If you are a homeschooler in America, you are probably familiar with Tim Tebow, the two time national champion, Heisman trophy winning, former Denver Broncos Quarterback, and current Baseball player. We had his mom, Pam Tebow, speak at Teach Them Diligently a few years ago, and she was terrific!
Several years ago, I had my oldest son read Tim Tebow’s autobiography when it first came out. In his book, he tells the story of how his parents read Deuteronomy 6 and out of that, they decided to homeschool their children.
Deuteronomy 6 is a pretty important chapter in Jewish culture.
According to Deuteronomy 6…the home for a child was to surround them in the statutes and rules of the commandments of the Lord. The child in a typical Jewish home was taught by what they saw, heard, did, and felt. The sense is that they were to be soaked in the commandments like a sponge that is dropped in a bucket of water.
Deut. 6: 6-9
See: Bind Them as a sign on your hand; frontlets between your eyes
Heard: Talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and rise.
Felt: Shall be on your heart
Did: Write Them on the doorposts
To this day, there are families in the Holy Land that literally strap verses to their hands and have boxes attached to their foreheads with verses in them. I don’t think we are being called by God to go find boxes and straps rather than curriculum. However, the principle is clear that we are to teach our children by keeping the knowledge and wisdom of the Lord around them constantly.
In another article, I mentioned that the average parent spends 34 minutes with their child each day. (Here is a link to that article.) It is hard for any parent to follow the model of Deuteronomy 6 unless they are present and engaged in the child’s life.
Generally, when we start our homeschool day, we think in terms of academic subjects (i.e. Math, English, Grammar,…) complete with curriculum, pre-defined class objectives, etc. But, our view of discipleship should go well beyond that.
I am not going to tell you that teaching from curriculum is bad, of course, but I will say that the description of instruction as presented in Deuteronomy 6 does not start with…
⦁ Go buy that perfect curriculum;
⦁ Assess the Learning Style of your child;
⦁ Or, find the charismatic youth pastor;
Even when you are not “present” in the life of your child, you are teaching them something. Let me explain to you what I mean…Passing down a legacy of serving God to our children is not dependent on a pre-defined 30 minute period before bed or in the morning. It actually happens during the in-between times.
Discipleship happens constantly:
- When you lie down
- When you walk
- When you sit
Discipleship like this can’t be faked! It over flows…
What we don’t realize is that we are teaching even when we aren’t teaching! Even when we aren’t teaching in the traditional sense we are communicating a vision; what makes us tick; and what our loves are. Who we are overflows onto those that are close to us! Here is a picture of how our influence typically works…Check out this video
If you have been coming to Teach Them Diligently events for several years, you may remember me referencing this video before a keynote about how we, as parents, overflow on those that are close to us. You may have heard me say that we teach what we know but we reproduce who we are. This means that in an ideal scenario:
- We seek God and he fills us.
- What we learn and receive from God fills us.
- We do not keep that knowledge and experience to ourselves but we overflow.
- The overflow is relatively controlled and touches first those that are closest to us (like the water overflowing the cup and runs into the saucer.)
- However, God does not stop filling us and we not only overflow onto those closest to us but also those outside our home (like the water hitting the table.)
- Once the overflow gets beyond our home and those closest to us, who knows how many it will impact.
- Then, it spreads even further as we allow God to fill us to overflowing (like when the water hits the floor in this video.)
In this scenario, you can’t help but impact those around you. What God tells us in Deuteronomy 6 is to place our children in the flow of water. Soak them in it so they can experience and see, taste, hear, and feel who God is simply from being in the flow of what He is doing.
God Grows You to Grow Your Children!
Now, God doesn’t just tell us “How” to pass our Faith down to our children. He also tells us “What.”
As a parent and a teacher, you are always answering the questions of “What” and “Why” which is also referenced later on in Deuteronomy 6, verse 20.
Tomorrow, I am going to expand on the method of instruction that is described in Deuteronomy 6 concerning what we should be teaching our children.
We at Teach Them Diligently see our mission as encouraging you to seize the role God has for you and helping you precede with greater confidence as a servant of Christ. We truly do believe that homeschooling when done Biblically will strengthen your family in Christ.
We really do hope you will make it a priority to join us at a Teach Them Diligently event. The fellowship, encouragement, refocusing, and equipping you will get there is truly something every family needs. Register now and start making your plans to join us this Spring! Click here to register today!