Christian Homeschool | Marriage, Parenting & Discipleship

Tag: homeschool

biblical homeschool for christian home educators

Confidence • Clarity • Continuing Education

 

Home education is growing at a remarkable rate in the United States right now. According to the National Home Education Research Institute, there are at least  2.2 million students who are home educated in the US with some sources even suggesting the numbers are much higher. That is huge growth from the estimated 1.75 million in 2010. More families are choosing to homeschool their children every single day, and there are a myriad of reasons that lead them to make that decision. Once they make that decision, though, most start scouring the internet and reading books to try to find the best homeschool advice and direction they can. Strangely, though, most families getting started homeschooling never take advantage of the best resource for homeschool information and encouragement available, attending a homeschool convention.

Only about 4% of home educators ever attend a homeschool convention. That seems like a crazy statistic to me, for homeschool conventions in general offer a myriad of helps and encouragements in the new “profession” into which you as a homeschool mom or dad are embarking. They offer a place to meet other homeschool families with whom you can build relationships that you will come to rely on for great ideas and help in time of discouragement or discontent.

As I was thinking about this statistic about homeschool conventions, I immediately thought of 3 primary reasons I believe it is imperative for all home educating families to attend a homeschool convention.

Confidence

One of the most damaging attacks that can happen to a home educating mother is an attack on her confidence in what she is doing. Undermining her abilities and choices can lead many to quit. At a homeschool convention like Teach Them Diligently, homeschool parents are given the tools they need to be confident in the choice they have made. They will be able to peruse resources, talk to authors, attend workshops, fellowship with other home educating parents to find that they, too, face the same fears and pressures, and so much more. The confidence you can gain by attending a convention is incredible, and you will head home with a renewed vision for what you and your children can accomplish by God’s grace in the days ahead.

Clarity

How many of us start on a journey with perfect clarity, but in the difficult days that follow, we fall prey to doubts and discouragements? Providing clarity is a point on which Teach Them Diligently really should be your number one choice for a convention to attend. Teach Them Diligently excels in helping you firm up your FOUNDATION– the reason God called you to begin this journey in the first place. There are workshops every hour dealing with these foundational issues in your family, your walk with God, your homeschool, and much more. It is our desire to help focus your heart and mind on Christ and His call on your life, so that you leave the convention with a fresh vision of that call. There is nothing more encouraging than finding that clarity of purpose and knowing that you are doing EXACTLY what you are called to do. You can rest knowing that you are being obedient and that God will take care of the results.

Continuing Education

If you took a job in a corporation, they would expect you to stay current on the latest updates and systems that affect how you do your job. Somehow, though, as home educators who are solely responsible for training our children to accomplish God’s will in their own lives, many neglect any type of continuing education for themselves. There are so many resources and so many options available now in home education that you are truly missing out if you don’t attend a convention to learn how you can best teach your children and prepare them to function in this world in which they live. Teach Them Diligently offers hundreds of sessions that are designed to better equip you to carry out the critically important task of training and teaching your children diligently.

 

Studies also show that families who attend homeschool conventions are WAY more likely to continue homeschooling year after year than those who don’t. Makes sense, right, since those who attend have gained the tools they need to feel confident in their job. If you are serious about home education, you absolutely need to be at a homeschool convention to rub shoulders with others who are also serious, to learn and refine the skills you need to prepare your children for their next step, and to be gain the encouragement you need to stay the course!

Is Teach Them Diligently The Perfect Homeschool Convention For You?

Why is Teach Them Diligently Perfect for You?

We believe Teach Them Diligently is the perfect choice for all Christian home educating families. TTD focuses on WHY you home educate, WHO you are to please through your homeschool, WHAT you are seeking to teach your children diligently, and more. Teach Them Diligently offers many sessions designed to sure up your foundational relationships– marital, parenting, etc.– which will enhance your ability to serve the Lord through your homeschool, and Teach Them Diligently brings together thousands of like-minded families for a weekend of refreshment and encouragement. We pray you will make the investment in the heart of your homeschool and plan to join us this year!

By: Eric Dalton, Executive Vice President, AOP

 

According to a 2017 report developed by Fetch, a mobile marketing agency, more than 40 percent of Americans say they are more impatient than they were five years ago.

