You probably already know that homeschooling is so much more than doing school at home. But have you really thought of your main purpose as discipling your kids? I mean really. Is that your focus? I know I can sometimes get caught up in concentrating too much on curriculum, schedules, activities, and details. In doing so, I forget my main purpose of training my children’s hearts. We all at times can lose sight of our main goal. Teaching math, science, history, and language arts are all very important. However, if all we do is focus on our kids mastering each and every subject, we have not fulfilled our purpose. Here are five reasons why homeschooling should focus on discipleship.
It Is Our Calling
Whether we homeschool or not, our primary role as parents is discipleship, or training our children in the ways of the Lord (Proverbs 22:6). Discipleship merely means teaching your kids to walk with the Lord – to be followers of Jesus – in everyday life.
Throughout the Bible, God highlights the importance of leading our kids in the ways of righteousness and godliness. We are to make it a habit each and every day and incorporate it into everyday life.
It can happen in the middle of a math lesson, on your way to the grocery store, as you clean the house, or on the way to baseball practice. It’s not relegated to a certain day of the week or time of day. It’s just part of our every day, moment by moment focus. In Deuteronomy 6:6-7 Moses says,
“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.You shall teach them diligently to your children, 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.
He commands us to teach our children diligently in everyday situations. Homeschooling allows for far more of these everyday teachable moments. Embrace them. Make the most of them. Your kids will benefit.
And yet, this is not merely an Old Testament idea. In Ephesians 6:4 Paul commands us to “not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Again, he makes it our calling as parents. Not to mention Jesus Himself giving us the Great Commission to make disciples of all peoples (Matt 28:19).
But, it won’t just happen because our kids go to church Sunday mornings or because we merely have them home with us during the week. We have to be intentional about instructing our kids in the ways of the Lord.
So the next time there is an attitude problem or a fear that arises in your child, take the time to point them to Scripture. Be intentional to instruct their hearts from the Word. It’s going to take time and will most likely interrupt what you are doing. But, it is so well worth it!
Do you see the emphasis God places on discipleship for parents? There are so many temptations and competing ideals that our kids get bombarded with every day.
If we aren’t intentionally teaching our kids how to walk with Christ and making that a priority to our day, then we are missing our mark; we are losing out on opportunities that God gives us to train and teach our children. We are not fulfilling our calling.
Discipleship cannot be an afterthought. And it’s not something that gets in the way of our teaching. It IS our teaching.
It Brings Hope
In this increasingly dark world, discipleship can bring hope.
In Psalm 78 the author notes the importance of telling the coming generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, the wonders He has done, and His powerful might so that children set their hope in God and keep His commandments.
The world offers hopelessness. We want our children to have hope as they navigate life in this world. Where will that come from? We have to teach and model it as part of our normal life.
Tell your kids the stories of what God has done in your own life. How has he provided for you? When have you experienced Him personally? Help them see how He has been powerful in their lives too.
Those personal stories can transform and touch hearts. They will bring hope that the Lord can and will do glorious wonders both now and in the future for them.
It Builds Strong Character
Not only is discipleship our calling and brings hope, but it builds our kids’ characters too. If we don’t disciple and mentor them, they will learn to follow the ways of the world.
When we naturally interact with the Word of God and bring it into every teachable moment, we make it the ultimate source of wisdom, direction, and counsel. We show our children how to live, where to go for truth, and how to find answers to their problems.
Without character, our kids do not stand a chance in this world. If all we focus on are academics, we are doing our children a huge disservice.
They need to have strong moral values and compasses to carry them through this world. They need to know how to navigate problems, disagreements, and moral issues. Children need to learn how to act in difficult situations, to overcome adversity, and persevere through trials.
All of these situations require strong character and strength of heart. They are skills they will carry with them for life. As they encounter trials, walk alongside them. Teach them over and over, and over again.
I know at times working on attitudes and character can be draining! Sometimes it can feel like all we do is manage heart issues and disagreements between our kids.
But if we see these moments as times where hearts can be trained in righteousness and characters are built, then we can embrace them more easily.
There is the temptation to feel like handling character issues gets in the way of our schooling. We have to remember, teaching, training, and modeling character is the foundation of our schooling. Without it, even all the knowledge in the world can leave our kids ineffective in their lives.
And let’s be honest. God molds our characters in the process as well. Is it easy and comfortable? No. Rewarding and worth it? Yes.
It Nurtures Their Talents and Gifts
As we disciple our kids, we can help them discover who God made them to be. They can learn to appreciate who they are without the world telling them otherwise. With homeschooling, our children have more time to pursue their God-given gifts and talents. And they can learn how to use them for His Kingdom.
Children need to know that God has an amazing plan for their lives; that He wants to use them for His purposes. Provide opportunities for your kids to serve others and see how they might be gifted.
When you see your children excelling in an area, tell them so! Encourage them in it. Ask them how they think God might use their talent, skill, or gift for His glory.
If you can’t help them in a specific area, find mentors, tutors, or coaches who can.
Give them opportunities to explore their gifts and help them cast a vision for their future. So often, we can focus on areas that our children struggle with and that need refining. Remember to nurture those raw talents too!
It Develops Independent, Responsible Students
If we are helping our children develop strong character and learn how to walk through life loving and serving the Lord, it’s going to make them better students too.
Discipleship can impact every area of life. As we teach our children to take responsibility for their actions, sins, and life decisions, they will start to take ownership even of their education.
And while this may not happen overnight, in time, little by little, there will be growth that produces fruit. They will become independent learners and responsible students. When heart issues are dealt with, their lives are changed for the better in all areas.
I hope this post has helped you understand why homeschooling should focus on discipleship. Has the fire for discipleship in your home been rekindled? I hope so!
I would love to hear from you on how discipleship has looked in your homeschooling. And of course, if you have any questions, leave a comment and I will be happy to get back to you.