Definition of Education - Helping you work through your Homeschool Goals

Step One: The Homeschool Goals

What does it really mean and what is your definition of education?

If we want to educate our children, we need to have a Definition of Education clearly understood in our minds. What does Education really mean? Let’s look at the Dictionary Definition of Education.

Noah Webster's Definition of Education

reading aloud

In Webster'’s 1828 Dictionary we read this definition:

EDUCA''TION, n. [L. educatio.] The bringing up, as of a child, instruction; formation of manners. Education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties.

From this definition we can see how encompassing this word is.

The high calling of education

To educate our children is certainly a high calling, described as “an immense responsibilibty” and in another Webster definition as “one of the most important duties of parents and guardians.

We need :

  • To bring up (nurture, lay the foundation of God’s principles, daily- in all of life)
  • To instruct - in the words of Noah Webster, “to teach; to inform the mind; to educate; to impart knowledge to one who was destitute of it. The first duty of parents is to instruct their children in the principles of religion and morality.” (to teach Biblical principles, God’s truths in the Scriptures, to instruct in right living, to communicate knowledge and pass on information)
  • To give children a good education in Manners, Art and Science
  • To (most importantly) give them a religious education.

The Purpose of Education

The Purpose of Education is to:

  • Enlighten the understanding
    Enlighten: Noah Webster’s Definition: “To give light to; to give clearer views; to illuminate; to instruct; to enable to see or comprehend truth; as, to enlighten the mind or understanding.”

    Understanding: Noah Webster’s definition: “The faculty of the human mind by which it apprehends the real state of things presented to it, or by which it receives or comprehends the ideas which others express and intend to communicate. The understanding is called also the intellectual faculty. It is the faculty by means of which we obtain a great part of our knowledge. Luke 24. Eph. 1.By understanding I mean that faculty whereby we are enabled to apprehend the objects of knowledge, generals or particulars, absent or present, and to judge of their truth or falsehood, good or evil.”

    (To comprehend ideas presented to the mind, discuss and make judgements of what is true, false, good or evil. This applies to all of learning- History- discover God’s purposes in history, the fulfilment of his plan, to comprehend relationships between events and ideas; to make connections; to make judgements; to be able to be discerning in Literature, in Science, in Argumentation of what is true, false, good or evil.
    My comments in Italics

  • Correct the Temper- Instil good character, behaviour, communication skills
  • Form the Manners and Habits of Youth- encourage good work habits and behaviour. Industriousness, truthfulness, honesty, responsibility, patience, resourcefulness, gentleness, carefulness
  • Fit them for usefulness for their future stations- Train them in being able to teach the next generation. Teach them appropriately for their God-given roles.

Where to from here?

What do you believe is the goal of education?