeting, cleaning, etc.)
- set goals & establish good habits to reach them
We long to send out into the world, two young adults who love God, love people, and use their gifts, passions, and skills to impact the world for Jesus. We have 7-10 years left in this phase of life, and I’m happy to use every day I’ve got to this end.