Standards in Education
I do not do this very often, but Spunky, who was so kind in her comment to me, has an excellent post you should read. It is better than anything I had considered writing about today.

All of us struggle some with mixed motives in homeschooling. That is part of why I blog. It helps me pause daily to regain my focus and my purpose in eductation. Some days do not go well. Sometimes my daughter seems to know less than she did the day before. Sometimes it seems we are going backwards on character issues. Sometimes it seems like it really would be a lot easier to just go buy some curriculum so that I do not have to spend so much time in daughter prefers workbooks, anyway.

The root of the problem, however, is that I am beginning to compare myself to those around me. That is kind of ironic, considering I do not know those around me that well. In reality, I am comparing myself to an idealized notion of what I think things must be like in their homeschool because they sure seem to have things together in church or their two year old doesn't run wild at a field trip or their plans I read on the internet just seem so fluid.

But Christ is my standard. I wrote this a long time ago, and some of you in the bible principles group might recognize it, but it is very relavent here.

What is a standard? Essentially, it is a military term, and even when not used as such, I believe that is the basic sense behind the word. Our dear 1828 dictionary defines it such:

An ensign of war, a staff with a flag or colors. The troops repair to their standard...

The image I have is the standard-bearer holding his colors high so that all on the battlefield can see it, despite the smoke,dust and general confusion of war. it comforts the troops, lets them know the battle is not lost and tells them which way to go. The standard-bearer has a most important task, for if his standard falls, the troops will disperse. He also has a most dangerous task, for he has marked himself and made himself a visible and desirable target for the enemy.

When we desire to raise the standards for our children, we must first be sure of what the standard is, or it will not be clear through the confusion. Of course, that standard is Christ, but we must be sure we are communicating that effectively and that we, too, are remaining focused and not inadvertantly changing standards in the middle of the battle. We must remain motivated to have a motivating influence on our children.

Then we can look at some of the specific challenges. A child who is interested and engaged in learning typically puts forth their best work without prompting. They see the work as interesting, relevant and applicable to life.

We have to keep our focus on the standard which is Christ. If we let it drop to focus on a single assignment, a single skill, a man-made measurement, we as the standard-bearer, will let the standard fall. This serves only to confuse our children as we tell them that Christ is the standard, yet our words and actions often communicate something entirely different.

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