Well, so far in this series I’ve posted a little about us and the beginnings of our homeschooling journey, how I felt something was missing despite my planning and working so hard and how God pulled me up and put me on a clearer path, with Him as pilot. I wrote about developing a family mission statement and today I would like to share just a little of our lifestyle and how it looks, what sort of books we use in this pursuit of a Bible based, Cross-centric lifestyle of learning.
There is so much curricula available (and I have owned much of it) but we have prefer to study God’s word directly rather than reading commentaries and regurgitated thoughts of man- regardless of how good or noble those thoughts. We desire that our children go directly to God’s word on matters so this means that the primary curriculum on our shelf is the Bible…it’s our main textbook. We also have a good dictionary, Bible handbook and other reference books.
Many modern publications or Bible study books are good but they may have been watered down or they omit teachings on important biblical matters. Bible study is much more than a fill-in-the-blank approach. To be truly authentic and genuine we must teach by living it, modeling it. This is much more effective than any Bible curriculum one can purchase…but be careful, it’s not for the faint hearted- it’s life changing. I have come to see that this homeschooling journey is actually about me. Not in a modern worldly “me” kind of way but by nature of the fact that God wants me to desire Him, to hunger for Him. God does have an agenda behind all this homeschooling business – That it will lead not only the children, but me, to a closer walk with Him.
God’s initial goal for Christian homeschooling families is not the raising of godly children. Instead, God’s wonderful, but subtly hidden agenda is that the homeschooling experience be so challenging for the parents that they feel the need and hunger for a closer walk with their heavenly Father.”
~Wisdom’s Way of Learning by Marilyn Howshall
The Bible is a window into our own soul and heart so that we can understand ourselves, our needs. God spiritually feeds us through the word. The Bible instructs us as to salvation, forgiveness, how to live, how to please God. It isn’t just ‘history’ rather it is His Story! It [the Bible] does more than tell us facts and figures and stories…it tells us why we are here on earth and where we are going. Many other books can point to God but only this one book shows us what God is like. Other books are helpful and beneficial, encouraging, thrilling, informative, entertaining, comforting and beneficial in other ways but only God’s word is life! This book alone can give a glimpse into the mind of God…give us a perspective of eternity. Just as the body needs to be physically nourished by good food, so our heart and mind needs sustenance. It is not simply the words in this book that satisfy the hunger in our soul rather it is God Himself. Just as regular exercise is necessary for a healthy body, so is daily exercising of the mind. What better to nourish the mind on than the message of God?
Rather than start with a state curriculum or generalised outcome based objectives (that have been decided upon by someone else) and then attempt to use the Bible to fill in any gaps, or cover Bible study as though it is just another subject, we start with the Bible and move forward from there: to learn who God is, what He has done and what He requires. This becomes our world view…and our world view will teach more than any curriculum or textbook. Yes, every subject can be taught through the Bible. After all, what is history if not His Story? What is Science? All scientists must think critically and independently. Geography is really the study of God’s created earth and so on.
We use a variety of resources and methods and they’re all good (CM methods, Classical, notebook, natural-learning, etc) but this approach has been what we have found most successful and achievable in instilling vision, purpose, self motivation in all of us. We believe this will prepare us and our children for vocational, entrepreneurial, career or ministry vision.
I don’t believe it mattered that I’d been homeschooling for a few years already. God is King of New beginnings! I asked Him to give me a vision for our family. Through studying His word I’m learning how to hear Him, how to be guided by him and how to recognise and trust the voice of the Holy Spirit. God knows my teaching style! He knows my children’s learning styles! And He has a purpose for us! He is personally directing and guiding me, as I turn to Him and submit my all to Him. This has accomplished more godly fruit that I’d been able to by my own efforts.
Am I recognising God’s call for our family? Am I seeking Him for direction…for guidance in curriculum choices? Am I resting in Him, submitting everything (academic goals and dreams) to Him? Am I listening to Him and observing my family? Am I putting wholesome, literary books filled with rich ideas before the children? I want to do these things, watch for the spark …then allow the children room and time to dig further.
Write the gospel, a chapter each day…write it by what you say and what you do. Your children read that gospel, whether faithless or true. What is the gospel according to you?