Academics Versus Homeschool Subjects
Hey! Hey! And welcome back!!
I really do hope that you’ve already had your vision expanded for what homeschooling (well, HEARTSCHOOLING) actually can be and accomplish within your family.
Heartschooling really is so much more amazing than the sum of its parts, all because it’s not dependent on our own work or ideas— it rests in the calling God has given us.
A few years ago, we started creating T-shirts that were designed to highlight (hashtag) #HomeschoolSubjects— and they’ve been a huge hit. Why? Because homeschool families tend to understand that homeschooling goes well beyond the books. What we are teaching our children will shape their character and equip them to be the men and ladies God created them to be. There could not be a higher call— or a more rewarding job than that!
The Teach Them Diligently verses that we have discussed already really hit on the strength of homeschooling. Whereas a lesser view of home education may focus on the predefined times spent on learning subjects like math, language arts, science, history, etc., a Biblical view of homeschooling focuses on the in-between times. Deuteronomy 6 tells us that we are to be teaching “As you walk, as you talk, when you lie down, when you rise…” During all those in-between times, You are teaching your children.
Your reactions. Your conversations. Your answers to their questions— all of those are instrumental in teaching those Homeschool Subjects.
**So, HERE’S ANOTHER ANCHOR—> Prioritize spending time on the homeschool subjects and the academics will benefit as well.
Now, especially as you’re starting homeschooling, your tendency will be to think primarily in terms of academics… English, Math, History, Science, etc. That’s what we associate with school, right? Actually, even a lot of more seasoned homeschoolers still operate that way if they’ve never elevated their view of the mission.
Those academic subjects are obviously important for a whole lot of reasons. Because of that, we’ll actually be taking a whole lesson to look at curriculum, how to choose it, what to consider, and so forth, so don’t think I am saying that we should ignore Academics. Far from it!! Academics prepare our children for the next step they’ll take towards whatever God has planned for them to do, and they teach our kiddos more than facts, so giving appropriate attention and focus to academics are actually quite important to your mission.
It’s when we get laser focused on the academics within homeschool, though, and get hung up on what we think people expect from us or our children that we can lose sight of the real “Homeschool Subjects.”
So, what do I mean by homeschool subjects and what are some examples?
**Homeschool subjects are those things that you’re really focusing on when you’re on the mission God called you to**— these will fill those in-between times and these are the things that really relate to the calling God placed on your life.
And, you’re gonna find that these are the things you spend most of your time on with your children, for they can argue all they want that “they won’t use algebra again in real life,” but all the homeschool subjects… they’re gonna answer for day in and day out…
Before we dive into any specifics here, I want to encourage you— this is the area of homeschooling that you truly do have experience in, for this is the parenting side and the mentoring side.
Like I mentioned in an earlier lesson, in Deuteronomy 6 when Moses was giving final instructions for succeeding in the Promised Land,— He started by addressing the PARENTS!! He didn’t speak first to the military leaders, tribal leaders, or religious leaders… NO! He understood that the very most important leaders in any culture are actually the parents.
It’s the parents who have the most impact on society. It’s the parents who have the most influence on who their children will become… if they’ll just take hold of it.
PARENTS LIKE YOU!!!
**With all the craziness and wickedness we’re seeing unfold all around us in the world today, there has NEVER been a more important moment for parents to step up, take advantage of their God-given platform, and teach their children diligently the homeschool subjects that will make them godly young men and ladies in the days ahead. **
So, let’s look at a few of these homeschool subjects and talk about how you can teach them.
Now, I won’t even scratch the surface here, but I hope you’ll get the idea of how impactful you can be in your children’s lives if you are intentional with your time and in your interactions with them.
1. The first, most important Homeschool Subject we want to pass off to them is that they Love God and Love People. I imagine that like me, your heart yearns to see this principle lived out among God’s people more in this world. The Bible is full of specifics about what loving God and loving people actually looks like. And as a homeschool family, you have a lot of time to engage in helpful conversations… as well as to model that for your children, literally living out loving God and loving people for them. They won’t be learning about interpersonal relationships and reactions the same way in a school environment for sure… And for those who are in school, far too often parents don’t even know what they have been faced with until much too late to really coach them through it. As a homeschooling parent tuned into your mission, you will be amazed at the conversations you’re able to have with your children as you discuss how Jesus saw people’s needs— and what He did to meet them. You get to model that kind of love and bring your children along with you as you instill in them the truth that others are more important than they are. You’ll be amazed at the doors that God will open for them to learn to serve others as well— and that type of servant leadership will carry them far in the days ahead. Even within your own family unit, you’re likely to see a huge difference in this area. Loving people also extends to siblings, you know!! Spending more time together… learning, growing, and experiencing more things together without the outside influences that often drive wedges within our families… tends to make for really tight sibling relationships. Our children are unbelievably close, and I can’t thank God enough for that. But, it’s not just loving their siblings that’s been impacted. David and I have also reaped the benefits in the way they love us. **Tight, tight loving family relationships are often the natural offspring of focusing our hearts and attention on loving God and loving people**, because that focus will change our children’s behaviors at the root level and make them all much more loving, compassionate, giving people of God in the long run… able to converse with anyone from any background, race, or point of view, because they will see them as God sees them— someone He loved so much He sent His Son to die for them. So, teaching your children diligently to love God and love people are the homeschool subjects out of which many of the others grow.
