4 Moms, 35 Kids will be talking about menu planning and budgeting for food this Thursday.
This is simply a continuation, so if you haven’t read Your Child’s Heart: How do you Find the Time? Part I, please do so to understand the context.
Having a priority of building strong, solid relationships with your children will affect your decisions in regard to education and curriculum choices as well as activities outside of the home. An obvious and practical way to spend more quality and quantity time with your children is choosing to homeschool.
I realize that this is obvious. If you stay at home and take a daily, active roll in teaching your children reading (so they are able to read God’s Word), writing (so they are able to communicate God’s truth to others), history (so they know how God has dealt with His people throughout time), math (so they realize that God is a God of order and logic), science (so they are amazed at God’s majesty and power), etc. then you will be spending more quality and quantity time making disciples of your children than you would if you delegated that responsibility to someone else.
When I was 11 God allowed my mother to be diagnosed with cancer and given 6 months to live. It was one of the best things that God did for our family. Through my mother’s cancer my parents began to homeschool us. This decision dramatically changed our family for the BEST in more ways that I can articulate and probably in more ways than I even know.
Don’t get me wrong, we were a strong family that loved the Lord before we began homeschooling. My father was a pastor and strove to obey God in all aspects of His life. We children were attending a small, solid Christian school and my parents were spending time each day teaching and instructing us in the ways of the Lord. I had made a personal profession of faith as had my younger brother (9) and sister (7). (We also had a 2 year old brother and my mom was pregnant.) All this merely to point out that God did not use homeschooling to change an apostate family that was broken and heading for trouble into a solid family who loved the Lord. The changes were more subtle than that, but not any less drastic.
Our family grew much closer to each other and as a result we were more ready and strong to stand together against a declining culture even when it seemed that we were the only ones. As children, we learned to respect and turn to my parents for advice and wisdom in a deeper way. We also became more confident in following God even when it went against popular opinion. I still see that in my siblings now that we are adults. None of us have taken the wide and easy path, we are all passionate about following the Lord and serving Him where He has called us and so long as we are serving God it doesn’t much matter what others think. One interesting note: All of us who have children have chosen to homeschool and the others hope to in the future.
The true blessing of homeschooling is not measured in academics (although homeschool students do perform well academically), but in family.
However, homeschooling alone will not automatically build the relationships that we are seeking. We must make purposeful decisions about how we homeschool with the focus on obeying God by making disciples and building relationships.
If each morning you give your child a list of assignments to complete and they go off, complete the assignments and bring them to you to check OR if you are running this child to Latin class, that child to violin, then the first child is off to a history class and child number three needs to be taken to a speech then there is not much more quality and quantity time spent with your child than if you dropped them off at school in the morning and helped them with their homework in the evening.
I’m NOT saying that sending your child to Christian school or homeschooling in one of these ways is wrong. Simply that if you make these choices you must work harder and more diligently to find time with your children to build these relationships. God has given the responsibility to educate to you and these are your decisions to make. I AM saying that I think homeschooling offers so much more than giving your child a stack of textbooks or running them to 10 – 15 classes each week.
Consider choosing a homeschool curriculum or developing one that allows you to directly teach your children. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). Consider choosing something that allows children of various ages and various levels to be learning the same things (at different depths) and working on the same projects (at varying levels of skill) and consider using discussion as one of the main methods of checking comprehension and application. These things will all help build relationships and enable you to be actively involved in making disciples of your children throughout the educational day. This method of home education gives you an amazing opportunity of getting to know your children, where their strengths lie and whether or not you have their heart.
Homeschooling in a manner that is focused on building relationships and making disciples can be an excellent way to spend quality and quantity time with your children.
I’ve done a series of post about how we homeschool . I’m not sure that it’s finished so if you have questions or would like me to post about a different aspect, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know.
Other posts in “Your Child’s Heart” series:
- Your Child’s Heart?
- How Can You Tell if You Have Your Child’s Heart?
- What’s Your Responsibility (Discipline)
- What’s Your Responsibility (Instruction)
- It Requires Time
- Our Insufficiency
- The Pearl’s and Your Child’s Heart
- How do You Find the Time? Part 1
- How do You Find the Time? Part 2
- How do You Find the Time? Part 3