It’s no surprise—with drivers and food deliveries alike arriving in 5-10 minutes, shows and movies available with the click of a button, and packages shipping from another corner of the world to our doorstep in 48 hours, patience is a skill we’re learning to use less by the minute…make that 30 seconds.

The world we live in has changed drastically in the last five years, and it’s a safe bet it will rapidly evolve in the next five. In the midst of all that change, how can we keep our children engaged in learning and focused on the task at hand?

 

Meet Your Child Where They Are

As a leading Christian homeschool curriculum publisher, we at Alpha Omega Publications have learned the necessity of meeting students where they are and helping them learn in the way they do best.

For some students, a print curriculum still works best, but they need to be engaged through photos and graphics that hold their attention. For that reason, we have spent the last four years redesigning our LIFEPAC courses—a project we are excited to see reach completion in April.

Meanwhile, other students thrive through online learning, like Monarch, our Christian online homeschool curriculum for grades 3-12, which offers complete customization and powerful, interactive features.

Embrace On-Demand

On-demand programs, like Netflix, don’t have to be the enemy of a homeschool parent. Instead of fighting with your child about streaming content, take a break together and enjoy the expansive selection of educational shows the service—and others like it—offer.

A few of our favorite on-demand programs for homeschool families include:

  • The Bible, a historical TV drama that spans 10 episodes and originally aired on The History Channel in 2013
  • The American Bible Challenge, a game show hosted by Jeff Foxworthy that aired for three seasons on the Game Show Network
  • Joseph King of Dreams, an animated film telling the story of Joseph voiced by Ben Affleck
  • The Civil War, a nine-episode documentary from renowned director Ken Burns with a memorable soundtrack highlighted by “Ashokan Farewell”

 

Keep the Christian Worldview at the Forefront

However you choose to implement a homeschool education, most Christian families find it critical to ensure the Christian worldview is at the forefront. It’s possible to find content that both keeps students engaged—and challenged—while also strengthening a student’s faith in Christ. Do your research, and make sure the program you choose is right for your family and values.

 

Make sure you check out all that Alpha Omega has to offer at a Teach Them Diligently event this season. Get more details and register to attend here.

We’re Raising Grown Ups

How to Prepare Teenagers for Adulthood

By Carol Topp 

A concerned mother asked my advice concerning her 23-year-old son who was working 60 hours a week for a large accounting firm. “He doesn’t have time to attend Wednesday evening church services,” she said. “What can I do?” I told her as kindly as I could, “You need to stop being a homeschool mom.” Her son was a young, healthy adult pursuing a promising career. It was hard for this mother to let go, but the reality is that there was nothing she could—or should—do to interfere in her adult son’s work schedule.

Micro Managing Our Teenagers

Her question made me wonder if homeschool parents are prone to over-manage our children. We are accustomed to being very involved in their lives, but are we helicopter parents, hovering over our kids, even when they are grown-ups? Perhaps we parent too closely when, instead, we should be using their teenage years to be focused on raising adults.

Joanne Calderwood, homeschool mother of eight children and blogger at URtheMom.com,  offers seven signs that you may be micro-managing your teenager.

  • You have to repeat yourself over and over.
  • You help your teen without being asked.
  • You step in before your teen makes a mistake.
  • You make excuses for your teen.
  • You run your teen’s daily schedule of activities.
  • Your teen has no privacy.
  • Your teen is afraid to make a decision without you.

Joanne cautions, “Micromanagement eventually kills the motivation of even the most motivated! If you’ve ever been micromanaged as an adult, you know this well.”

Give Them Wings Not Strings

Authors Dennis Trittin and Arilyn Lawrence (a former homeschool mom), saw many of the same problems that Joanne and I recognized. They saw parents over-controlling their teenagers and continuing that into adulthood. In Parenting for the Launch, they write, “We tie our kids down when we overly enable or control them…they are inhibited rather than equipped. When we fail to relinquish control, (our children) become weak in areas where they need to be strong because we exercised our own muscles in those situations and not theirs.”

Their advice is to give our teenagers wings, not strings. Several practical ways to do that include:

  • If they sleep in, don’t nag and yell.
  • If they spend all their money, don’t bail them out.
  • If they have a conflict, don’t jump in and try to fix it.

