Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Back to School: Notebooks, Crayons, and Worldviews

As an administrator for many years in christian schools, I have found that the start of school is always exciting and what a thrill to spend all that money on book bags, school supplies, new clothes, etc.  I am amazed at how important it all has become!  As a student myself in a long bygone era, I would save the best paper sacks for the wrapping of my books so they would not get damaged. I designed each cover with great creativity!..It wasn't just a math book cover but an artistic wonder for all to see. In today's society, we can spend a good amount of money to get our kids and youth "fashionably" prepared for the first day of school. Many of us went out the door with a piece of toast in our mouth, a kiss on the cheek, money pinned in our pocket for milk, and a load of books under our arm!  How things have changed!  Through the years, I have watched under arm books turn to book bags and eventually book carriers on wheels! Most schools today look more like an airport terminal than a school hallway and it is just as much trouble to get a book bag on wheels into a locker as it is to put a carry on in an overhead compartment! I am afraid that we have become too distracted by the material necessities of school and it has consumed the time we need to prayerfully sit down and look at the academic journey ahead of our children for a new year.  Regardless of a child's age, each parent needs to understand the following in relationship to the academic environment and curriculum their child will be introduced to.  A parent needs to understand and pray about:
  • Worldview: What is the worldview being expressed in curriculum, and in the classroom?
  • Partnership: How will I have a working communication with the academic leaders overseeing my child's academic journey?
  • Keeping a Biblical Mind:  Through the curriculum offered, how can I foster a biblically-integrated approach in their thinking?
 Remember, a worldview is a set of basic beliefs and assumptions about life and reality.  It answers what a person believes about the nature and purpose of life in our world. It provides meaning, and it guides and directs the thoughts and actions of its followers. Our educational systems are now full of "worldviews" and it is important that we understand what they are and how they will influence the direction of a classroom. What is your worldview and what is the worldview of the academic leadership you are placing your child under?

I am assuming you are close to having everything ready to go: book bags, lunch boxes (or should I say lunch coolers, peanut butter and jelly are probably not selling well these days.), and I trust a good time of family prayer.  Don't let them out the door without it. And remember that you are designed and gifted by God to direct your child's academic, emotional, and spiritual journey as mandated in Deuteronomy 6.
So be a Christlike partner with your child's teaching staff and as in days of old send an "apple" on the first day. Any "fruit of the Spirit" will do. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Establishing the journey of Parenting

Ross Campbell, M.D once wrote "... the pathway of parenting, from birth to adolescence, is like a trail that begins in a sun-bathed clearing and twists into an ever more tangled forest, with many unanticipated "crossroads" where difficult decisions must be made. No child is the same; no choice is the same."  I think that all too often we as parents failed to recognize that "tangled forests" can not be avoided or ignored. I believe it is safe to say that the parent of today's driven society is having a difficult time keeping the child on course mainly because they have no idea where they are going.  It is important to prayerfully take the time to chart your child's life course. That journey will involve some serious soul searching on the parent's part to truly seek out God's will for their child's life.  Mapquest won't help but God's word will!  It is full of red and green lights; slow signs, stop signs, and yield signs. It provides a great map of life for your child.  To raise a child to be truly well balanced, Christ-centered, and able to maintain a Biblical worldview will take a greater commitment to the study and application of God's word by you!  If God can move mountains, he can untangle the forest that is ahead. As this new school year begins, find the promises of God that you can stand on and start charting your child's life course.  "For the promise is unto you, and to your children" Acts 2:39