Another Generation After Them
- Thursday, January 15, 2009
So how can we successfully pass on the vision to our children?
Understand the Vision
First, have a clear understanding in your own heart and mind of the fundamental reasons you chose homeschooling for your own family. It’s harder for us to pass on the vision if it’s fuzzy in our own minds.
Take some time to write down the top five reasons you opted to homeschool your children. (If you can include your spouse in this, so much the better.) Are you homeschooling in order to pass on your faith? To build character and virtue? Give better academic instruction? Have greater flexibility in overseeing the influences which shape your children’s young minds? Perhaps all of these will make it onto your list. Perhaps you’ll think of others to add as well. (If you come up with more than five important reasons, go ahead and write them all down.)
Regardless of what your specific list may contain, write it down. Keep that paper, and refer back to it as often as necessary to keep the vision alive in your own heart. You may want to go over the list a few times per year: Once at the beginning of the school year to rekindle your vision, once during the middle of the year to keep your vision strong during the daunting days of winter, and once after the completion of the school year to evaluate how well you did in measuring up to your goals. You could even post the list in a prominent place in your home so you can easily refer to it as often as needed.
By writing down your reasons for homeschooling and referring back to them regularly, you’ll have a clear idea in your own mind of the vision you want to pass on to your children.
A second important step is to be absolutely committed to Christian home education. If you feel that homeschooling is God’s will for your family—if you feel the call of God to train up your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord—then don’t waver in that calling.
Remember that homeschooling isn’t just about the academics; if it was, it would be easy to pass that responsibility on to someone else. We need to broaden our view and see homeschooling as full-spectrum next-generation discipleship. Yes, academics are a part of that, but they are certainly not the whole. Our objective should not simply be to raise smart children. Instead, we should aim for nothing short of raising a generation equipped in every way to accept the responsibility of spreading and building the kingdom of God in their time.
When we view Christian home education in this light, we begin to see why total commitment to our responsibility to train the next generation is so vitally important. When we abdicate that responsibility, we’re not simply entrusting the academic instruction of our children to others, but are leaving the formation of the next generation in the hands of those to whom God never gave that calling.
Make a commitment today, if you’ve never made one before, that you’re in this for the long haul. For the sake of your children, your children’s children, and all future generations for as long as time lasts, decide in your heart and mind today that homeschooling is your vocation, your life’s calling.
Communicate the Vision
Just as we can pass any other belief or set of values on to our children by talking about it—explaining our belief and and clearly communicating why we hold it—we can do the same with the vision for Christian home education.
First of all, if you’ve never explained to your children why you homeschool them, now is the time to do it. Get out your list of reasons, and explain as much of it as you can, in an age-appropriate manner. (Obviously, due to the moral decay in our nation’s schools, some details may have gone into your decision to homeschool that wouldn’t be appropriate to share with younger children—leave those details out, but explain as much of the rest as you can.)
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