“(Jesus) is the only one worthy of worship. Folks, we do not worship the family. We do not worship home education. We do not worship patriarchy. We worship Jesus Christ. And as a church we exist to exalt and to worship and to bow the knee and to prostrate ourslelves before the Lord Jesus Christ. We don’t make much of the family. We make much of Jesus. If we get to a place we’re making more of the family or more of patriarchy or more of home education than we are of Jesus, then we are in a place of idolatry. We exist to bow the knee to Christ, to worship the Lord Jesus Christ. We exist to give to Him all that we have and all that we are just as these disciples when they saw the resurrected Christ, recognized that He and He alone was worthy of worship. We don’t worship styles. We worship Jesus. We don’t worship philosophies. We worship Jesus. And that’s who we are first and foremost. We are a people who are hard after God. We are a people who are passionate for Jesus Christ.”
Most of us as Christian parents understand that we need to help our children grow into fruit bearing believers. However, often parents aren’t content with the fruit a child does produce. Some parents want orange trees while another wants an apple tree, yet a third parent may work really hard to produce a kumquat. There is nothing wrong with any of the above fruit but the problem comes when you try to turn an apple tree into a kumquat.
How do parents do that?
A parent may value education and deem it to be very important. I’m talking the focus on education beyond the typically expected learning of reading, math and science, the upper levels of education. They work hard to teach their child everything they possibly need to succeed in educational endeavors. They may struggle financially paying for a special private school which should ensure their child’s advancement educationally. Education can be a fruit if the child becomes a believer. The child could grow to be a very sound seminary professor who writes a well referenced Systematic Theology Book, like Grudem or Hodge. The child could become a world renowned doctor who finds the cure to cancer. Education as a fruit all depends on the Christian walk of the individual. Otherwise that same well educated individual might write a book trying to refute the existence of Jesus or develop a test so that imperfect babies can be aborted at the time a women finds out she is pregnant.
There are lots of fruit and good works that we can encourage our children in developing. Depending on their walk with the Lord will determine if they produce bad fruit or good fruit. But what happens if their parent tries to change the fruit from one type to another? To me this verse references that idea.
Proverbs 22:6 (ESV) Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
What is the way he should go?
There are some ways that all children should go. They should be taught how to exhibit the fruits of the Spirit until they have the Holy Spirit guiding them along. Thus all children should bear the fruits of peace, patience, kindness and love like it says in Galatians 5:22. But when it comes to other matters we need the guidance of the Lord and also we need to know our children. While education itself is not a bad thing, we are not training our child in the way he should go if specific educational pursuits aren’t what the Lord has planned for him. See the Lord has good works planned for our children.
Ephesians 2:10 (ESV) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
God has your child’s good works prepared beforehand. We as parents are to strive to equip our children to do those good works not to choose what good works they should do.
Most everyone knows examples of how in the secular world parents seek to produce apples from kumquat trees even to the point of plucking off the baby kumquats and trying to graft apples to the tree. Such as the father who wants a football star son and is driving his son to achieve football greatness yet the son wants to develop his skill in photography. Or the mom who wants a poised ballerina for a daughter but the daughter loves working with animals. We, looking from our standpoint, can easily see the problems with these examples. Of course, we as Christians and even as homeschooling families would not do that. Or do we?
How many times do we see an older homeschooled child and think that is what I want my child to be like? I’m not talking character or respectfulness but the actual skills (the fruit or works). Maybe an older teen girl bakes wonderful cakes, breads and pies which not only blesses her family and friends but provides a steady source of income. Now there is nothing wrong with teaching our daughters to bake and cook. All daughters should have at least a basic grasp of cooking. But what happens if we push for our daughter to be another “Miss Baker” while her heart’s desire is to play the violin. Can music not be as valid and as good of a fruit as baking?
Maybe we’ve got a son who dreams of owning a large farm with homegrown cattle, chickens and vegetables. He loves to ride and work on tractors but struggles with sitting still for school. Now granted there is a reasonable amount of education that all children should receive. But does that mean the parents need to pressure that child into achieving high scores on the ACT and going to college when he would rather learn from “Mr. Farmer” down the road forgoing the expense of college.
I seem old lately. 🙁 Old when it comes to homeschooling, at least, partly because I’ve grown so much and homeschooling has become so much easier to me. See I’m not trying to produce peaches from my life when in reality I’m a cherry tree. Gone are the days when I’m searching for the perfect curriculum or the perfect parenting book. Gone are the days when I read about a family that homeschools feeling we have failed to do so much. That doesn’t mean that I don’t try new things or change things when something doesn’t work well. But I’m not driving myself to be what I am not.
