In our house there is a balance between us studying the things that my kids are passionate about and the things that I, as their parent, want them to learn. I believe that God has given me the responsibility to train up my children in the way they should go, to teach them the ways of the Lord, to encourage them in righteousness.
An aspect of this is to understand my children so well that I know what makes them tick, what is in their heart, what passions and talents they have been given by their creator. If I tap into these things, then they will help direct the things that I choose for them to learn. But there will also be things that they don’t particularly want to learn. As an adult, hopefully wiser in the perspectives of life, there will be things that I can pass onto my children that will benefit them, though they may not understand that benefit until much later.
Bible Study: It is our belief that our children need to know God and his word. We encourage personal devotions, family devotions and Bible study. The Bible is constantly referred to in our discussions, conversations and training. It is an integral part of our life.
Character: Character is the quality of responses made to people or situations and as we discuss and learn about right choices we are helping our children establish habits that will prepare them for life.
3 R’s – Reading, Writing and Arithmetic – these are the basic skills for learning and communicating to others.
General Knowledge: Peter made a comment many years ago that he wanted his children to have a broad general knowledge. He feels that people who have a broad general knowledge are able to mix and connect with a broad variety of people. This, therefore, is one of our primary goals. Each of our children connect with different aspects of ‘knowledge’ so a general knowledge looks different for each child but we cover topics of history, science, art, geography.
Computers/Technology: We feel it is important for our children to be familiar with the technology that people are using in everyday use. Touch typing was our first goal, then productivity software like Microsoft Office: word processing, publisher, powerpoints, emails and then using the internet with options like browsing, blogging, reading news, facebook, and though we would like to get into videos (making and viewing) we are limited at this stage by our internet provider.
Life Skills: Learning how to work, care for your possessions, be responsible with your time and money are important life skills that our children need to not only know in their heads but practice in their life. There are many applications for these skills in the life of children – they don’t need to wait till they are adults to practice these life skills.
You may think there isn’t much more to learn – that my choice pretty much covers it! That maybe so… but our children have been able to dig deeper into various subjects and skills based on their own interests and passions.
Joshua has a passion for history, politics and philosophy. In his middle school and highschool years these topics majored in his general knowledge studies. They also majored in his free time pursuits – he always had his nose in a book or was ready for a deep discussion! When he was younger he had a passion for trains – for Thomas the Tank engine specifically – and the game of cricket.
Jessica has pursued a variety of skills and interests – she is interested in history, in writing well, playing the piano, in organising stuff, in making things. She has studied colour, html/ccs, and a little graphic art. She is very versatile on the computer with Microsoft Office programmes as well as the internet (particularly blogging).
Naomi is very creative when she gets interested in something. Last year it was “Vikings” this year it is Drama. She likes to paint, sew, write stories, make people laugh and play netball.
Daniel has been interested in space, in making and fixing things, photography, animation, writing stories and reading. Daniel is still being exposed to a lot of ‘what is out there’ and as he is, his interests will develop further.