The goal of parenting independent teenagers is to incrementally release control and increasingly hand over the reins to our children. Trittin and Lawrence point out that, “Being an adult is hard work. Teens need to feel the weight of hard work incrementally, so when they hit the real world they can step into it gracefully instead of doing a crash and burn.” It’s not wise to give your teenager full control all at once. Start by requiring them to practice life skills they will need as grown-ups. Here are their top suggestions:

Earn Their Own Income and Manage Their Own Money

Discuss with your teenager how they can earn money from a job or, better yet, by starting a micro business. Fifteen-year-old Ethan was thrilled to be making double minimum wage by teaching guitar lessons. His mother was pleased that he was learning how to manage his time and money. My Micro Business for Teens books will help your teenager brainstorm ideas and launch a successful micro business.

Show your teen how to set up a budget, operate a checking account and live with financial principles. Financial guru, Dave Ramsey, offers books, a podcast, YouTube videos and live seminars. He also has a high school curriculum that is video-based, entertaining and informative. Also, have your student prepare their own tax returns (or show them yours). The IRS has an excellent website called Understanding Taxes with simulations of several taxpayers’ tax returns, including teenagers.

Practice Life Skills

There are many life skills that a teenager should be learning including laundry, cooking and cleaning. Children can start doing their own laundry as soon as they are tall enough to reach into the washer and pull out clothes. In Patricia Sprinkle’s book, Children Who Do Too Little, you’ll find a list of appropriate chores for all ages. Cooking is another important life skill. A teenager should learn how to prepare some complete meals. Not only will they learn to feed themselves, they may begin to appreciate your efforts in getting a meal on the table. My nephew, John, understood why his mother was so tired after cooking when he had to prepare a meal from start to finish! No one really likes cleaning, but we all like having a clean house. My daughters and I all learned together how to speed clean a house from Jeff Campbell’s Speed Cleaning books and videos.

Learn Time Management

Give your teenager a planner, calendar or an app for their phone so that they can manage their time and responsibilities. Follow up to see that they are using it and checking their calendars daily. To encourage independence, have your student make their own haircut and dentist appointments. Let them to go to the appointment alone, if it’s realistic.

Take Responsibility for Their Academic Success

Junior high is a good time to begin transferring the responsibility for academic success to your child. It can start by giving them a planner and helping them to track school assignments and plan projects in steps. By high school they may be preparing their own syllabi and academic plans. I found that when my daughters were in high school my role was reduced to grading tests and compiling a transcript. They had become independent learners. Joanne Calderwood has excellent advice on helping kids to learn independently in her book, The Self-Propelled Advantage: The Parent’s Guide to Raising Independent, Motivated Kids Who Learn with Excellence. 

Live Their Faith In The Real World

Encourage your teenager to begin learning about spiritual things and the culture in the way that adults learn. Rarely do we crack open a textbook anymore, but adults read newspapers, blogs and magazines. One fun and unique way I stay sharp on spiritual issues in the culture is by listening to the Phil Vischer podcast. Phil Visher, creator of Veggie Tales, joins co-hosts author Skye Jethani and actress Christian Taylor for a lively discussion of current events from a Christian perspective. 

Explore Potential Careers

Career exploration can be a lot of fun as your student begins to see how their unique gifts, talents and interests can turn into a career. My book Career Exploration for Homeschool High School Students offers an 8 to 12 week course on exploring careers in a group or individually. Part of any career exploration should include job shadowing. Encourage your teenager to follow a professional for a few hours. One student, Erin, switched her college major from forensic science to marketing after shadowing a coroner for a day. She realized she wanted more social interaction with people than working in a laboratory would offer.

It’s not easy letting out teenagers try (and probably fail) in some of these areas. We’re homeschoolers and used to doing a lot for our children. Changing that can be very difficult. But if you want to raise successful adults, you must start gradually handing over the reins and increasingly let them take more control of their lives and responsibilities. In the end, it will be very rewarding to see your teenagers grow into happy, functioning and confident adults.

