In June, we wound down our 3rd year of homeschooling. How 3 years have passed already is beyond me. Although they say time flies when you are having fun, I can’t say that’s the reason time has passed by so fast.
Truthfully, it’s been a hard uphill battle adjusting to the homeschooling life, having an infant who’s now a toddler, trying to revive a love of learning in a kid who had lost it due to learning difficulties, and teach a perfectly fine kiddo plus still manage to keep up with the housekeeping and gardening/ outdoor tasks. It has been a tall order. And then we added another pregnancy to the mix and Little Miss joined us almost 6 weeks ago! (I’ll post some pictures soon, I promise.)
It has had its amazing moments, too, don’t get me wrong. Witnessing Little Bro get a good grasp of his Math- to learn addition and subtraction and then move on to multiplication and division. Seeing Big Bro beginning to get a handle on 3+ syllable words after starting at an early 1st grade reading level. Watching the tenderness of a relationship between Little Bro and Baby Bro develop has been amazing. Seeing Little Bro become quite a diligent little worker outside of school has been neat. Big Bro has been growing in his self control and maturity of handling tough situations where emotions are concerned and watching his heart soften towards his new baby sister has melted my heart. Yes, there have been many good and proud mama moments despite the hard ones.
Of course, this mama’s heart is constantly looking to do better and support the boys’ growth spiritually, academically and personally. It’s a continual process to provide the best environment and lessons to help them be the best they can be.
In my search, I have come to seek and question what makes for a quality Christian education. And as our 3rd year wound down, I yet again began to reevaluate what curriculum I was using, what I’m teaching, how I could make it better and what I will use in the coming year. Once again I seek to find curriculum and resources that will bring them closer to God and further them in their own personal walk with Him.
In my searching, I came across a video series that discussed Literature and Biblical world view in light of a solid Christian education. Something that’s been on my mind began to come into focus. As I have chosen curriculum to help Big Bro, I have been disappointed in the fact that special ed options do not have a Biblical world view or components to them. For a boy struggling in his faith and with his character, he’s exactly the one I would rather have immersed in the things of the Lord. For Little Bro, who is academically fine, I have found great faith building options.
Now that I have them both reading, however I am looking for a literature program with a biblical worldview. Although I had already come to the conclusion that a biblical worldview is not something you teach as one course in high school but rather a mindset that is cultivated throughout their whole lives, the series challenged me to pursue it. So what I choose for them to read and how it’s analyzed is super important, even in these early years.
It’s up to me, now, to teach them to keep Christ at the center- the center of their personal lives, their academic lives and their spiritual lives. It’s my job to point them to Christ each and every day in all things. Although I cannot guarantee the outcome of their lives, it is my responsibility to be obedient to my calling from the Lord and let Him handle the hearts of my kids.
As we studied the 10 Commandments recently, we learned that not having any other God’s before Him really means that we can’t put Him into Sunday and leave him out the rest of the week. Rather, He needs to be a part of our days and weeks, relationships, play and work. The commandment is really a call to keep Him at the center of every part of our lives.
I simply can’t ignore what has been laid on my heart and then expanded on. Through the trials I have been brought through, God has brought me to a place where He is in every part of my life. He has completely changed my perspective and I am beginning to see how that’s going to affect my parenting and teaching.
The video series I watched was an interview with Kevin Swanson from Generations. He brought out an amazing application from the story of Daniel about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego that really affirmed and inspired me.
In the book of Daniel, we read the account of Daniel and his friends refusing the bounty and lavishness available to them from the kings table, requesting vegetables and water instead. They had, as captives, found favor in the sight of the Babylonian king. They trusted God to take care of them and provide for them when they turned down the pagan culture’s solutions for health and wellness, which was available to them because of the king’s favor.
In the same way, we can trust God for our children’s education while focusing on good quality, Christ centered literature and godly authors and leave the world’s “great teachers” out.
When asked how he would respond to these questions concerning the curriculum: “Well, is it possible for a curriculum to be too Christian? Is it possible for it to present this kind of rosy glow view of the world that isn’t really accurate to how things are?”, he responded:
“Well, I think I would respond as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego responded. They were subjected to NEBS University. Right?
This is NEBS University, they had the T-shirt, NEBS University, and they were brought into a secular university, and yet they were willing to forgo the king’s meats. They were willing to say, “We’re not going to study these aspects. We’re going to stick with vegetables.” Now, if you stick with vegetables, I wonder what will happen. I wonder if God would bless you, even if you did not subject yourself or your children to all of the king’s meat and all the humanist ideas that are presented in all of the great and classic literature of the day. I wonder what would happen? I wonder if perhaps God might bless you anyway, if you didn’t inculcate all of those things into your children’s minds and lives. And I think He would. I think if you seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness first, all these things will be added unto you. Now, it’s a trust issue. It’s a faith issue. You’ve got to believe that God will bless you if you honor Him. God honors those who honor Him.”
That application to that familiar story really gripped me. Of course God is going to honor those who honor Him even, especially, when it’s counter-culture. Especially when it’s a situation that will clearly and explicitly bring glory to Him.
Going into year 4 with a 6th grader really has made me stop and think. Our time to instill a good, solid Christian worldview and God- pleasing character cannot be wasted!
I’m so thankful for God’s guidance and work in the homeschooling dads and moms who are still working hard to help other moms and dads find the resources and perspective to give their kids a solid biblical worldview and foundation. And I’m so grateful God has helped me understand this perspective as well.
God led me to some pretty cool curriculum, something different for each boy that is solid in its core. I am using Trail Guides for Learning and Masterbooks with Big Bro, Heart of Dakota and Christian Light with Little Bro. Baby Bro is even doing a Bible centered 2/3 preschool program from the Heart of Dakota and I’m so excited to start his learning journey from the beginning with him. I am looking forward to seeing God move and work in the boys lives this year.
We’ll see what this new year brings!