I’m giving a talk tomorrow at a Home School support group on
Why Home school? Here’s my notes!
“A vision for the future gives purpose for the present”
A. Introduction- I am a mother of 4 whom I home schooled throughout their education. I’m going to talk about why I home schooled, some of what I taught, how often and how long . I’m sharing a life-long vision and passion that was foundational to my life for 30 years as a home school mom. It is a Biblical foundation that I feel is crucial to grab onto in order to make the tremendous sacrifice of home schooling!
- How I started in the ministry of family-Biblical foundation
- It began with becoming a mom- in full time college ministry when I became pregnant with first child. God specifically told me that parenting would be a far greater ministry than what I was doing with Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship. I loved my role of discipling young leaders to lead others in the 2 timothy 2:2 style of teaching. I had seen several individuals come into the Kingdom and had the privilege of discipling them in the Word.
- God said “these children would be my disciples now, and that the influence I had on them would be more far reaching-impacting generations and would be my spiritual legacy.”
The words MINISTRY, DISCIPLING, IMPACTING GENERATIONS, AND SPIRITUAL LEGACY all really got my attention.
He was speaking my language. I had felt the call of ministry on my life when first saved as a teenager, not even thinking I would be married.
B. Family is our Primary ministry and calling
- God completely shifted my paradigm showing me that Parenting and FAMILY was His primary heart and way to reach the world. Family is ministry!
- He modeled it with His Son Jesus- Their relationship is a model for how we are to live our lives-children with their father.
- He set it as the prototype for how things would be run in the garden with Adam and Eve.
- He told them to “take dominion over the earth, and to be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it.” Genesis 1: 28
- They were to become united and one flesh, which was the beginning of marriage and family.
- Paul even goes on to use this verse and says that marriage represents Christ’s union with His Bride, the Church. This is the profound mystery he refers to in Ephesians 5: 31 Let this blow your minds!
- Family- God’s primary ministry- Ephesians 5:31-6:4
- Paul teaches about marriage and parenting in this section of scriptures-that a husband and wife are to love and respect one another and that their children are to obey and honor their parents Eph 6:1-4.
- He quotes the ten commandments,
“Children, if you want to be wise, listen to your parents and do what they say and the Lord will help you. “Honor your father and mother which is the first commandment with a promise-that it may go well with you and that you may live a long life on the earth.” V.3 , Ex 20:12, Dt 5:16
10. These are the first words of instruction on family-husbands and wives: love, respect, children: obey and honor your parents You will be wise, things will go well and you’ll live longer- We all want all of this for our kids!
C. Parenting 101
- The third mandate to the parents is in verse 4 of this same chapter in Ephesians “Bring your children up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” TPT says, “ raise them in discipline and counsel that brings them the revelation of the Lord.” 6:4
- Paul knows the OT scriptures and uses them as his source here- He quotes the verse that Moses was given in the 10 commandments then follows it with the same instruction given to them by God in the book of Deuteronomy.
- Why, what is the result of following this instruction? Fearing, honoring, loving God according to the original text: “These are the commands the Lord directed me to teach you, so that you and your children and their children after them MAY FEAR THE LORD YOUR GOD AS LONG AS YOU LIVE. By keeping these commands that I give you so that it may go well with you and you may increase greatly. Deut 6:1-2
- God instructs his people here in what is known as the greatest commandment-“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and with all your strength. These commands that I teach you today are to be on 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. FEAR THE LORD AND SERVE HIM ONLY.”5-7
- So far I haven’t really mentioned the term home schooling, but isn’t this what these verses are referring to?! This is essentially God’s instruction for parenting, which is to train, instruct, talk about everywhere we go, in everything we do ABOUT THE LORD! These verses lay out what God’s expectations are of us! It’s all from Him
- “What does God require of us, His people but to fear Him, to walk in obedience to Him, to love Him with all your heart and to observe the Lord’s commands I am giving you today for your own good. “ Deut 10:12
- Ultimately God wants a relationship with us. That is the object and goal of God. It is not about obeying for the sake of obeying!
- It is throughout the scriptures that these instructions guarantee results, results which should also be our ultimate goal for our kids as parents! What is this!? Trusting God
a.” Pay attention to what I am saying, apply your heart to what I teach, for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips”
Why? So that you may trust in the Lord, I teach you today.” (Proverbs 22:17-19)
He wants us to trust Him. He wants our children to love and trust Him.
- Solomon, the author of Proverbs even says, “If you train your children up in the fear and instruction of the Lord, they will not depart from it. Pro 22:6
This is a guarantee, a promise from God, that when our children are older they will not turn from this instruction in wisdom .
- I believe that the highest privilege and goal in our parenting is to lead our children to love and trust in God. It IS what we are to teach our children at home and everywhere they go every day!! These verses make it clear that this responsibility is given to us as parents and grandparents.
- Timothy, Paul’s spiritual son who ultimately took over his ministry, was first instructed in the word by his mother Lois and his grandmother Eunice. They started reading to him in ”infancy” 2 Timothy 1,3 states.
Paul says that this, the instruction in the Word, led to His salvation and relationship with Jesus! The Word is “written by the Holy Spirit and the powerful tool that empowers by instruction, correction, gives you strength to take the right direction and leads you to paths of godliness. Then you will be God’s servant , fully mature and perfectly prepared to fulfill any assignment God gives you. I Timothy 3:15-17
This verse is showing us that instruction in the word can bring a standard of behavior into our child’s life that leads to godliness, strength, maturity, and an equipping to do what God assigns them!! This is huge! The Bible needs to be a huge portion of the curriculum we use to instruct our children!
Timothy’s mother and grandmother first planted the seed of faith in Timothy’s heart through the word, Paul watered it and God blessed it so that it multiplied as a ministry that has now been passes down to us. It is our ministry, our call
“Faith comes from hearing, hearing of the word of God. Rms 10
My grandparents and parents prayed for me to come into the Kingdom. It was their influence in my life that led me to Christ. They read Scriptures to me and presented Christ as the way back into relationship with the Father. I turned and taught my children from the word every day in their lives and it shaped them into who they are, more than anything else! This is our privilege and responsibility.
D. Summary Why home school? Because I believe we can obey God more easily when we do-we can instruct our children at home as we see in Deuteronomy, Proverbs and Ephesians. We can bring them up in the instruction of the Lord if we don’t home school, but it is so much easier if they are with us the roughly 40 hours per week they would be in school.
When are we to do this? All the time, starting from when our kids are tiny and until they are out on their own! Psalm 1 says to meditate on the word day and night and you will be successful, prosperous, fruitful even in drought! Bill Johnson, senior pastor Bethel Church, says that “Biblical meditation is the most essential component in the body of Christ today to help our children to have courage and success and live a healthy Christian life.”(Josh 1)
I didn’t talk about academics today but I did teach them to my kids. I think they had a greater capacity to learn them as they were connected to God every day. I taught them how to have a relationship with Him, spend time with Him, pray, worship, and meditate on the word every day- they all do to this day!
They went on to attend William and Mary(Emily and Jessica), earn a BA and Masters in Occupational Thearpy at JMU and is now working in neuro at Johns Hopkins(Clara), and graduate from Va Tech)Nathan). They served in campus ministry at each of these colleges as student leaders on fire for the Lord, which has been immensely more fulfilling than my serving there.
The two oldest have our first 3 grandchildren and the parents are teaching them about the Lord from the word-This is our spiritual legacy-It matters! It is your ministry to home school and raise your kids in the Lord!!
Please Psalm 78:1-7 read! We teach our children about the Lord at home and they will trust and fear Him and not depart from it when they’re older!