Ep. 148 Is Homeschool the Only Option for You?
Shows Main Idea – Do you believe that the Bible teaches it’s every parent’s responsibility to homeschool their kids? Some people teach that you could make a case for this worldview in Deuteronomy 6:4-9. What do you say?
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“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to 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. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” – Deuteronomy 6:4-9
You must distinguish between “a” way of doing things and “the” way of doing things, and the Bible does not teach “the” way to educate children in secular academics.
Homeschool, public school, or private school fall under the category of “a” way of fulfilling this secondary matter regarding our children. There is no one size fits all when it comes to school choice. Each parent has to consider the best option for each child, which could mean a different choice for each child that is under the same roof. You want to be:
- Spirit led – How is God leading your family?
- Biblically informed – How is God’s Word directing your decision-making?
- Communally advised – How is your community influencing you positively and negatively?
- Seasonally discerning – How are you discerning and adapting to the changing needs of your child?
Education-centric and Biblical Success
One of the most sensitive areas in which parents have a hard time trusting the Lord is when it comes to their child’s education. The most common temptation is that some parents are too education-centric, as though academics is the key to a child’s success.
Part of being education-centric is a misunderstanding of what the Lord would like to see from our children. Joshua gives us a purer insight as to what success is, according to the Lord.
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. – Joshua 1:8
Parents should be Biblio-centric rather than education-centric, meaning they should be more concerned about their children knowing the Lord than knowing math or science.
If God’s Word does not shape the character of a child, their future brilliance will be one of their biggest hindrances that keeps them from becoming a person after the Lord’s heart (Acts 13:22).
If the child is missing this main thing (Matthew 22:36-40), rest assured that your school choice decision would not benefit your child in the way he needs.
Man-centered and God-centered
- Man-centered parents work harder at academically educating their children.
- God-centered parents work harder at helping their child to grow in and apply God’s wisdom to their lives.
School choice is first and foremost a faith issue:
- I believe (faith) that my primary job is to teach my child about God and His Word.
- I believe (faith) that the most important thing for my child is to love God and love others more than anything else.
- I believe (faith) the Lord will take care of the future needs of my child.
Before you make your school choice decision, you should settle on these prerequisites:
- Do you know the difference between academic success and biblical success?
- Have you clearly and biblically worked out what real success is?
- Are you practically teaching your child how to have biblical success?
- Do you believe God will provide the future needs of your child?
- Are you resting in the truth of Matthew 6:19-34?
- How are the truths of that passage bringing you peace, while releasing you from the fears that some associate with school choice?
Don’t Over-Think This
If I could leave you with three things, it would be these:
- Parents over-think, over-steer, over-control, and over-worry school choice because it’s easier for them to do these things than it is for them to trust God.
- I know parents who make much of their children’s education while their personal lives or marriages are dysfunctional. This posture is a mistake of gigantic proportions.
- School choice is a personal thing, and there is no right, perfect, or only way to educate your child.
Ten Tips to Consider
- Make loving God and loving others the main thing for your child to learn.
- Discern your child from the inside out.
- Ask the Lord about your child’s academic education.
- Talk to a few close friends about these things.
- There’s no one size fits all.
- There is a way for each one of your children.
- Don’t flaunt your way as the way.
- Don’t fall prey to the opinion of others.
- Don’t compare your child’s progress with another child’s.
- Don’t brag about how smart your child is.