Christian Homeschooling: Am I Teaching My Children the Right Things?

Even the most avid homeschool family stops periodically and asks, “Are we teaching our children the right things?”  Heavily swayed by outside pressures and our own influence by the state’s agenda, Christians easily lose focus of our educational responsibility before the Lord.

R.C. Sproul Jr. has written one of my favorite books–a book I think every family needs to read and then revisit several times a year. When You Rise Up “cuts through the haze surrounding the educational debate by offering a biblical approach that is elegantly simple without being simplistic.”  (Greg Harris)

I am always recharged and inspired when I pick it up.  I wanted to share a few thoughts with you from the book:

“We don’t start with the state’s curriculum, and then attempt to find a Bible passage to justify each part.  Rather, we start with the Bible and go from there, learning evermore of who God is, of what he has done and of what he requires of us…..”

Sproul takes a practical look at Scripture and explains its rock solid instructions for telling parents how to educate their children for “the good life.”  And the methodology?

“Here is how God wants us to educate our children–he wants us to talk to them.”

No, Sproul doesn’t throw out formal learning or text books.  But he rightly challenges us to get our priorities in order as we follow God’s curriculum.

“Why do we teach our children to read?  Most people, if they are honest, would explain that their children need to learn how to read so they can get a good job.  That it’s a tool for personal peace and affluence….we ought to teach our children to read so they can know God better.”

He describes the three G’s–what the Christian’s goals of education should be: teaching our children who God is, what God has done, and what He requires of us.

Another word that really hit home to me…(paraphrased)

“All parents DO teach their children ‘when they lie down and when they rise up’.  Psychologists say, ‘more is caught than taught’. Whether by abdication or diligence, whether we delegate our job or not, we are always teaching our children what is important about life.”

and…

“…we blend together the worship of the true and living God with personal peace and affluence….we cut God this deal:  ‘Lord, we know you are the master of all things.  We know you are the lawgiver.  So what we’re going to do, while we worship personal peace and affluence, we’re going to serve that God in accordance with your law. You will give us ethics, but the other god will give us purpose. We will pursue the world’s vision of the good life, but we’ll pursue it without stealing or committing adultery. We’ll pursue it, but we’ll be sure to pay our tithes along the way.”

I could quote the whole book, but there are babies to teach and housework to be done.

I would challenge you, as you embrace this awesome task, to wipe the slate clean of preconceieved ideas and go to the Scripture to find out how we are to teach these children.  Look to Jesus for his example.  Teach them history which begins in Genesis and “continues through to today’s morning paper.”

And one last word from Sproul:

“We are doomed to fail if we don’t teach our children why we teach our children, so that they in turn will teach our grandchildren.”

When You Rise Up by R.C. Sproul Jr.

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