Thursday, March 13, 2008

Why Homeschool - Part 2

Here's some more from Phil Lancaster:

The Method:

God's method of education is revealed in Deuteronomy 6:7-9. Speaking of God's commandments it says, And thou shall teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

True education occurs any place ("home and road") and any time ("lie down and get up"). The parents are to be the constant companions of their children, teaching them God's view of life at every opportunity. Every child of a Godly family will live unceasingly in an environment that is saturated by God's Word, and his parents will be creating that environment.

Since the purpose of education is to love God with the whole heart and to have His commandments lodged in the heart, the method must be one which reaches the heart. Discipleship-along-the-road living with the two people to whom the child is closest (his parents) is God's method for reaching the heart of the child.

Our educational method must reflect a Biblical understanding of truth and life. The Greek/Western worldview sees truth as ideas that can be reduced to printed pages and considered in abstraction in a classroom. In the Biblical/Hebrew worldview, truth is personal (Jesus said, "I am ...the truth." John14:6); while it can be expressed in the statements of Scripture, it is always connected to life and conduct (...speaking the truth in love... Ephesians. 4:15). Truth is not only something we can know, it is also something we can and must "do" (1 John 1:6). God's truth is only communicated truly in the context of relationship. God did not just give us the written Word of truth, He gave us his Son and fills us with Himself (Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 1 John. 4:15).

The Goal:

Education ought not to be seen as an end in itself. Nor should it be viewed in terms of mere academic or social preparation for life. Knowledge, by itself, is nothing and leads only to pride (Knowledge puffeth up... 1 Corinthians 8:1). We could give our children the very best academic preparation in the world, and only end up making them more effective instruments in the devil's hands. No, God has something higher in mind.

Understood in its broadest terms, education is character training. God is in the business of transforming people. He is creating a people who have a living relationship with Himself. The beginning of the process is simply to take God seriously in everything or, as Scripture has it: the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge ... (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10). The end of the process is mature people who know God; and who, knowing Him, love him; and who, loving Him, obey Him in all things.

The path of safety and blessing is always that which adheres most closely to the revealed will of God. Home education as we practice today falls short of the perfect pattern set forth in the Scriptures, but it is certainly a big step in the right direction-because home education is God's idea.

But the bottom line for us is, I really feel like it is what we are supposed to be doing. I don't think I am particularly good at it, but it seems to be, at least for now, what God has in mind for our family. Maybe that's why. If my kids are growing and learning in spite of my feeble efforts, God is definitely the reason. To Him be the glory.

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