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The Seven Year Teaching Method
By Israel Wayne

Not long ago I was talking with a friend of mine who homeschools his eleven children. To maintain a close relationship with his children, he often takes a child with him when he makes deliveries for his business. He told me about an experience he recently had with his seven-year-old daughter.

They had to wait a few minutes in the truck before unloading, so he grabbed his pocket bible and began to read to his daughter. Shortly after he began reading he became aware that his daughter was not familiar with the story. This surprised my friend who was certain that he would have told his daughter this well known account in scripture. His older children knew the story and he reads the Bible regularly to all of his children, so how could his seven year old have missed this?

He was reminded of the scripture in Deuteronomy 31 in which God instructed all His people, from oldest to youngest, to review his entire law.

 

     “And Moses commanded them, saying, ‘At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast    of tabernacles, When all Israel is come to appear before the Lord thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing. Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the Lord your God, and observe to do all the words of this law: And that their children, which have not known any thing, may hear, and learn to fear the Lord your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it’” (Deut. 31:10-13, KJV).

 

My Own Experience

As I contemplated this passage I reflected on my life. When I was seven I knew all of the major Bible stories and wanted people to know that I was a Christian. I was the quizzing champ at our Sunday School and won prizes for memorization at VBS. I believed the Bible to be true and wanted to obey God.

Seven years later, at age fourteen, I was faced with an entirely different set of circumstances in life. I was dealing with peer-pressure, struggling with dating issues, transitioning into manhood, wrestling with being submitted to authority, learning about conformity, popularity and fitting in, etc. My relationship with God was at a real turning point.

 

 

At twenty-one, my world had changed again. As I single young man I was in the middle of national ministry, waiting on God to bring me a wife in his timing, and past the turmoil of the teen years. God had been merciful to me in allowing me to be discipled by loving brothers and sisters who helped to demonstrate a godly lifestyle for me and shape my worldview. I was at rest, enjoying life and serving the Lord.

At twenty-eight, I was happily married, a father of three sweet children and I had learned a lot about myself. I was trying to balance the demands of work and ministry with investing properly in my wife and children. I was learning how to put into practice all of the things I had been taught as a child about life and family.

When I was seven I wanted to avoid getting in trouble, when I was fourteen I wanted to fit in, when I was twenty-one I wanted direction for my life, at twenty-eight I wanted a nap.

 

Teaching Our Children

I have observed that Christian parents often do a decent job of training their older children, but they slack off with their younger ones. I guess they get tired, or perhaps they assume that they taught their younger children all of the important lessons of life, when in fact it was the older ones, not the younger ones, that received that focused instruction.

God has, in His infinite wisdom, given us everything we need that pertains to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). Our Lord was good to include in His Word this nugget of wisdom for us to discover. We need to come back to the fundamental principles of life at least every seven years. As each season of life develops, we find that the unchanging truth of God’s word confronts us in a new and unexpected way. This is a great concept for us as homeschoolers, or for those in teaching ministry to the church, to grasp. We need periodic review, and the younger generation needs to hear some truths for the first time.

 

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

 


 

 Resources from Wisdom's Gate

Homeschooling for Eternity
Homeschooling for Eternity

Homeschool Essentials (MP3 CD)
Homeschool Essentials (MP3 CD)


 

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