2. Next, let’s look at Character, because as parents, we all want our children to display good character traits, right? Character is defined as “mental or moral qualities distinctive to a person.” Hard work, humility, dependability, honesty, courage, contentment, gratitude… all of these and more are things we long to see in our children and that we know even practically impact our children’s lives in many positive ways. But what’s it really look like to teach these in context of homeschooling? This is one that you can often clearly tie to academics, because there may be times when you choose to walk away from something hard or unpleasant to confront a heart issue or to comfort frustrations or to help them conquer their emotions or whatever your child is struggling with… After that’s done, you’ll still need to bring them right back to it, because your children have to learn that they need to have the character to complete the job… even if it’s hard and frustrating for them. Sometimes teaching character also means we have to let our kiddos make some mistakes and pay the price for them. They need to be allowed to learn through those situations rather than having mom and dad step in and make everything right for them. Guess that’s part of the teaching where God also works in us parents, because none of us want to allow our children to fail. Yet, you’ll find through the years that even as WE tend to learn a whole lot from our failures, the character it takes to move forward and face the consequences of their mistakes is an incredibly valuable homeschool subject to instill in our children.
3. How about Common Sense?— How many times over the last few months have you noted that the world has no common sense anymore? 🙂 As a homeschool parent on mission, we get to help our children learn to reason through situations rather than falling prey to propaganda and rhetoric. We get to teach them how to be discerning rather than reactionary… and to think on their feet to solve problems or get through situations. Many times, this homeschool subject is taught through very commonplace situations they’ll encounter in normal life— but you’ll be there to help guide them through it— and the fruit of those conversations will continue to grow through the rest of their life.
I could literally go on all day talking practically about specific homeschool subjects. How I wish that someone would have pointed out to me the difference between academics and homeschool subjects when I started out. I would have better understood and felt less guilty when I knew intuitively as a mom that prioritizing dealing with those things was what was really important.
These Homeschool Subjects are concrete ways that you can see the fruit of your parenting in action— for you can witness your children making choices that show they love God and people— or see them exhibiting strength of character when faced with a difficult situation.
**Remember that anchor we noted earlier— by focusing on the homeschool subjects, you’ll find that the academics will benefit as well**. Satan would love to make you feel guilty or like you’re neglecting something and making the wrong call in those situations and to get you focused on the activities of homeschooling rather than on your calling to teach your children diligently.
Give yourself the freedom and grace to focus on those homeschool subjects when your heart is telling you that you should. Instilling those homeschool subjects in your children will better prepare them to be honest and hard working in the academic work as well.
TRUST THE PROCESS! Your children will be learning every day— and you’ll get down the road a bit and be STUNNED by how much they’ve changed and grown— and how much more they know about all kinds of things since you started.
Another thing to note about Homeschool Subjects, though, is that** the ONLY way you can teach those is to be PRESENT. **There is no checklist or video class or outsourced way for you to pass on those things that are important to you. You have to be right there, intentionally interacting with and getting to know your children better each and every day.
So, how can you learn to focus on these things practically-speaking? There are some recommended resources and worksheets included with this lesson to help direct you as you turn your focus to those homeschool subjects— but honestly, I think you’ll find that it comes quite naturally!
Well, you’ve made it to the end of module 1, and I hope you have a lot of anchors to hold on to now that will help you better understand and define what homeschooling for the heart really is and what it can look like within your family as you follow God’s call for your life and invest your time and energy in it.
In our next module, we’re going to look at relationships, for just as having a solid foundation is important, so is recognizing the impact homeschooling will have on your relationships and being prepared for the good and the difficult that may come your way. As Ben Franklin noted, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” so let’s dive in to the relationship waters for a bit and make sure that we’re approaching all of them in a healthy and godly way. I can’t wait to see you there!
Academics Versus Homeschool Subjects
Homeschool families tend to understand that homeschooling goes well beyond the books. What we are teaching our children will shape their character and equip them to be the men and ladies God created them to be. There could not be a higher call— or a more rewarding job than that!