NEW HOMESCHOOLERS WORKSHOP: Part One as Presented at the Conference
Heart to Heart

 

This workshop is essentially divided into three parts at the conference relating to the three hours of presentation. For lack of space here though, it will be divided into more parts in the upcoming newsletters. However, the structure remains the same.

 

The first hour of information imparts a vision for homeschooling and establishes the biblical and historical reasoning for discipleship. Likened to building a home, this will be the foundation that maintains the entire structure—a sure footing for multigenerational continuity that will maintain discipleship for future generations. The second hour is devoted to how we homeschool, essentially the studs, beams and walls of your structure. The third hour is the fun part, devoted to wonderful educational ideas and how to delight your family. This is equated to decorating your home.

 

My husband and I have been homeschooling our children for the past 34 years. In fact we are still homeschooling our 26-, 24- and 19-year-old because learning never stops in our family. And we will continue to learn together as a family after they move out of our home into their own homes because God requires parents to continue to impart wisdom to their children and their children’s children as specified throughout scripture but particularly in Psalm 78.

 

Even as long as we have homeschooled, I am more passionate about homeschooling today than I was 34 years ago. And I was really passionate about it then. I had been an elementary school teacher before I had children, but when my first child approached her fifth birthday, I was looking for a way to keep her home. I did not want her in a public or private school because I knew that who controlled the children controlled the future.

 

I graduated magna cum laude from University of Missouri, St. Louis and was awarded the second highest student teaching score that had ever been given to a student teacher. Yet I can tell you that my education was not about teaching your child how to read and write or how to compute math problems. It was all about making your child into a socialist who would reject Judeo Christian principles and accept the humanistic mindset, homosexual lifestyle, and feminist movement. It was all about destroying the family.

 

I did not know about homeschooling at that time, but simply prayed to God to make a way for us to keep our daughter home so that we could be the ones to instruct her. In answer to prayer, God faithfully provided the direction we needed through a newspaper article about homeschooling. It was a new phenomenon at that time, but one that rang true with my biblical understanding of our duty as parents.

 

So my passion for homeschooling continues to increase with the years, for I love being with my children every minute of every day, discipling my children, learning with my children, and being trained by God as I train my children.

 

Independence is Antithetical to God’s Word, for Scattering is a Curse

 

Quite a few years ago, as Sonia and I were walking arm and arm around a room at a wedding reception, I noticed a woman crying. Upon approaching her, I asked if she was okay and if there was anything that I could do to help her. What she relayed to us was quite significant.

 

Apparently the picture of Sonia and I enjoying each other’s company caused her to remember the former days when she homeschooled her own children. She referred to them as the best years of her life.

 

She then told me that she knew me from the days when she lived in Missouri. I inquired about her children. She said that she had two older daughters and grandchildren. I asked if her daughters were homeschooling their children. She proceeded to tell me that early on another homeschooler had given her a book entitled Give Them Wings. It was all about how to train your children to be independent so when they turn eighteen, you are ready to release them. Not knowing anything else, she had followed the book’s advice and trained her children to be independent—autonomous, self-determining, self-supporting, and self- sufficient.

 

I responded in horror to this godless mindset by saying that independence is totally antithetical to scripture, as it means complete exemption from control; subject to no superior authority; and ultimately not subject to God’s authority, followed by the fact that scattering is a curse.

 

Astonished, she looked as if a light bulb had just been switched on in her mind. She sighed and said, “If only I had known that and started my children on the right course. It did not seem right to me at the time.” She then continued that ironically the author cried after each of her children flew the coop. But again that is all she knew, for she did not get our newsletter or attend our conferences. If she had, how different her life might have been for her now.

 

Sadly, both her daughters worked. One had a baby out of wedlock and thus worked to support her child. The other daughter was making far too much money in the workforce to quit her job to come home and homeschool her children.

 

Now realize that this is the result from a mother who considered the years she spent homeschooling her children to be the best years of her life. Yet here she is crying because she lost what she loved most.

