The true purpose of education has been pushed aside from mainstream educational practice for so long that it has been generally forgotten in that arena. It is almost automatic to lose sight of the real purpose of education in the day-to-day struggle to attain it. In order to properly frame the goals and tasks of the Education team regarding education of children and youth, one must take a step back and look at the big picture.
What is the goal of education?
Is it just knowing how to read and write? Getting a good job or preparing for a successful career? Assimilation and transmission of ever-changing cultural values? Is the goal completely utilitarian, as most present-day educators assume (see here: What Is The Purpose Of Education? ), or is there another important dimension missing here?
Martin Luther King, Jr. once wrote on this topic and his analysis seems rather prescient. King argues against the view of education as purely utilitarian. “The function of education…is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals.” King concludes with a warning: “We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character— that is the goal of true education. … If we are not careful, our colleges will produce a group of close-minded, unscientific, illogical propagandists, consumed with immoral acts. Be careful, “brethren!” Be careful, teachers!” The Purpose of Education >
Here is another example of what is currently being taught about the goal of education. From the following actual lesson plan on the sociology of education, the “acquisition of knowledge and development of the personality of an individual is no longer presumed to be the main function of education.”
This deeply mistaken philosophy has devastating consequences to the very people the system purports to educate. Here are just a few results of our current career-based educational system which has also become steeped in our culture’s poisonous ideologies:
- “Conveyor-belt” process that treats students as products rather than as individual persons.
- Activist kids who don’t know that they are being used as clueless pawns of mass media. Woke anti-God ideologies being passed off as ultimate cultural values.
- A society filled with many specialized “experts” who don’t think logically, reason coherently, or behave morally.
- Loss of the sense of well-being and happiness among young people.
- In general, an ever-declining basic level of knowledge and skill among highschool graduates.
So, again, what is the goal of education?
The primary purpose of education is to bring the individual closer to God, through contemplation of God and all that is good, true, and beautiful; to “know, love and serve God in this life, so that we can be happy with him forever in heaven.”
Parents as the “primary educators” of their children must learn how to educate their children to form not fragmented experts or cog-like workers with stunted minds and hearts, but whole, wise and virtuous persons (https://classicallyhomeschooling.com/purpose-of-a-classicaleducation/).
Secondarily, a good education provides the student with the knowledge and skills needed for their eventual vocation in life and to be an upstanding member of society.
Homeschooling: the preferred option for a wholesome education
The underlying assertions of the Education team:
- True education leads the student towards God.
- A complete education includes life skills.
- Each individual’s development and personality, as well as their God-given vocation, must be respected and accounted for in his or her education–there is no “one-size-fits- all” method or curriculum.
These assertions or goals simply cannot currently be achieved at nearly all public or private schools, and even many parochial schools. The educational system, following the whims of the culture, has failed our children, and worse, has harmed them in myriad ways. Incredible numbers of recent news stories detail these abysmal failures. In the few schools that still provide a truly good education, parents must still make sure that the school’s educational methods and environment are a good fit for their child’s learning style and development, and be vigilant to ensure that the cultural rot of genderism, wokeism, etc. are not seeping into the school in other ways, i.e. through “socialization.”
In most cases, homeschooling is now the only option to provide a proper, wholesome education for children and youth through high school. The task of the Education team, by “forming a nationwide network of experienced homeschoolers,” is to provide information, guidance, and resources (new and existing) to assist parents to begin or successfully continue homeschooling their children of any age through high school. We’ll connect new homeschooling parents to trusted local homeschooling groups, and recommend options for different types of homeschooling, including completely offline education.
As discussed previously, the most important aspect of a person’s education is their spiritual and moral formation. Without this, children grow up to be what C. S. Lewis calls “men without chests,” not fully human but mere hollow shells. They may perhaps have the form of humans but they lack the most important things, the very things that set us apart from the irrational animals: a well-formed mind, heart, and spirit. The goal of the education team is to provide resources and direction to help children grow into the whole, virtuous, thoughtful, healthy and happy people that God made them to be.
Faith formation is the primary duty of parents as educators
With that in mind, the first task of the homeschooling parent is to find trustworthy, effective resources to properly form children in their faith. Here are a few worthy resources to consider:
Based on the tried-and-true Baltimore Catechism, Voice of the Family has produced a wonderful program: “Drawing on the message of Our Blessed Mother and following the example of the three children at Fatima, Our Lady of the Rosary Family Catechism has been created for the whole family to deepen their knowledge and love of our Catholic Faith. All children, younger and older, as well as adults, are invited to participate in the course. This is truly a crusade of learning thoroughly the essentials of the Catholic Faith and is available for free.” We love this course, and the whole family is learning (or reviewing, as the case may be) the basic truths of the faith.
Another excellent program is available through the Theology of the Body Evangelization Team (Tobet.org), based on Pope St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. “This profound teaching offered … an examination of what it means to be human, made in God’s image and likeness, and how that reality is made visible in our human bodies.” It teaches children the truth about the body–not about sexuality, but the body as a whole and a gift from God. The program includes “an original, age-appropriate program for Pre-School to 8th grade children not only to protect them from these negative influences [of the culture], but also to help them to see the wonder of being made in God’s image and likeness.” The home instruction sets available in the Online Store include the lesson books and the parents guides.