My wife and I will celebrate our wedding anniversary on December 15th.
Over the last week of so, we have reflected on 19 years of marriage and 13 years of parenthood. As we look back, we remember both easy times and challenging times, moments when we were full and moments when we felt empty, seasons of life characterized with joy and some with sorrow.
When we look back on what life has been for us as spouses and parents, we are blessed by the foundation we have built to establish our home.
What does HOME mean?
When I speak of home, I am not speaking of the house/apartment/car/shelter/single room where someone might live. Although the location of where you live can definitely impact your home, it is not the only factor that makes your home feel like home. Love and people are what truly make a home.
When Habitat for Humanity asked "what does home mean to you?", the following were some of the responses provided by their readers (source):
Home means a future. Once we had a stable home, we could think beyond where we were going to live from week to week, and we could begin to look ahead to where we wanted to go. Home is the base where everything begins. - Kelly
Home is a place blessed, where you and your family can be secure, have all you need, and share your sadness and happiness. Where you can help each other as a family. - Honey
A home means a stable foundation. - Thomas
I think that home is simply wherever you’re surrounded by people who love you. - Mary Kate
If you ask 100 people the same question, I am sure you will receive 100 equally unique responses. That is the beautiful thing about the idea of home. Home is what we make of it. It is impacted by the people we welcome into it. It is product of us and our lives.
The Principles of Home That Are Important to Me
Love and Kindness
I want my home to be filled with love and kindness. People talk about falling in love, but I think that it is important to think about love as a conscious decision, not an accident. Love is something that can grow and flourish.
I want my home to be full of love, because I want my home to be filled with people who are committed to love. Children will be greatly impacted by how love is modeled in the home. As parents, we have a great opportunity to teach one of the best lessons anyone could possible learn - how to love and how to choose to love.
Stability and Security
I want my home to be defined as stable and secure. I don't want my children or wife to feel that our home is not a safe place. For me this means that we try our best to protect each other from nefarious elements of the outside world, but it also means that we establish a strong "internal familial" foundation.
I want a home built on a strong rock, not shaking sand. Our future growth as individuals and as a family, is impacted by the solid foundation that we have laid and continue to strengthen.
Opportunity to Explore
A strong foundation enables a person to move out from home base and explore.
I can not dictate every step that my kiddos must take. They are unique individuals who currently and will continue to live equally unique lives. Part of my responsibility as dad it to establish a strong foundation that my children can launch from, so that they explore the world around them. I want their current home to be a base that allows them to build their future homes with their own families.
A Place to Start
The home my wife and I are building is just the starting point for our kiddos. We desire to be great role models for our kiddos to emulate. - both how to celebrate life well and overcome challenges and obstacles. And although we desire to be great examples, this is just the start of what is to come for our little ones.
Our current home is just the starting point. It is not the ending point. But I want it my children to know it is a safe place, a welcoming place, to place they can return to.
Our Homes Are The Foundation Of Home Education
For me, home education encompasses the entire spectrum of life that takes place within a home, not just formal education that is based on curriculum.
There are things to be taught and learned:
- in the kitchen - life skills, math, science
- while doing chores - humility, servanthood, life skills
- at the dinning table - how to connect and how to share
- while playing games - problem solving and sportsmanship
- outdoors - exploration, natural, and exercise
The foundation you have laid (and are building) for your home and family will impact what you inform your children about life and how you model life for them.
We can't neglect the foundation. Without a strong and stable home life, it is hard to build up the walls and the roof. Long before you started "homeschooling" your children you were home educating them. And even now as you homeschool, the education process extends far beyond the time and effort you devote to curriculum.
Call it homeschooling, unschooling, no schooling? It doesn't matter to me. Just do life. Do it well and invest in the lives of your kiddos.
Thanks for stopping by!