Most folks who know me know that I LOVE homeschooling and wish everyone would try it. However, I really think that home discipleship is a far more important issue. I can homeschool my sweet ones all day, make sure their academics are rigorous, plan numerous field trips, and schedule extensive science and history projects. I can make sure that they learn several foreign languages, play piano, and participate in sports, dance etc. and completely miss the boat.
I can still have unruly, undisciplined children.
“The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.” Proverbs 29:15
“He who withholds his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently.” Proverbs 13:24
“Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.” Proverbs 22:15"
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4
I can still fail to teach the girls to love the Lord and His ways.
“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:5-9
I can still unwisely plan our calendar.
“He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Proverbs 13:20
“Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals.’” I Corinthians 15:33
I can miss true knowledge and wisdom and just fill their heads with “stuff.”
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever.” Psalm 111:10
“For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.” I Corinthians 1:21
“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.” Colossians 2:8
While I obviously think that schooling choices are important, it would seem that much more important is what we do with the time we have with our children. What are we intentionally or unintentionally pouring into their lives? I wish I could say that we started out with an understanding of home discipleship vs. homeschooling, but we didn’t, and I’m sure there is so much more that we still don’t “get.” I was pouring myself into the girls’ academics with little thought given to anything else.
For us, the motivation to homeschool has become a mission of multi-generational faithfulness, that our children and their children will walk with the Lord and not turn away from Him. God gives us His plan for this again in Deuteronomy 6.
"Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the LORD your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it, so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.” Deuteronomy 6:1-2