On Monday I had the privilege of speaking to our local homeschooling association. This group has changed over the years and is led currently by some folks who appreciate the grace message. Of course, I long ago reconciled with the “Johnny One-Note” label, so I was more than willing to come and talk about Jesus and His grace, especially as it related to homeschooling. Since our family has homeschooled for 27 years, I had a couple of things to say.
I boiled the bulk of homeschool discussion and objections down to three questions: What’s the reason? – What’s the goal? – and – What’s the method? Each of these is answered by the same two words: Follow Jesus!
Why would someone choose to educate their kids at home? In spite of the hype, homeschooling offers kids an education that is open to some critique. Both homeschool and public school students can receive adequate, even exemplary education. Both can receive much less. Homeschool doesn’t make either the parents or the kids more spiritual, better behaved, or superior in any way. So, I suggested that the only real reason to homeschool is because Jesus has led you to do it. Follow Jesus.
What’s the goal of homeschooling? Besides the fact that some do it so they can feel superior, the primary goal seems to be to give kids a solid foundation of education/training so they will do well in life. But even Scripture says that the faster people don’t always win the race and the stronger don’t always win the battle. The most skilled person isn’t necessarily the one hired. So there must be something else. Education and training are important, but they are not the most important.
Then I stepped in it. I reminded people of a few famous homeschool names. David Ludwig, Couty Alexander, and Matthew Murray. All of them were homeschooled, raised in Christian homes, by parents who cared. But all of them murdered. Now, I certainly don’t know anything about these young men other than what I have read, but their situations should at least cause us to realize that education and training are not enough. I suggested that our primary responsibility, as parents, is to lead our children to follow Jesus.
Finally, I talked about tools, schedules, plans, and methods. All important and all good. But plans must be submitted to the Lord and the best schedule is the one He leads. In fact, the Lord is usually in the interruptions. The best method for homeschooling, and for life in general, is to get up in the morning and give the day to the Lord. Do your plans, but be prepared for His intervention. Goals can be changed, results can be mixed, schedules and tools ignored – when Jesus leads. And that’s good! Follow Jesus!
Well, maybe that’s the last time they will ask me to speak. Some of the people sitting there were quite blank. Maybe they thought I was being mystical. Maybe they had never heard anyone speak of homeschooling without pushing guilt and standards. Maybe they were wishing it could be true. I don’t know. All I know is that I was right.
Jesus is real and active in your life. He cares more about your kids than you do. He loves you and He wants good for you. Trust Him.