Baking bread happens around here but it isn’t a daily thing. It is also isn’t something I feel I must do to be a good mom. We sew some, but I found that I can buy clothes from thrift stores cheaper and with less hassle than making all our clothes. I’ve learned to take good but slightly imperfect clothes and make them work by sewing slits closed, adding an insert to the top or layering items. We have animals, which works well for us but that doesn’t mean every good homeschool family must raise chickens and goats. We have a garden, but not enough to sell and raise money. One child plays piano and violin for the church. She also teaches lessons now. My oldest son is the one everyone comes to for computer questions and repairs. That is some of the fruit and good works we produce here. I’m striving not to force them into some preconceived mold of this is what a good Christian homeschool family produces.
How are you trying to force yourself into producing different fruits or good works than God has intended for you?
Do you find yourself pushing for your child to produce fruit not in keeping with the “way he should go” but just your preconcieved ideas of good works and fruit? Or even worse according to the ideas of another “expert” on homeschooling Christian children?
The data here is very interesting. It is a compelling reason to homeschool even if you ignore the main reason most Christian Families homeschool. While I feel homeschooling is important for building good strong Christian character and sound Christian doctrine, it is still good to know that we don’t have to do that at the expense of our children’s education. While good SAT scores are helpful that isn’t the bottom line for most homeschooling families.
Just a note: According to the chart homeschooling is saving American Tax Payers approximately 16 Billion dollars. That’s not petty cash!
My oldest son got me a Kindle last week. I wasn’t sure previously if I would even want one or use one enough to make it worth the money. Thankfully though the prices now are about half what they were two years ago. But since I now have one I have found it to be very easy to hold and read from, even easier than many books. We strive to take care of our books so even with a paperback we don’t turn the cover back upon itself. That will break the spine quickly and cause you to have a handful of loose pages.
The Kindle has several advantages:
- Holds up to 3,500 Books.
- Easily transported compared to carrying several books.
- The eInk is interesting. It looks so real we tried to pull the sticker off the screen only to find that the screen displays a picture even when turned off. It is very crisp looking.
- Mine is the 3G version which means I can download books anywhere. There are also other advantages such as email and internet which I haven’t figured out well yet.
- I have over 60 books on the Kindle and haven’t bought any of them. They were all Free Books for Kindle.
- There are a few games that the children beg to play. Actual word games! Such as Every Word.
- There is a good potential for using it for homeschool because so many of the free books are classics or history books.
- I can also download directly from Gutenberg Press. Free again! I like free. 🙂
- There is a highlighting and notes feature so I can copy important quotes and then later use them on my computer. Highlights and notes can be seen online if you desire to copy and paste them elsewhere by using the website Your Kindle Highlights.
- My son has also set up a way that I can send a web page to the kindle for later reading using RekindleIT or Instapaper.
- I can also put PDF’s on the kindle to read.
- Kindle Reading Apps are available for free for the PC, iPod and Mac and several other platforms.
- The kindle will read books aloud if enabled by the publisher. This is handy as we’ve been listening to Black Beauty while driving in the car. I can see where this would be helpful for beginning readers. Thankfully the Computer voice is better than the Computer Sam of years ago that read aloud every period and comma. But it isn’t perfect, yet.
- Turns out that with the free email address that you get with the kindle you can email yourself Word documents. They can be emailed as attachments and then the website will email them back for the kindle. This doesn’t cost anything, but it isn’t instant. There can be some lag time. These documents aren’t editable; however, you can add notes to them.
Others include Many Books,
Do you use a kindle? What do you use it for beyond the typical just reading a book? Bible Study? Homeschooling?
One reason I choose the homeschool group that I did, many years ago, is that I could be sure that they would stay aware of the political situation concerning homeschool. Several weeks ago they sent out a warning and now we have received an official notice from HSLDA. So below is a warning for those who homeschool in Alabama.
A memorandum from the Alabama state superintendent of education to all city and county superintendents dated September 24, 2009, has sparked a controversy regarding the church school option employed by parents providing home instruction to their children. The memorandum from Dr. Joseph B. Morton reiterates Alabama’s long-held position that the only legal means of “homeschooling” is by a private tutor who is certified to teach in the public schools. Morton’s memorandum recognizes attendance at a church school as an option for complying with Alabama’s compulsory education requirements, but any such arrangement is not recognized as “homeschooling.” The memo makes specific reference to the “enrollment and attendance” language of Alabama law as it relates to the filing of a church school enrollment form with the local public school superintendent. Merely being enrolled in the church school is not sufficient to fulfill the requirement that the student attend the school. …
Hopefully, the letter from HSLDA has resolved this issue and it won’t come up again. But there is no way the present government administration nationally will keep out of the homeschool issue.