Growing up during the early years of homeschooling and watching it grow to the mainstream choice it is today has afforded me a view from the stands. The look of a typical homeschooling family, along with the reasons for their choices, was very different 20-30 years ago. The majority of homeschoolers were ultra conservative families with deep convictions on raising up the next generation, passionate about bringing about a revival to our nation through the means of educating a remnant.
Today, we live on the liberty and freedom fought hard by those before us, and homeschooling has become mainstream. Although there are families who have strong convictions about the absolute must of any parent to homeschool, this is a fading trend. The majority of families who homeschool do so on a year by year decision. Homeschooling is no longer a lifestyle choice, but one of the three options: public, private, or homeschool.
Can Homeschooling Really Bring Revival?
I recently heard a conversation in which the topic of “homeschooling bringing revival to our nation” was being discussed with passion. As I often do, I reflected on the thoughts and reasons behind this idea, appreciating a desire to see our nation glorify God, yet also practicing caution, knowing that formulas and methods often reflect a desire for man to take things into his own hands.
As a mom, should my work and efforts in homeschooling take on bigger meaning and purpose? Should I simply focus on getting through the day or have a well thought out dissertation on the ultimate goals and how they play out into society?
For most of us, we have put some thought into homeschooling, but much of the decision was based on affordability, time management, and stress. So how do we keep a grip on today while trying to make an impact on tomorrow? It’s simple, because the gospel is simple.
Ten Simple Actions
Reading through Philippians, I realized ten simple things I could do in my homeschooling journey to make a life-long impact on my children, allowing them to used by God to make an impact on this world.
And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgement. Philippians 1:9
Successfully educating our children is based on having a relationship in which we can transfer knowledge. This must begin with an // atmosphere of love // that continues to grows each and every day, setting the example of how life should be played out.
That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence until the day of Christ. Philippians 1:10-11
Throughout the formative years, it is imperative to set an example of excellence through hard work as you school the kids, get dinner to the table, or tackle the mountain of dirty clothes. Allowing our children to learn valuable skills in responsibility, hard work, and faithfulness is invaluable.
But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel. Philippians 1:12
On a daily basis, I have conversations with the kids that help them understand that everything // both the good and the bad // is meant for a purpose. In the victories of the light bulb moment when a math concept is understood, the momentary inconvenience of having a dishwasher break down, or even the experience of the pain of a death in the family, our responsibility is to help our children process each situation in light of a bigger purpose.
Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel. Philippians 1:27
Thinking through the many challenges of homeschooling, having everyone together // 24 hours a day, 7 days a week // has to be in the top five. Learning to get along and maintain a peaceful home life in order to school required a great deal of attentiveness and understanding. These attributes are essential to living a gospel centered life. As moms, we have the ability to make or break this atmosphere of peace in our minute by minute choices of response.
Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Philippians 2:3-4
I often chuckle as I recall memories of our little ones fighting over toys. The process of training children to think about the priorities of others over our own selfish desires starts at a very early age. Showing an example of what it means to // do life // with a constant awareness of others requires us to understand what issues are worth a struggle versus those proverbial hills we will not die on.
Let this mind be in your, which was also in Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5
“Worldview” is a buzzword these days, but teaching it doesn’t require a certain curriculum. Instead, training children to have the mind of Christ requires setting a daily example in our decision making. Conveying your thought process and reasoning behind your actions is intuitively training your children.
Who, being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God. But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. Philippians 2:6-7
Each day brings new joys and challenges. Assessing the daily needs, then setting out to rearrange your schedule along with your expectations, is the model of service we can exhibit for your children. This model is the essence of Christlikeness, and is more often caught than taught.
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:8
I’ve always found this verse so interesting. If you read it with a bit of reverse engineering, you will discover that the // fashion of a man // is pride and disobedience. That said, it seems daily consistency and endurance is needing in the fight for humble obedience. These are the lessons a teacher must show students through interactions and exchanges. It’s a daily lesson with frequent pop quizzes and tests.
Do all things without murmurings and disputings. Philippians 2:14
It can seem senseless to speak of teaching joy. Joy is an emotion or a state of being. However, there are times in which we can utilize training that helps develop an environment where a state of being can flourish. In this verse, I am instructed not to complain or fight back when asked to do something. By training children from a young age to receive instruction with the right attitude, we are essentially training joy into their lives.
That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world. Philippians 2:15
We convey expectations to our kids throughout the day. These expectations range from getting the beds made and math done to help with dinner dishes. As we are faithful in teaching all aspects of the gospel, the natural lesson that is being caught is a goal to glorify God in all that // we say, do, and think. // As kids get older, more deliberate conversations on life choices begin to take shape under the umbrella of gospel thinking.
You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. Martin Luther King, Jr
Is homeschooling the answer to revival in America? Will the fruit of a homeschooling generation be the impact upon tomorrow for the glory of God? I’m not sure. But what I do know is that the gospel gives us a guide to teaching that allows us to practice what we preach, develop a beautiful home life, and, most importantly, rest in the sovereignty of God as he brings revival where he sees fit.