 

Carol Topp, CPA is the author of Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out, Career Exploration for Homeschool High School Students and the Micro Business for Teens series. She and her husband live in West Chester, Ohio. They have two grown daughters, both who were homeschooled through high school and are now pursuing their first careers. Visit Carol at MicroBusinessForTeens.com or HomeschoolCPA.com.  Make your plans to hear Carol at Teach Them Diligently in Atlanta and Columbus  in 2018. She will be speaking in the Leadership Summit as well as throughout the main part of the event. Learn more about Carol on her Homeschool CPA or Microbusiness for Teens websites.

This article was originally published in The Old Schoolhouse magazine, reposted by permission from Carol Topp.

Homeschool Guidance Counselor

If you have teens, you should definitely check out our FREE  Homeschool Guidance Counselor program and the Teach Them Diligently college fair. Learn more about those resources here.

Check out this helpful article about teaching your children to manage their money at all stages of their lives. 

If you are struggling with a child who seems to have a Heart Of Rebellion, you will definitely want to check out Chuck Black’s article on the subject. 

Carol Topp and Leslie Nunnery had a long discussion about this that is available exclusively to members of Teach Them Diligently 365. If you want to even more insight into this subject (as well as access to historic Teach Them Diligently audio recordings, weekly mini-workshops vis video, monthly member meetups and so much more) check out Teach Them Diligently 365 and join today.

Live Boldly in 2018!

Did you miss it? We are embarking on a new theme for 2018 in Teach Them Diligently 365, and that theme will be a big part of Teach Them Diligently Events this year as well. We would love to have you join us in our membership site, so you can get the encouragement and equipping you’ve come to expect from Teach Them Diligently all year long!

 

Live Boldly! This will be our overarching theme for 2018 and in January, we’ll take a look at what the Bible tells us about how to do that before we introduce 2 other new series that will appear periodically throughout the year. So many exciting topics to talk about this year. I hope you won’t miss a single week!  (If you have already registered for Teach Them Diligently 2018, you can add an annual membership to TTD365 to your account for a very special price! Check it out by logging back into your registration here.)

 

With a membership to Teach Them Diligently 365, you will have

• Access to TTD Audios from past Teach Them Diligently Events

• Weekly Video Posts covering topics that are important, encouraging, and timely for homeschool moms in the trenches— it’s like having mini- TTD workshops delivered year-round!

• Monthly virtual meetups for members

• Private Facebook Group for members

• 10% cash back rebates for members in the Teach Them Diligently store.

• And much more!

Learn more about Teach Them Diligently 365 and how you can join us here: https://teachthemdiligently.net/resources/365-membership/

Jim Trelease, author of the fantastic Read Aloud Handbook, says the most important thing to KEEP doing is reading aloud to your kids.  Most of us read to our kids when they are little, but after they become readers themselves, do we need to keep reading?

Trelease says YES.

Because listening comprehension is greater than reading comprehension, reading aloud is very beneficial.  Trelease says keep reading as long as they will let you.  (He made a habit of reading newspaper articles even to his high school aged kids.)

Benefits of Reading Aloud

  • Builds vocabulary
  • Conditions the child’s brain to associate reading with pleasure
  • Creates background knowledge
  • Provides a reading role model
  • Plants the desire to read.
  • Opens the door for some great discipleship conversations with your children.
  • Teaches discernment.

A great way to do this is to start a short novel with your kids and read a chapter a day or more.  Read biographies.  Read exciting missionary stories. Find something they are interested in and explore the topic together.   Usborne Books has a series of Illustrated Stories including Classics, Shakespeare, Greek Myths, Fairy Tales, and Dickens.  They also have King Arthur, Heidi, Alice in Wonderland and more.   True adventure stories are also a big hit.

Books must be accessible; Trelease says studies show that students who have at least 100 pieces of printed material in their homes statistically perform better academically than those with less. Generally, homeschool families don’t struggle with having too few books on the shelf, but we can struggle with taking the time to read them sometimes.

The family time benefit of reading aloud can be incredible. Setting aside those hours to go on virtual adventures together into other lands and other times can build some of the best memories your family will look back on when your kiddos have grown up.  Our family has ventured to Narnia, Middle Earth, The Prairie, Arrethrae, and countless other places together. We have a shared vocabulary based on those stories. We still talk about some of our favorite parts, and those times of reading together allowed us to slow down and just “BE” together. What a great blessing in this sometimes frantic world.

