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Discovering God's Design for Home Education
By Israel Wayne

 One of the most common reasons for burnout 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?"

 There are a few suggestions I would like to make regarding the ultimate goals of home education. 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.

 What Do Your Children Need To Know?

What a child knows is really insignificant compared to what a child believes. It is vital that our children know:

 1. What they believe.

2. Why their beliefs are true.

3. How to articulate their beliefs.

Facts and data are meaningless until 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, but our main motivation for homeschooling should not be academic prowess. Instead we should "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these (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, Deut. 6 & 11 and many other passages stress the importance of teaching God's laws to our children.

What Are You Homeschooling?

Why do we teach them? God's primary reasons for having you teach your children at home are to:

1.) Impress upon your children's hearts the ancient truths of scripture which prepares them for Kingdom ministry and to 

2.) Enable God to purify you (the parent), as you allow the fire and pressure to make you into pure gold.

 

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 a certain order in relationships, and He 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.

It is important 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 example of the parents.

By keeping in mind that we are homeschooling because we want to raise godly children, we won't be so frustrated when Johnny doesn’t understand Biology. I've seen some mothers become so frustrated by their inability to communicate with their children that they scream and throw books! Are we achieving our ultimate goal of developing godly character? Nothing is so important that it overrides our relationships with God and each other.

 

What does God expect?

"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)
"Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." (Gal. 6:2)

If we focus on teaching eternal principles, and developing 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 it is 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.

 


Copyright 2008, by Israel Wayne. All Rights Reserved.

Israel Wayne was home educated and currently serves as Marketing Director for the national publication Home School Digest, and the site editor for www.ChristianWorldview.net. He is the author of the book, Homeschooling From A Biblical Worldview, published by Wisdom’s Gate. Israel and his wife Brook (also a homeschool graduate) have five young children. Write to: Wisdom's Gate, P.O. Box 374, Covert, MI 49043. 1-800-343-1943 or www.WisdomsGate.org.


 

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