Why Do We Homeschool Our Children?

by Alex on June 14, 2012

 

Often we are asked why we homeschool.  Its honestly a fair question.  What might shock you is that our main answer isn’t about trying to make smarter kids.  Its not about trying to protect our kids from social influences of other kids.  So with that, we thought it important to write an article (one that we will continue building upon with each and every article we write) and let you know why we feel so strongly about why we homeschool our children.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine,
for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. II Timothy 3:16-17

If you take nothing else from our article or site, we encourage you to at remember this: When we have any question we might be dealing with, no matter how large or small, we must first ask the question, “What does the Bible say about that?  The apostle Paul states very clearly that the Word of God truly equips the man of God for every good work.  The Word of God is not simple our worship manual for Sunday mornings.  The Bible is not some guide that we simply use to find guidance for our spiritual lives and then forget it for our “secular” lives – or in other words, our lives from Monday through Saturday.  No, the Bible itself tells us that it truly equips us to be complete and prepared for everything we do.

Obviously we don’t believe that the Bible is the exhaustive textbook for every bit of knowledge in the universe.  But we do believe the Bible does sufficiently give us what we need to be equipped for the work we need to complete.  For example, the Word of God might not tell us in detail how write a business plan for our next business, but truly the Word of God gives us plenty of directives from using just weights and measures (Deut 25:15) to the number of days we may conduct our business (Ex. 20:8-11) and everything in between.

With that, when we consider the education of our children the first thing we must do is ask what God has revealed in His Word about the education of our children.  We must at least ask the question whether the Bible even addresses that topic.  If nothing else, if Christians would at least ask that question before anything we do we would be much better off.

Let’s take a look at a few Scriptures and see if the Word gives us any direction.

You shall teach them [the Law of God] diligently to your children,
and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way,
when you lie down, and when you rise up. Deuteronomy 6:7

And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath,
but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4

God commands His people to teach His Law-word and His precepts to their children.  God requires fathers to bring their children up in the training, nurture and admonition of the Lord.  What we see here is the command for parents to teach their children.  We don’t see a command to teach chemistry, calculus or many other subjects.  What we see is a command to disciple our children.

First, often in a day that provides a plethora of church activities for children it can be easy to forget these commands and think instead that its the responsibility of the church to teach our children.  That the main responsibility of parents is to ensure our children arrive at their activity on time and ready to learn.

That’s not the meaning of these commands we see in Scripture.  Its the responsibility of parents to ensure we are actively and actually discipling our children.  It is our responsibility to raise them and teach them diligently.

You may ask then, couldn’t this be accomplished by a quick devotional at night and a quick prayer before bedtime?  Well, first we notice the word of Deut 6:7.  The command is to teach these things to children as we sit in our house, when we walk by the way, and we lie down and when we rise up.  Which part of our schedule is not covered in these words?  It appears that the command is written to show that in all of life, in each moment of the day, these commands are to be taught to our children.  In every area of our lives and the lives of our children we are to be taking the time and opportunity to instruct our children in the law of the Lord.

And didn’t we also just mention that the Word of God is sufficient for every good work?  And that everything we consider (or even teach to our children) should start with asking what the Word of God says about it?  Well, Scripture actually states this exact principle in another way:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7

In everything we teach, no matter whether its the Word of God itself or even calculus, the Bible itself says that truly the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, no matter what it is.  When we consider the education of our child, we see that the Bible itself is focused first and foremost on the discipleship of the child.  We are to ensure that we are teaching our children the law of God, every word that proceeds from the mouth of God in every second we live and have our being.  And we are to ensure that no matter what we teach them that we always remember it all starts with the fear of the Lord.

When we are teaching, even homeschooling, our children, we must first remember that we are discipling our children.  When we are ready to learn, we look to our God in heaven and ask Him to help us understand what we are studying in context to Him.  When our children struggle with pride of accomplishing something that took a lot of work, we take that opportunity to remind him that pride is a sin and that he must repent before a Holy God and in turn thank the Lord for the knowledge and strength to accomplish that task.  Each second we teach our children, if we are faithful that is, we should be taking the opportunity to do exactly what God has commanded.

We hope that what you are hearing is we homeschool our children because we see the explicit commands to be about the business of discipling our children.  We instruct our children in the Law-Word of the Lord, even when we are teaching English, math, or any other course, we are doing it with the initial intent to disciple our children and encourage them to use the knowledge they gain to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ even as we train our children to be ready to serve their Lord in their calling (vocation) and even disciple their own children.

Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin,
it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck,
and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18:6

The question might remain then why do we find it so critically important to do all of this in a homeschooling environment.  Are we trying to say that to do otherwise is sin?  I’ll only answer that by saying that it appears the most effective and best way to accomplish these commands of God is in a setting where the children can be around the parents as much as possible and to have those opportunities to teach and nurture as we parents should.

At the end of the day we know we must stand before a holy God and answer for how we raised our quiver, those precious arrows with which we have been entrusted.  And we believe that the best and most faithful way to teach our children and follow those directives of God is to teach our children in our home.  The words of Jesus Himself gives us cause to heed His warning and at least consider whether there is a better way to raise our children.

Do we think we are perfect?

No, actually we are far from it.  We continue to struggle with our sin.  In fact, we are even more humbled when we look to our children we see our own sin.  We know our own failings and how we are not faithful in what we have been commanded.  But we pray for God to strengthen us and to use what we try to teach our children, even in spite of our failings, to raise them up in the fear and the admonition of the Lord.

Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

We pray that even in the feeble and weak ways we teach our children, that God will be faithful and keep them from walking away in the end.  We cannot guarantee the salvation of our children, but we pray that God will use our feeble attempts to obey Him and even seek to take the education of our children to the Word to keep our children in the faith when they grow old.  In a world where the current estimates show that 75-88 percent of Christian teens are walking away from the faith by the end of their freshman year of college, it tells us that what we are currently doing is not working.  So instead of adding another youth program or throwing more money at another organization, our encouragement is to try what God has commanded and for parents to take seriously the command to train up their children in the fear of the Lord.

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