Does your family read aloud together? What are some of your favorites? Leave a comment below to share your best ideas, and we’ll compile them into a resource sin the days ahead.

Looking for more reading resources and ideas?  Check out these from the Teach Them Diligently Blog Vault:

Some of our family’s very favorite read-alouds have been the Chuck Black books– Starting with the Kingdom Series, followed by the Knights Series, and then the War of the Realms, your family will enjoy some great stories and learn some deep lessons along the way. The conversations these books have opened up for our family have been incredible, and we have read and listened to each of these books multiple times through the year. We highly recommend them!  Make sure you plan to hear Chuck at Teach Them Diligently 2018, too! You’ll be glad you did. ;)

Denise Eide of Logic of English wrote “That’s An Exception” The Source of Struggling Readers and Spellers, which includes 7 tips and ideas for helping those struggling to read or understand the rules of reading.

Shawn Lamb of Allon Books wrote “Using Spiritual Discernment in Reading Fiction,” which will give you some principles to build your conversations on as you are reading aloud with your family.

Parts of this article were contributed by Usborne Books. Check out the books at www.Usborne-Books.com and stop by our booth at all Teach Them Diligently Conventions for some great specials and free book drawings.  We would be glad to help you find just the right resources for your home.

Finding Homeschool Support

Finding the right homeschool support is almost as important as knowing why you’re homeschooling in the first place. And, sometimes, even knowing where to look for that support proves to be a challenge.  If you are just starting on your homeschool journey, I hope you’ll find some good ideas for where to look for the support you need. If you are a veteran home educator, I hope you’ll purpose in your heart to look around and see the many ways you could bless those around you by using what God has put in your hands and offering that needed support to those who are starting after you.

Look to Those Who’ve Done It

When I was first considering homeschool as a young mom, I called a veteran home educator in our church to ask her what homeschooling was really like. This woman’s children were many years older than my own, and they were very accomplished in the way they handled themselves and interacted with both children and adults. This gave me confidence that home education could actually work as I was seeing it in action right in front of me.

One afternoon, this mom graciously spent more than an hour on the phone with me, answering my questions openly and honestly and painting a clear picture of what homeschooling looked like for her family. I was particularly intrigued that their schedule allowed them to take more than a month off from school at Christmas time each year so that their teens could work in the family business making fresh wreaths for the holidays. This idea of building flexibility into a school schedule was totally new to me. And, because she knew my children from church, my friend was also able to weigh in on learning styles and to give me some ideas to help my kids with the transition to learning at home. Of all the homeschool books I’ve read and the numerous speakers I’ve heard talk about home education, that single conversation with a friend and veteran homeschooler remains the most powerful and informative I have had.

Other Great Places To Get Support Along the Way

Outside of the special friend who can serve as a mentor and sounding board to you (and I pray that God sends you one of those, and then that you BECOME one of those,) there are a number of great places to find homeschool support along the way. God created us to live in fellowship with one another, so local groups, co-ops and associations are fantastic places to get connected and find support for your journey. Joining with local and even online groups can build lasting friendships and be a source of valuable help and encouragement along the way.

Local Homeschool Support Groups

Homeschool groups, like everything else in home education, are as varied as the people involved. Our family belongs to an academic co-op that has well over 500 students enrolled, but that same co-op started with just a few families meeting together at a home to do some classes and activities together. Field trip groups, enrichment groups, athletic groups, and others are available in many areas around the country. We have certainly been blessed by taking an active part in homeschool groups through the years, and I wholeheartedly encourage you to find one near you to get involved.

Can’t find a homeschool group in your area? Consider starting one yourself! The Teach Them Diligently Leadership Summit would be a great place to share ideas and get pointers from homeschool leaders in your area. Click here to learn more about this free event at Teach Them Diligently 2018.

