We tend to obsess over the “how” of child training, but I think we’d do well to think more about the “why.”
Are you training your children so they won’t irritate you as much? Are you training them so they will be happy people as adults? Are you training them out of a vague sense of obligation, without really thinking through exactly what it is you’re trying to accomplish?
I submit that we are training the future of God’s church. The children in our homes will be either a plus or a minus to Christ’s cause. After all, He said “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad” (Mt. 12:10). In other words, our children will either be assets or detriments to His work on earth. We’re training the very ones who will be useful in extending His kingdom or whose lives are a negative testimony for Him.
That means that Christlike character is the most important thing we can teach our kids. Academics are important because academic skills make people more capable and more useful. But in light of eternal things, a PHD might not be the right ultimate goal.