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Character Matters
June 1, 2009
Character Trait – Purposefulness:
Check It Out. – What Does It Matter? – How Does it Count?


New homeschoolers often wonder if they are qualified to teach. They question their ability to recall facts and figures. Or perhaps they recognize they lack knowledge in a particular subject. Such questions reveal a mind set that sees education simply as the accumulation of knowledge or the ability to recite what others have taught.

This is a very narrow view of education. It ignores a vital element of a child's training – having a sense of purpose.

Look up the following scripture passages with your child: Jeremiah 1:5; Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 139:13-14; and Proverbs 22:6. What is the common thread in these verses? A sense of purpose. More specifically, that God created each of our children in a unique way, with their own individual destiny that only they can fulfill. Now have your child look up the word purpose in a dictionary. If your student is keeping a Character Notebook (see the Teaching Tips archive), be sure to include these verses under the trait - purposefulness.

The word purpose literally means “to place before.” Our Creator Father has a determined a definite design for our children. The dictionary meaning of purpose is: to intend, to design, to resolve, and to determine on to some end or object to be accomplished.

One of the primary advantages of homeschooling is that we can create an environment, in cooperation with the Creator, that nurtures this purpose in our children. To do so, we have to take the time to get to know our children, identify their strengths and weaknesses, and discern God's will for them (or with them as they mature and become accountable before the Lord themselves). This requires a level of intimacy that is best gained in the positive, loving atmosphere of home.

It isn't always easy, particularly if your children have been attending a group classroom setting and have been spending the majority of their days outside the home. In this case, remember that intimacy requires time. It will not happen overnight.

But then that is the point of this month's character trait. Purposefulness involves determination. It requires work. But it has its reward – purposefulness gives us a life full of meaning.


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