Walk into a room with a group of strangers and one of the first questions someone will ask you is, “What do you do for a living? What is your job?” Ordinarily, this refers to one’s vocation. In the life of a homeschool family, particularly the homeschool where Mother is usually the primary teacher, it encompasses far more than vocation. It is a way of life.
It is fulfilling the command of God for Christian parents to be the principle teachers and protectors of our children. It is making one’s home, a Christ-centered home, one’s never-ending school of life.
The Homeschool Verse
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your
God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These
commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them
on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk
along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” (Deut. 6:4-7)
Here is the mandate that most Christian homeschoolers build their foundation upon. This verse is uniquely important to Christian homeschool parents and families as it reminds parents that God has specifically given them the responsibility of impressing God’s teachings and His commands upon the hearts of our children – HIS children. Not a stranger in the building down the street, not Grandma and Grandpa, not even their Sunday School teacher or their pastor.
There is something special, something lovely and spiritual about the bond between parents and their children. God has instilled this relationship of love and intimacy between parents and children, particularly Christian parents and children, because, from the beginning, He expects parents and children to spend large amounts of the day with each other. This is as it was meant to be. What better way to spend the day then with those that you love? Who better for a child to learn from than someone who loves them like no other and wants the very best for them?
As the numbers of homeschoolers grow it is more and more apparent that a growing number of Christian parents are coming to this realization as well. Jesus said,
“A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like
his teacher.” (Luke 6:40)
Mike Farris, of Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), put it this way, “Your children will become the disciples of the person with whom they spend the majority of their time and from whom they receive instruction. If they spend the majority of their time with their peers, they will become disciples of their peers. We call it peer pressure. Should we be surprised when a substantial number of children from solid, believing Christian homes reject their parents’ faith and embrace the life styles and philosophy of the people by whom they have been discipled?” [emphasis mine]
Parents, not the state, are solely responsible under God for the education their children participate in and learn from. They either take responsibility or relinquish it to someone else; they choose who it is who surrounds their children, who influences their speech, their mannerisms, their worldview, their relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. The justification I hear so many well-meaning, but misguided, Christian parents use while sending their children off to the lion’s den of public school, is that they want their children to be witnesses for Christ. They trust that their five year old darling or hormonal teen is mature enough in his faith and understanding of Scripture that he can defend the faith and evangelize his classmates without either falling prey to their influence or being sent to detention by the teacher for using language that is banned in the classroom and playground. Usually, the Name of Jesus Christ while not being used as a curse.
One must then remind those parents that there is no place in Scripture where God either delegates the responsibility to teach Christian children to the state or where God tells someone to send their children out to evangelize among the pagans. That task is left to mature adult Christians.
Now, someone may say, “What about Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego?” Turning to the Bible we read,
“Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring in some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility…He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians.” (Daniel 1:3 and 4b) [emphasis mine]
First, they were captives in a foreign land. They had no choice but to obey the pagans who had captured them…at least, for a while. Secondly, by God’s grace they had come from a godly home and obviously had been “homeschooled” in the Scriptures before their captivity. They were forced by that foreign government to learn the ways of the culture. But, the third detail we find is that their childhood training gave them the godly foundation to stand upon as young men. Because they were trained by their parents who had impressed God’s commands upon their hearts, and because of their faithfulness to God due to that foundation laid by their parents, God was faithful to them and caused the hearts of many to be turned to Himself…including the king.