Discipling our children is quite the weighty task. In fact, there’s few roles more important than spiritually investing in the souls God’s entrusted to us. And…
I’ve had experience with all types of schooling. All good experiences I might add.
Growing up, I went to a public school for most of my education, except for a 3 year hiatus in which I was homeschooled. In college, I went to a Christian university (where I received a teaching credential). As an adult, I student-taught at a public school, and later taught at a private Christian school. When my husband was a Jr High Pastor, I spent time discipling youth from all types of schooling. And as a mother, I’ve ventured into the world of both public school, and homeschool. All that to say, I’m familiar with all types of educational methods.
In fact, I strongly believe all schooling options have potential to be great options! Of course, there are pros and cons to every method, but each can be great. That is, if we maximize the benefits, and make up for the weaknesses inherent in each schooling method.
And that is what I plan to write about for the next several weeks (with the help of some moms who are discipling their children in different schooling contexts).
We’ll think through the main issues that come up in each schooling method, and hopefully provide some practical ideas to encourage you in your discipleship efforts.
But to start it off right, let’s talk about a foundational issue:
Anytime we think about schooling, or any other parenting decision, we should take a step back and consider our foundational purpose. Our goal isn’t to raise kids who are fulfilled, well-rounded, and happy. And our aim is not to set them up for a successful career, a healthy-life, or even a childhood of great memories. These things may happen, or they may not. Either way, our job as parents is to disciple our children. We want to teach them about their Maker and point them to the truth that has power to not only change their life, but alter their eternity. Furthermore, we want to show them how to follow Jesus in everyday life.
In many ways our job as parents is more simple than we make it.
In actuality, God’s parenting commands are few. The Bible tells us to teach our children to obey (Ephesians 6:1), discipline them when they do not (Proverbs 23:13-14 ), see them as a blessing (Psalm 127:3-5), provide for them (1 Timothy 5:8), refrain from provoking them (Colossians 3:21, Ephesians 6:4), teach them God’s instructions (Ephesians 6:4), and teach them often about God and his ways (Deuteronomy 6). Other biblical principles apply to parenting, but those are God’s most direct commands to parents.
Essentially, our job is to send our kids into adulthood fully prepared to live a successful Christian life (with success measured by God’s standards). And whatever education method we use should fit under that goal. In fact, wisdom tells us we ought to strategically use every opportunity the years of schooling provide to accomplish this key parenting goal. And thankfully, there are plenty of opportunities awaiting us (no matter which schooling method we’ve chosen).
So join me next week as we begin tackling this important topic!…