If you are a parent, you have experienced the endless why questions that all children seem to have. We as humans have an innate curiosity about the world and how it works, and it is delightfully abundant in children.
As a teacher, a common why question I’ve heard is, “Why do I need to learn this?” To be honest, in a public school I sometimes struggled to answer that question because the reason to learn things always comes back to God.
There are 4 big truths that we want to convey to our students.
1. God uniquely created me.
2. God loves me.
3. God is my friend.
4. God calls me to love and serve others like Jesus.
When we embrace these truths, we are able to answer many of the why questions, because the answers always point back to God, His love for us, and His calling on our lives.
One of my favorite Bible verses is Mark 10:45 where Jesus says, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” These words highlight what people are to do: serve. And yes, children most certainly can begin learning this. It can be uncomfortable, challenging, heartbreaking, and inconvenient, but loving and serving others is so, so worth it.
Mundane tasks teach us perseverance. Hard concepts teach us determination. Refining our character teaches us how to best “live a life worthy of our calling” (Ephesians 4:1). Math teaches us how to steward our blessings. Literature helps us learn from others. Writing provides many ways to communicate to others and share our thoughts. A student-centered environment illuminates the skills and gifts of each child. Learning in community teaches us that life can be simultaneously beautiful and messy. Every skill that we acquire can be used both now and in the future to love our neighbors and serve our God.
And that is why we learn.