English, Math, German, Physics, Physiology, and the list goes on. Education is important. We homeschool our children for many reasons but one of the reasons a lot of parents choose is the slight advantage homeschooling has proven to have over public school education. Statistically homeschooled students out perform their public school counterparts. This is encouraging news for us homeschooling mommies. We want our children to be smart, and excel in academics.

It’s growing increasingly difficult for homeschool kids to get into good colleges and find good careers. It seems daily I read a headline of a homeschooler that got refused admittance to a college, or denied a decent job specifically because their diploma was not issued by a public school. While there are powerful agencies and committees fighting for our rights and the rights of our children it puts great pressure on us as parents to push our children to perform well in their studies.

Have we missed a huge learning moment for ourselves, and a tipping point for our children and their futures?

Education is important. Employment follows right on the heels of a good education and is chased down by relevant experience. Finally, a decent salary and a home, round out the package that prepares a man or woman for a decent chance in the economy of life. But have we missed the point? Did we enforce things that in the end are meaningless?

Recently my husband’s grandmother passed away at 80 years old. She had been retired for quite a while and was very financially secure. She was a happy woman who loved well. Sadly, she had a very dark past littered with pain, and suffering. She wasn’t always a happy woman who loved well. She lived through the pain of abuse, separation from her husband, and finally death of her husband. Yet she ended her long journey with a smile. She had been prepared for the ups and downs of life and knew that in the end, the things that matter most were simple. Family, friends, and relationships meant more to her than a job, a house, or a large bank account.

As a parent it is so easy to focus on our children’s studies and grades that we forget that we are the sole example of morals, ethics, and emotional health. We not only teach our kids math but they watch us when we interact with our spouse in a disagreement. Their little eyes watch us when we get cut off in traffic, when we are given a bad diagnosis, and when we can’t seem to keep our cool during the school day. Our kids watch and model every behavior we display for the good and for the bad.

Our we training our children for their vocation but forgetting to train our children for their life? It’s easy to teach from a text book, and sometimes it is very hard to teach the more meaningful principles of life. Education is important, but preparing our children for their future marriage, their interactions with co-workers, and how to handle it when storms hit their lives, is even more so.  What would we think as parents if we watched our kids earn straight A’s in college, graduate top of their class, receive the top paying job at a major corporation, but live through 2 divorces, messy custody battles, and spend a few months in jail on a drunk driving charge?

Teaching children to respect others, to serve others, and to honor authority is of utmost importance. I have watched the news casts over the past several years grow more and more filled with tales of young men and women who wind up in jail because they couldn’t control their emotions or actions. It is a heartbreaking thing to watch as a young person gives their life away to the criminal justice system simply because they lost their temper for a split second. No one grows up thinking, “I want to be a murderer, a drunk driver, or shake my baby”. How heart breaking. And what’s worse is the immediate judgement they receive from the social media driven public that will follow them and their momentary lapse of judgement for life.

I would rather see my sons get adequate grades, skip college, get a job in a factory making decent pay, and rent an apartment, and live a long happy, fulfilled life with one wife, a few kids and smiles on their faces, than the former hypothetical situation. Wouldn’t you?

This year as you undertake the studies that make for well-educated adults, don’t forget the things that make for a good life. Teach your children respect, and honor. Show them how to have patience and courage. Most of all teach them how to love.