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April 4, 2011

Homeschooling Series Part 3: Bringing School Home or Homeschooling?

Is there a difference between bringing school home and homeschooling? This is a question we began to ask ourselves years ago? And we have come to the conclusion that there is a difference, a big difference.
When we talked about home schooling our children many years ago, we pretty much had the idea that we would just take the format of public school and do it in our home. This way they could still have schooling but we could control what our children learned  plus be the primary influence in their lives.

Then came the time to start school with Joshua and Jennifer.  We got all the material and began our homeschooling journey. Everything was going along quite well.  But after some time we came to the realization that in our enthusiasm of wanting to home school we did the only thing we knew how…..we brought school into our home. And even though we had control over what our children were learning and we were the primary influence in their lives, we felt that there was more to be had from this home schooling experience. And slowly God started to show us what that would look like.
“Why did God give us children?” We knew without a shadow of a doubt that it was to train them and raise them up to be a light to the world and bring glory to Him. But how did this fit into our home schooling?

We knew that we wanted the Bible to be a very important part of our schooling. But that did not mean just reading and learning what the Bible says, but more importantly, being a doer of the Word and not just a hearer only (James 1:22). And to us that meant that a huge and most important part of our schooling would be teaching our children 1. to love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. (Matthew 22:37) 2. To love their neighbor as themselves. (Matthew 22:38)

Since we also knew our calling as parents is to train up our children in the way they should go so that when they are old they will not depart from it, (Proverbs 22:6) and to bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4) we realized that in God’s eyes teaching our children was more that just Math, Grammer, Science, Language Arts, Social Studies etc. Rather we are called to instill in them a love for God, build a strong foundation in their walk with Him and encourage them to submit their lives 100% to their Heavenly Father. This is what will  truly matter in the end.

And we soon came to an understanding that all of this wouldn't be accomplished in any curriculum or text book, but rather it was something that would need to become part of our life, all day long, every day of the week, 12 months of the year and every year of our child's life. Yes, there would definitely be a place for Math, Grammer, Science, Language Arts, Social Studies ect......but it would not be PRIORITY.

We believe that when we stand before God one day and give account of all that we have done in our lives, including how we parented our children, God is not going to focus on if we did or didn’t finish a certain Math textbook or Science curriculum etc. Rather we will give account on how obedient we were to Him  and if we taught our children to do likewise.

The more years we have children in our home, the more we understand that this time we have with them is so short. We know that their little hearts and minds will only be ours to train for a little while.  We know that once this period of their lives is over, we will never get it back again. And we know that we don't want to wake up one day and realize that in our busyness, or laziness we lost opportunitites to teach them the most important things of life. That would just be sad.



Mrs. Stam said...

You are so right, homeschooling is way more then "academic" it's training them in the ways of the Lord, educating their soul, and it can only be done with Him... what a privilege are we to have the task to train them :-)

Mrs. Stam said...

Ps, may I link this post to my blog, please!!!

The Pauls' Family said...

Mrs. Stam,
Thanks for your input.
Sure, feel free to link this post to your blog.

The Mayo Family said...

Amen-Rosalie this is something we "stressed" over for years! I still now & again have to have hubby remind me "Lori- we are a "home-learning family" not a schooling!
Thanks for sharing looking forward to part two!

Leanne said...

You have a very convincing argument. It would cause me to do some serious thinking if I didn't already share all of those thoughts. Your post was carefully worded and well thought out, and the best part is it was all based on Scripture.

Looking forward to the next part!

Clarissa said...

love this post and agree 100%!