 

What is your most valuable possession? God says, “Behold, children are a gift of the LORD; the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; they will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate.” Psalm 127:3-5

 

The first covenant that God made with man was the covenant of marriage that He might seek a godly seed (Malachi 2:15) to fill the earth with His glory. “God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over…every living thing that moves on the earth.’” Genesis 1:28

 

The sacred duty of each generation is to train up the next generation to keep the way of the Lord as He commanded our father Abraham. “For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him.” Genesis 18:19

 

It is not enough to go forward just because you think homeschooling is a viable alternative to public or private education. If you are a Christian, you will come to the end of your journey and be filled with emptiness because you did not fulfill what God had called you to do—to disciple your children for preparing a people for Him. So we are laying this foundation on the Word of God!

 

And in so doing, we are not raising our children to be independent, but building on the shoulders of each generation. And if we look back throughout history, we will see that God blesses nations through family continuity.

 

God’s Method

 

God’s method for procuring a godly seed and filling the earth with His glory is through discipleship. In fact, throughout scripture, God points us to parental discipleship. First, by the very essence of His triune being as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then by the example He set by walking with Adam in the garden. God personally instructed His children Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses…And He dwelt among them in the wilderness. He was always with them, leading them by a pillar of cloud during the day and fire by night. He fed them manna from heaven, which represented the bread of life, Jesus Christ, that they should be instructed and live by every Word that proceeded from His mouth.

 

As God’s representatives on earth, it was parents who were given the responsibility to instruct their children. Indeed throughout Proverbs, He points us to this truth. For brevity’s sake, I will just share a few of these verses, but suggest that you read the entire book of Proverbs and have your children copy the verses on this topic.

 

Proverbs 1 “Hear my son your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.” Proverbs 3 “My son do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you….”

 

Proverbs 4 “Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father, and give attention that you may gain understanding. Hear my son, accept my saying and the years of your life will be many…My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my saying…For they are life to those who find them and health to all their body…”

 

Proverbs 6 “…My son, observe the commandment of your father and do not forsake the teaching of your mother; bind them continually on your heart…For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light; and reproofs for discipline are the way of life….”

 

Proverbs 23 “Listen, my son, and be wise, and direct your heart in the way. Listen to your father who begot you, and do not despise your mother when she is old. Give me your heart, my son, and let your eyes delight in my ways.”

 

So what is our covenantal duty? Psalm 78 says, “Listen, O my people, to my instruction; incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth. For He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers that they should teach them to their children, that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments.”

 

And what does God require of us? “You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.” Deuteronomy 11:19

 

“Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons.” Deuteronomy 4:9

 

Homeschooling does not stop after your children marry. It continues as they have children and those children have children. Parents are commanded to continue to disciple their children’s children.

 

When Christ turned 18, did His Father tell Him that He did not need to listen to Him any longer? Or did Christ suddenly become independent of His Father? Scripture shows us that as a man in his thirties, Christ came to do the will of His Father. In fact He said that He could do nothing apart from His Father; that it was not His will, but Thine be done!

 

What a different understanding than the humanistic mindset of our scattered culture today where each person does what is right in his own eyes for his own benefit.

 

We must remember the Rechabites in Jeremiah 35 where it says, “We have obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, in all that he commanded us, not to drink wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons or our daughters, nor to build ourselves houses to dwell in; and we do not have vineyards or fields or seed. We have only dwelt in tents, and have obeyed and have done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us.… Then Jeremiah said to the house of the Rechabites, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, that God of Israel, “Because you have obeyed the command of Jonadab your father, kept all his commands and done according to all that he commanded you; therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not lack a man to stand before Me always.’”’”

 

Although this was actually 300 years after Rechab, God blessed their faithfulness to their forefather because God always blesses covenantal faithfulness.

 

Hebrew Education

 

Our Hebrew forefathers understood their covenantal duty to train their children to serve God not only in this life but also for the eternal life hereafter. The driving religious philosophy of the Hebrew education system was their God. The emphasis was reverence for God and obedience to Him, reverence for parents and obedience to them, and covenantal multi-generational faithfulness resulting in family continuity.

 

Parents took care of the mind, body, and soul of their children. And since they considered children essential to the success of the family, and because a godly seed was the sole purpose of marriage and indeed life, they integrated their children into every aspect of life—worship, work, and recreation.

 

Parents faithfully discipled their children by instructing them with God’s Word and training them by working together to serve their own family, church, and community. Consequently, their children were dependent on God and devoted to their parents. They honored them and worked by their side as they dedicated themselves to and invested in the welfare of the entire family. And it was these families that formed the foundation of their church, community, and nation.