I've talked with so many Christian parents, some homeschooling and some not, but all of us doing the best we can to be faithful to our God-given responsibilities as parents. So many choices to make - education, activities, camps, friends, social media, devices, screen time, etc., etc., etc. I'm sure you are weighing those same choices.
But what do you want for your children?
Children are a funny thing - they grow, and they are "born persons", with their own minds and giftedness and abilities. They aren't blank slates where we can code something and have it turn out exactly as we intend. There are no guarantees.
And yet, as Christian parents, we have a responsibility before God to faithfully obey his commands and do our best to create an environment where God-honoring growth is possible, much like a gardener does all that is possible to nurture seeds into plants and plants into fruitfulness.
So what do you want for your children? And what does God want from you?
The people to whom that letter was written were living in a multicultural society with many religious beliefs. The government was pagan and not entirely friendly to the young church. Neighbors were often suspicious of the followers of "the Way" because they didn't seem to fit in with society at large.
This particular letter was written to Gentile believers in Jesus who hadn't grown up with the spiritual foundation of their Jewish counterparts - they were in every sense "first generation" believers. And so Paul wrote with fatherly advice and instructions about their responsibilities as Christian families and parents, using a then-contemporary term loaded with meaning that would have been well-understood by the recipients of his letter.
Our world today is not far removed from that one, and for Christian parents, the question is the same - how are we to bring up our children to know and honor the Lord, especially in a world that pulls them in the opposite direction? The ancient idea of PAIDEIA offers us some guidance, and I invite you to explore it with me on a new website, Classical Christian Paideia, as well as a new Facebook group where we can easily talk about these ideas.
If you've been reading this blog over the years, you have heard something of my classical education journey, especially from a neoclassical mindset into a much wider classical world than I had previously known. I've also shared quite a bit here about how the instruments in a string ensemble can be used to illustrate a child's stages of development, both spiritually and academically.
This new website is a culmination of those personal lessons and my desire to put it all together in a way that is easy to understand for the average homeschool parent. I first put it together as a book - but frankly, how to distribute it was getting complicated and hurting my brain. So I decided instead to make the information freely available via the web. You can access everything for free - the only compensation I may get is via the affiliate links I share for some of the curriculum I recommend (Memoria Press and Compass Classroom primarily, though I recommend many others for which I receive no benefit).
The website contains the ideas behind this approach, the needs of children at different ages, why I believe classical education is an effective way to meet those needs, how to curate your own curriculum according to your children's needs, and how to evaluate your children's growth holistically. My curriculum suggestions are in there, as well, and I will add more as I continue to research.
Please note - this is NOT only for homeschool families. It is for ALL Christian parents who want a way to help them make decisions about who to raise their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Where and how our children receive an academic education is only one part of that, and whether or not that is at home, parents can still use the principles of Classical Christian Paideia to know what they need to add, or subtract, from what their children are being taught by others.
I do hope you will join me on the Classical Christian Paideia website - and that you will continue to follow me here as I continue to share what God is teaching me about family, faith, and femininity.