Online groups can also serve as a great place to ask your questions and share ideas. We would love to have you join us in our Facebook Community and in one or more of our special Facebook groups. (All are remarkably drama free!) :)

Homeschool Support Events

Finally, taking time for personal education and enrichment is also an important way to get support along the way. I tell my children all the time that “you don’t know what you don’t know,” and that certainly becomes evident when you find yourself in a situation where there are a lot of resources and continuing education offered. Special events and conferences like the ones Teach Them Diligently produces offer an intensive dose of encouragement and equipping, often in a weekend. You will be amazed to find yourself among so many like-minded  families, and you will always leave energized, much more knowledgeable, and ready to jump right back into your homeschool journey.  Time and again we see that families who live in fellowship with others and attend homeschool events are much more likely to stay the course and continue on the path God has called them to.

The New Teach Them Diligently Blog Is A GREAT Resource To Help You On You Way!

Support. Strength. Encouragement. Resources. These are just a few of the words that sum up what our vision is for the new Teach Them Diligently blog. Our prayer is that this will become a go-to place for you to get great information about parenting, discipleship, marriage, homeschooling, and more and the support you need just when you need it. And, we’re assembling a great host of amazing writers to share their heart with you right here.

Check back regularly to hear from speakers, authors, homeschool veterans, bloggers, and more as well as regular content from Teach Them Diligently staff. You can be confident that the information published here will be gospel-centered and Biblically sound. We simply cannot wait to see how God will use this platform in the days ahead.

There are many other great homeschool blogs and resources as well. In fact, we just ran an article earlier this year that listed about 15 of the top homeschool blogs as voted by Teach Them Diligently families. You should definitely check them out as well! Click here to visit that post (after you enter to win the prize pack, of course!) :)

LAUNCH WEEK GIVEAWAYS!!!

Because, we could never launch something new without some fanfare, we are excited to be able to have special giveaways on the blog all week to celebrate the new look. Today, you can enter to win one of five Teach Them Diligently prize packages, which consist of a family registration to your choice of Teach Them Diligently events, a one-year membership to Teach Them Diligently 365, AND a copy of Leslie Nunnery and Rachael Carman’s How To Homeschool With Confidence. All of those resources are designed to help you find support for every step of your homeschool journey.

We are also giving away prize packs from Truett McConnell, Bob Jones University, Covenant Eyes, and Word of Life!!

Want to learn a little more about the different elements of the Teach Them Diligently Homeschool Support prize? Click on the links below

Is there a specific topic you would like to see us address in the days ahead on the Teach Them Diligently blog? How about a specific writer or speaker you would like to hear from? Leave us some feedback in the comments below. We want this platform to be built to serve you the best way we can.

Throughout my entire life I have been reminded and have strongly believed that God’s plans were better than our plans– higher, greater, more spectacular. Well, I am seeing a very practical glimpse of that right now.

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever consider writing a book on parenting, yet God apparently had other plans. Late this Summer, He set those plans in motion by prompting Master Books to approach me with just such an idea. God had impressed on them the need for a book about discipleship-based parenting from a homeschool mom’s perspective. They even had a tentative title in mind for the book.

As I started praying about and working, seemingly in reverse, to discover why God would choose me for this task  and what He would have me to say, a vision for this project exploded on me. The burden for Christian families that God gave David and I all those years ago was at the forefront of my mind as I studied His Word and sought His will about this new possibility. The faces of so many precious friends we have met at Teach Them Diligently through the years became very clear reminders of the importance of family, the privileged position we parents have been given, and the seemingly incessant war Satan is waging against us all.

Strangely (though honestly not surprising if you know me at all,) the thought of writing a book was not as daunting  to me as the thought of TELLING people I was writing a book. Yet, here I go, gratefully acknowledging this amazing gift God has given me, and offering many thanks to the amazing team at Master Books for following God’s leading and taking a chance on me.

I know very well that I am not up to this task, and for that I am truly grateful. I pray God uses this book mightily to encourage and equip His families, and that because the vessel is so weak, all credit and praise may God to Him alone.

So I hope you’ll be as excited by the this new book, due out in time for our Spring 2018 conventions, as I was in discovering why I was supposed to write it, and I ask you to pray for me in the days ahead as I still have quite a few words to write to finish the project. (And, of course, I hope to get to see you at TTD2018!!) :)

By Israel Wayne

Has your decision to homeschool your children ever left you feeling tired, overwhelmed or stressed out? As a student who was homeschooled (my family began homeschooling in 1978), I have learned a few things and over the years about how to avoid burnout in your homeschool.

