"Christian home education is a ministry of discipleship."
– quoted from Educating the Wholehearted Child
"Homeschooling is a ministry of discipleship."
– Ivana Ries (at homeschool presentation in SA, November 2005)
"No amount of earthly possessions could ever replace time invested in a child’s life."
– Accelerator (ACE publication, March 1998)
If you have children my message to you is this:
Parenthood is your calling!
Homeschooling is your ministry. It is part of fulfilling your role as primary educator for your children.
If you believe that the Bible is the Word of God to guide us in our life on earth, then listen and see the mandate given:
Prov 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent]…
2 Tim 1:6 That is why I would remind you to stir up (rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning) the [gracious] gift of God, [the inner fire] that is in you…
Eph 6:4 Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger, but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord.
2 Tim 3:14-15 But as for you, continue to hold to the things that you have learned and of which you are convinced, knowing from whom you learned [them], and how from your childhood you have had a knowledge of and been acquainted with the Word, which are able to instruct you and give you the understanding for salvation which comes through faith in Christ Jesus.
Deut 6:4-7 Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord [the only Lord]. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your [mind and] heart and with your entire being and with all your might. And these words which I am commanding you this day shall be [first] in your [own] minds and hearts; [then] You shall whet and sharpen them so as to make them penetrate, and teach and impress them diligently upon the [minds and] hearts of your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up.
Mal 4:6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers.
Whether you call yourself a believer or not – the mandate still stands and I believe we will have to give account as to what we have done with it. If you are a believer, to keep or to put your children in public school is actually a RISK you are taking. The risk is big and the effects long term.
What are your reasons for not homeschooling? Are they really good and valid reasons?
If you are homeschooling:
Here I am not talking about wasting time as in watching too much TV. I am referring to wasting time by being too busy (with things, activities) and gaining irrelevant knowledge and skills that has nothing to do with developing their potential.
For most of us the challenge is not too few things to do, but too much!
Are we spending enough time with our children – training them up in the way they should go – in keeping with their individual gifts?
Will other people do that for you? How much do other people your children spend time with, really care about them and their life mission?
If you are a mother and you are not spending time with your children – what are you really busy with?
Many of these questions are merely an attempt to assist you to reflect on your own spiritual journey...
Have you been discipled? Was is effective? Do you understand how to disciple your children?
The good news is - you do have a choice.
If you are a believer anything is possible. It may at times feel overwhelming but it is not an impossible task, but you are not doing it alone.
If you are a believer in God, then as you seek Him and His wisdom He will empower, enable and encourage you as you grow in relationship with Him.
The wonderful (and scary) thing about knowing that homeschooling is your ministry is to understand that each family is unique. Therefore your journey might not look like your friend’s journey or anybody else’s…you need to figure this out for yourself. It is a faith walk.
What is God saying to you now? What must you do and not do?
Do not compare.
Find out what God has planned for your family as a unique family. What are the things you like to do or don’t do?
When do you feel energized, motivated and encouraged? When do you feel discouraged and despair and doubt?
Look out for the signs of things you enjoy VS the things that drain you…and learn to concentrate on the things that make sense for you as a family.
Let us fulfill the mandate – let us discover our mission in this ministry of homeschooling!
Closely related to this concept of ministry is Discipleship in homeschooling, where the journey is taken step by step in the practical how do you do this.