Everyone knows it's graduation season!
But not many folks know we have
four graduating from high school in our home.
Because our approach to education, graduation and college is a bit different than most, we thought we might try to answer some questions that we know have been on the minds of some of our friends and family.
Written by Daddy Bowes
Purpose: The purpose of this post is to very briefly describe our family philosophy on education, graduation and college to family & friends who are genuinely interested . . . and maybe even a bit concerned. This philosophy is grounded in our understanding of our role as Christian parents to train up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; but I’m not including specific Bible references to save space. We really do care about what our dear family and friends think, but we’re not trying to convert you if you disagree. We know we’re ultimately responsible to God for how we train the kids He entrusted to us; and we take His instructions, admonitions and warnings seriously (Matthew 18:5-6). We believe He loves us, wants the best for us and our kids, and that His best is found by obeying & trusting Him.
Education In General: As Christian parents we believe the ultimate goal is to bring glory to God in everything we do, including how we educate the kids He gives us. To us, this translates to providing them a distinctly Christ-centered education . . . with the Bible as the core curriculum. We believe education is at its best when it provides the resources, encouragement and discipline necessary for our kids to discover God’s plan for their lives, and equip them to fulfill that plan. We believe God entrusts specific children to specific parents for specific reasons. We also believe God made boys and girls equal in value, but different in roles and natural aspirations . . . and thus different in educational needs. Because the above ideas conflict with popular education, home education was the clear choice for us. The priority of our home discipleship was not academics, but we do believe academic achievement can help prepare kids to glorify God. We believe it is critically important in today’s world to be able to read, write, speak and “calculate” with excellence, so this is our academic goal. We also believe introducing our kids to “real life” early in their lives is important; so we have resourced & encouraged them in entrepreneurial undertakings . . . in which they have thrived.
Graduation: Since our philosophy does not follow the “scope & sequence” approach of institutionalized education—but aims to develop a lifelong love for learning—graduation is not especially relevant. However, because so much is made of graduation in our society, and we don’t see it hindering our kids in any way, we decided it best to “do as the Romans”. We call our home education program Bowes Academy, graduate the kids when we believe they are ready for a significant step towards adulthood, and issue a diploma to reflect this. We prepare transcripts to show what they have studied/mastered along the way. For our boys, we require a good score on the SAT test to keep options open for college. For our girls, if we or they thought college was likely in their future, we would also require a good score on the SAT.
College: Our belief in God’s different design for men & women is most evident in our views regarding college.
Men . . . by God’s design are the primary providers, protectors, and leaders of their families. We believe God wants us to prepare our boys to be fatherly, masculine providers & leaders even if they never marry nor have children. We believe this makes it possible (but not certain) that they will need additional education at some point. Thus we require a good SAT score to graduate and will help with additional education as God leads.
Women . . . by God’s design are the primary helpmeets and managers of their families. We believe God wants us to prepare our girls to be motherly, feminine helpmeets even if they never marry nor have children. We believe this makes it unlikely that college will be necessary. Remarkably, though the most likely occupation for Christian women is still wife/mother/home manager, many are shocked or disappointed if they hear that this is the aspiration of a young lady. We believe the role of wife/mother/home manager was designed by God as the most important, fulfilling, and God-honoring calling of Christian womanhood (Titus 2) . . . and we’re thrilled that our daughters aspire to this calling! After graduation, we will help further prepare them for this through ministry to their family, church & community -and- continuing experience in business. We believe both of these will prepare them for managing a home, supporting a husband’s provision, or providing for themselves while honoring God’s beautiful design for Christian womanhood.
Our dear Pastor Dean was on to the fact that Kyle, Caroline, Valerie and Victoria
are quietly "graduating."
are quietly "graduating."
So he briefly recognized them at the end of the church service yesterday,
and blessed them with prayer and some special books.