In the end…
When people hear the term home-schooling, they think of many things. Their thoughts may be prejudiced (for better or worse) by people they have met who were or are home schooled.
Despite my frequent usage of the term, even to describe what we do, we don’t home- school in our home. We are not schooling our children.
Schools have their purposes and they generally serve them well. They keep children occupied and supervised while their parents work. They instruct children in the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic, although the efficacy of this is debatable. The purpose of schools is to produce employable adults and to encourage behaviour within societal norms while discouraging anti-social and criminal behaviour.
Our purposes are vastly different. We are not out to produce employees, but disciples. We aren’t out to perpetuate societal norms but transcend them by encouraging Christ-like behaviour.
Christ-like behaviour is not a subject assigned a curriculum and designated a discreet portion of the day. Discipling is not completed between 9am and 3pm.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: 5And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. 9And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.”
Discipling is a 24/7 undertaking. Children see, they take note. They see you snacking on chips or chocolate outside of meal times and they learn to desire that too. They hear you get frustrated at interruptions and cringe as you turn frustration to anger and shout. Then when they get frustrated, you need not wonder where the ensuing tirade came from, as it is an overflow from your own heart to the hearts of those you nurture and disciple.
They also see you take time to pause during an important task to kiss a sore finger or read a book. They see you hiding in the darkness of your bedroom, on your knees, silently crying out to God for the strength needed to make it to the end of a difficult day.
They see when you choose to read a blog or read your Bible. They see when you greet your husband with a kiss or with a litany of complaints about the occurrences of the day. They see you, even when you think no one is watching. They *know* you.
In the end, when we meet our Maker, is He going to want to know about the year long study of medieval history you completed or whether you lived with a meek and quiet spirit? Is he going to praise you for your up-to-date decor and clothing, or will he thank you for your unseen service to the smallest of the children of God. Will he care if your children know the periodic table of the elements but do not know Him?
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.