Every day we hear of another crisis. There is always the next big thing to panic over in this country. It seems we can’t finish emotionally exhausting ourselves over one issue before it’s time to muster up and do it all over again. But one issue that people seem to be willing to turn a blind eye to is the current condition of our educational institutions. Sure, everyone has been willing to pay it lip service, but what has been done to fix it? According to USA Today in 2019 U.S. high school literacy rates in reading are on the decline and math literacy rates have largely remained stagnant.
Our education system is failing many of our children. And if you don’t believe this will have ramifications, you’re willfully sticking your head in the sand.
It’s time for families and churches to take the reigns of education back from the state. It is no longer enough to sit back and point out flaws as I’m doing in this article. The time for action passed us by long ago.
This idea of teaching our own children intimidates many of us and it’s certainly no easy feat. There’s not going to be one cookie cutter curriculum that fits all, that’s the trap our public education system has partially fallen into. And admittedly I don’t have all the answers. But I do have a proposal for some guiding areas of learning when it comes to teaching our future generations:
I.) The Truth of Christ
Regardless of your religion the teachings of the Bible are undeniable. Scripture teaches us discipline, reason, financial wisdom, art, literature, history, and above all else the value of loving and serving each other just as Christ has done for us.
II.) The Lost Art of Articulation
In order to function in society your child is going to need to be able to communicate with others and articulate their own thoughts and ideas. In order for our youth to succeed at these it’s important to practice prayer, writing, reading, and other practical mechanisms that will lead them down a healthy, prosperous path. You will also be handing them the tools they need to make a difference in this world.
III.) Learning Through Service
We should also seek out opportunities to teach our children what it means to serve others. I mentioned this earlier when speaking about learning from the Bible but how do we actually put action to those lessons? Always be on the lookout for chances to give, serve, and love others alongside your children. We must be intentional in this so that it becomes a pattern in their life.
IV.) Learning Through Place
Lastly, I would say it’s important to teach our children about the place they’re from, the natural world surrounding them, as well as their cultural connection to that place. For example, I am from Eastern Kentucky so I will definitely be teaching my children specifically about our state history and the Appalachian Region’s history. Of course, we don’t stop there, but without that foundation and fundamental understanding of where they are from they will struggle to fully comprehend where they stand in relation to the rest our nation and the world. To quote the poet Wendell Berry, “If you don’t know where you’re from, you’ll have a hard time saying where you’re going.”