Inspired by Exposing the Seven Major Blind Spots of Homeschoolers by Reb Bradley.
Homeschooling is a challenge, in case you had not yet noticed. As a parent, this endeavor will test you and call for great sacrifice – sacrifice of which your children may not understand the value of until much later. You chose to educate your children at home because you love them and want what is best for them. That is a pure, God-given desire. Like all pure, God-given desires it doesn’t take much to get off track and wind up pursuing some else, something less.
I had read an article on Joshua Harris’ blog called Exposing the Seven Major Blind Spots of Homeschoolers by Reb Bradley and was impressed by his insight and honesty. Looking back on our own homeschool journey, I can see how some of these factors caused struggles for us. Rather than just re-state what Mr. Bradley has offered I will encourage you to read the article (there you go) and offer a “Ten Commandments” for homeschoolers as an admonition to keep your focus and efforts where they belong: on following Jesus and training your children to do likewise.
The first of Bradley’s blind spots is “Self-Centered Dreams.” What he means by this is we as parents often set goals and impose expectations on our children based on our own wants, desires, and dreams rather than fostering their own. Therefore, commandment number one is: You shall uphold biblical standards in your home and recognize the freedom in how they play out in the lives of the individual members of your family. We are instructed to “Train up a child in the way they should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6, emphasis mine). In other words, you need to be students of your students and nurture their strengths and God-given passions and desires, even if they don’t match your own.
To teach your child is simply to pass along information. To train them is to walk through life with your child and help them figure out how principles are applied and lessons lived out. There are plenty of choices and decisions that are not wrong, they just aren’t what you would choose – even if they do choose poorly, God is not afraid of our failure. Your child needs to make their own mistakes so you can show them how to bring failure before God and find forgiveness and grace. In other words, you model for them and with them how to live in right relationship with God.
God is at work in your child conforming them into the image of his Son just as he has been at work in you. The beauty of this process is that though we have one Savior and Lord there is great diversity in how God shapes each of us. If we are raising our children properly we will help them become who God has for them to be; not who we want or expect them to be. That requires you to surrender your child to the will of God, to seek God and follow His direction as you teach and train your children. You want them to honor and live by biblical truths and allow those immutable truths and principles to affect their decisions and direction, wherever God may lead them. Keep the desire to do what is best for your children, but be sure you are pursuing what is best, not just the good thing that you want for them.
Follow the link to read The Ten Commandments of Homeschooling – Part 2 of 10