Christian family life, homeschooling, humor, and articles for your encouragement and edification

Christian family life, homeschooling, humor, and articles for your encouragement and edification

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Teaching Our Children How To Teach Series Part I: Keeping Your Feet at Home

The Great Commission:  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.  Amen. (Matthew 28: 19-20)

Men: ....and the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. (II Timothy 2:2)

Women: ....the older women likewise, that they be...teachers of good things-that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed 
(Titus 2:3-5).

Our Lord is The Teacher and we are to be conformed more and more into His image.  

Mothers, how can we nurture Biblical teaching skills in our children so we can more effectively build the Kingdom of God and foster generations of literate, even brilliant, future believers who can replicate themselves?

A few, random, but real life pictures I snapped one day of the various ways my children are learning to teach.

My eighteen year old, Hayden, (here with a head cold!) grades the American History papers she assigned to her fourteen and sixteen year old siblings.  She is also responsible for teaching them American Literature this year.

 Hayden goes over an assignment with her fourteen year old brother, Harrison.

Hayden, as well as her sister, Emily, have been learning how to teach reading skills.  Hayden works with her eight year old brother, Joseph, on his Language workbook assignment.

Harrison quizzes Joseph on his spelling words.  Although Harrison may not be the primary homeschooling parent one day, he will be expected to do this........

......lead and teach his family through devotionals and Bible study.  Here my husband, Scott, prepares before we meet for our daily family Bible reading/discussion.  My sons will also need this skill if they are to be qualified for church leadership (I Timothy 3:2).

Topic 1
Keeping Your Feet at Home (Proverbs 7:11)

     Throughout the Scriptures, a reader can find numerous accounts of families where a man of faith brings forth children who lack his integrity, excellence, and obedient ways.  It happened to Noah, Abraham, Samuel, David, numerous kings, and Job, just to name a few.  The Bible commands us to teach and train our children.  I want my children to love and serve the Lord all the days of their lives, but I also want my grandchildren and great grandchildren to serve the Lord as well! This desire led me to the conclusion that I must not only teach my children the basics, but I must also teach them how to teach others.  Some day, if the Lord tarries, my children will be expected to train up their own children - one of the most important responsibilities the Lord has given them.  I can't neglect to ensure that my children are equipped to teach and train the next generation of believers!

    As a Christian woman, I am expected to eventually mature enough spiritually to teach children and other women.  As a mother, my primary teaching responsibility goes to my own children.  The Bible warns women of our fallen nature and weaknesses:
1. We desire our husband's position. (Genesis 3:16)
2. We are more easily deceived than men (I Timothy 2:14)
3. In I Timothy 5:11, Paul warns the church against financially supporting young widows. He writes that their desires will inevitably lead them astray - even wanton against Christ.  He states that they have tendencies to be idle, to wander from house to house, become gossips and busybodies, and say things they ought not.  Paul's solution?  Let the young widows marry, have children, and manage the house.  Why? To give the adversary no opportunity to speak reproachfully.  Is this only a risk for young widows?  No.  This is a risk for all young women.  The healthy yoke of a busy, well run home protects them.  If you are convinced that you are immune to these tendencies, go back and read number two.

As for the men?  Well, they have sinful tendencies of their own, but I am not writing to them.  

   None of us are immune to stumbling and we must be vigilant and remain in the realm we have been given.  In God's great wisdom, He has decided that the best place for a woman to be conformed into the image of His Son is in the home serving a husband and children.  Can you think of a better place besides missionary work to deny yourself, serve others in a sacrificial manner, and to develop the fruit of the Spirit?  We must embrace this assignment and stop running away from it.  A good soldier never leaves her post!
   As a Christian mother who sincerely believes that homeschooling is truly the best option for her children, I have been saddened by the trends I am seeing in my own homeschooling community:  placing children back into the school system for financial reasons or simply out of frustration, becoming more and more dependent on co-ops and support groups, and running around so much that school is rushed, disorganized, and unfruitful.  I do not want my future, homeschooling daughters to fall into these traps!
    A couple of years ago my husband lost his job.  You know, it never even occurred to me to put my kids into public school and go back to my career.  That was simply not an option.  The souls of my children were not worth risking. We lost our home - but not our kids.  God came through and placed us into an even better home and my husband into an even better job.  We survived and what was truly the most important to us remained.
    I have participated in co-ops and believe they can be a great service.  If you don't speak French, for example, and your child desires this language credit, a course is a wonderful opportunity.  Be aware, however, that relinquishing all subject areas is no longer homeschooling your children.  That is private schooling.  I was deeply convicted of allowing my children to participate in classes taught by other homeschooling mothers knowing that I was contributing to something I believed was destructive to their own homes. If I believe mothers need to spend more time at home, then I shouldn't be taking advantage of the ones who haven't discovered that yet.
    Some women feel bored and restless after being home all week.  Well, our husbands have to be at work all week, but they're not allowed to abandon their posts.  It is common to feel bored and restless anywhere, but the home is not the culprit.  It is the attitude. Make your home a lovely, interesting place and you won't feel this way!
     When I taught public school, I wouldn't have dared to hang on the phone, spend hours on the computer, and leave to run errands while I was on duty.  I was expected to show up on time, have plans for the day, keep a clean, well-organized classroom, manage records, and do more than just "give assignments".  I was there to teach and teach well.  I would have been fired for anything less.  Should the world have higher standards than the servants of God?  Are the children of strangers worthy of better attention than my own?
      How does "keeping my feet at home" teach my children how to teach?  I obviously do not stay home alone.  My children are with me.  Many young people today don't keep their feet at home either. Everybody is running around, "going to and fro" (Daniel 12:4). My children, especially my daughters, must learn to be content to stay put.  If they do not learn to do this, they will be more likely to embrace our world's overstimulated, selfish ways and flee their homes and children when it is their turn to train.  When I stay home and stay focused, I am modeling to my children the first principle of good teaching that the Lord demonstrates to us daily; a commitment.  I am saying, "I love you and you are worthy of my time and best effort.  I am here to take care of you.  You are more important to Mommy and Daddy than money and my selfish desires for attention, accolades, and "me time".   I am here to help you. Our school time is important to me.  I am not going to farm it off onto somebody else because I don't feel like doing it myself.  If I seek another to mentor you, it is because I have prayerfully sought the Lord for someone better equipped in this particular area.  I embrace you as my responsibility and I do not resent it.  I am training you for a kingdom, precious child of God, and you are my sweet offering to the Lord."