One of the most common reasons for weariness and frustration among homeschooling parents is the weight of self-inflicted deadlines and standards. It is good, of course, to have goals in mind, but we must always ask ourselves: “Am I seeking to do the Lord’s will, or am I merely pursuing my own agenda?”

As Christian families, we need to view homeschooling not as a glorious end, in and of itself, but rather as a means to an end. The main goal is to raise children who love the Lord, and are committed to following Christ. It is not to produce robots that can recite random facts and data at the drop of a hat.

What a child knows is really insignificant compared to what he or she believes. We must move beyond facts to convictions. It is vital that our children know:

  1. What they believe.
  2. Why their beliefs are true.
  3. How to articulate their beliefs.
  4. How to live their beliefs consistently.

Getting the right answers on a test is meaningless unless a child knows how to apply those truths to everyday life. Non-applicable knowledge is worthless. As parents, we want our children to excel academically, and homeschoolers usually do. Our main motivation for homeschooling, however, should not be academic prowess. Instead, we should “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these (including academic) things will be added to us.” (Matt. 6:33)

We should always stay focused on our long-term goals, but we must consistently follow the leading of the Spirit. Why are we homeschooling? Our main objective should be to fulfill our God-given obligation to “train up our children in the way they should go.” (Prov. 22:6) Psalm 78, Deuteronomy 6 and 11 and many other passages stress the importance of teaching God’s laws to our children.

What is the purpose of an education? God’s primary reasons for commanding you to teach your own children are to:
1) Enable God to purify you (the parent), as you allow the fire and pressure of the homeschool setting to make you into pure gold.
2) To help your children know and love Him, and become prepared to serve Him.

God desires for us to have close family relationships, and He uses the process of family discipleship to develop Godly character in both the children and the parents. God has established and designed parents to be the primary influences in shaping their children’s values. Parents can’t expect to receive a Godly harvest unless they labor during the planting.

We must learn to view home education as a lifestyle decision, and not merely an academic alternative. Use every available moment to teach eternal principles. Developing a Biblical worldview in children is not something that happens by accident. It is taught by formal instruction and caught by the Godly example of the parents.

By keeping in mind that we are homeschooling because we want to raise children who love Jesus, we won’t be so frustrated if our child doesn’t understand Phonics or Chemistry. I’ve seen some mothers become so frustrated by their inability to communicate math facts that they scream at their children and throw books! In trying to teach academics, are we achieving our ultimate goal of developing Godly character? Nothing is so important that it overrides our relationships with God and each other.

It is also easy to get caught up in the busyness of activities, running our children here and there, and over-committing ourselves into panic. Are all the programs we are involved in bringing us closer to God and each other, or are they mostly wearing us out? We may need to recalibrate our compass. What does God expect of us?

“He has shown you, O man, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you. To do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ec. 12:13)
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Gal. 6:2)

If we focus on teaching eternal principles, and developing Christ-like character in our children, we will have academic success as a natural result of our obedience to God. We should not merely teach our children what to believe, but show them why our beliefs are true. They should be able to determine, from the principles in Scripture, what is good and what is evil. They should recognize absolute truths and be able to reason from a Biblical worldview.

By keeping obedience to God as our primary reason for homeschooling, we will have the flexibility to change our educational approaches, relax in the face of deadlines, and put family relationships above SAT scores. We can have a joyful, peaceful, loving family and still achieve an academic standard superior to the world; but we must keep Christ as the focus and avoid humanistic expectations.

 

Israel Wayne is an Author and Conference Speaker. He and his wife Brook are the parents of nine children and the directors of Family Renewal, LLC. www.FamilyRenewal.org. Join Israel at all six Teach Them Diligently events in 2018.

Homeschooling Parents

About David and Leslie Nunnery

David and Leslie Nunnery founded Teach Them Diligently, the nation’s premier source for gospel-centered homeschool events. With eight years of homeschooling experience from preschool-high school and a passion to encourage and equip homeschool families, this couple shares their know-how and insights weekly through Teach Them Diligently media and on TeachThemDiligently365.com.

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