Last year, we heard Israel Wayne speak at a homeschool conference. Many of the things he said resonated with us, but one statement he made blew me away and ever since then I have been trying to find the words to express to all of you what it has meant to me.
“2 fish + 5 loaves does not equal a Christian worldview education.”
That may seem a bit obvious, but really let it soak in for a moment.
That great little workbook from that fabulous Christian publisher that includes Bible stories and moral lessons on every page is not necessarily giving your child a Christian education. You cannot think that simply because you place Christian materials in front of your children that your job is over and they are somehow going to soak it all up and become a Christ follower via the cutely illustrated Bible stories they read every day.
Take a look at Prov 4:11 (in fact, take a look at the entire chapter! Good stuff!) –
I have taught you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in right paths.
This is a father speaking to his son, but in this chapter he also mentions the child’s mother and her teachings as well. The point I want to make here is contained in these words…
I have taught
I have led
This is not someone else’s job, and you would think as homeschoolers we would understand that. Unfortunately, all too often, we bring our babies home only to hand them over to that great Christian curriculum we bought at the homeschool convention.
But perhaps you are sitting there thinking,
“You’ve got it wrong! I DO teach the curriculum!”
That’s not what I’m talking about here. I don’t have a problem with Christian curriculum in workbook form or computerized form or independent study form. And it makes no difference to me if you are teaching every single subject or allowing for independent study in most everything, the fact remains, there isn’t a single curriculum out there that can give your child a Christian education because a Christian education is a living, breathing, ever-searching, ever-seeking thing.
We have to think bigger. We have to quit looking at the trees and start focusing on the forest. We have to lead our children in the right paths. We can’t expect anyone or anything else to do it for us.
If your day is so full of curriculum that you don’t have time to “go on a God hunt” (as Israel Wayne calls it), then you aren’t truly giving your child a Christian education. You are filling them with knowledge, but never leading them toward wisdom.
Bluntly put, you are wasting your homeschooling years.
So, perhaps the question isn’t, “Is your curriculum biblical?” but rather, “Are you using your curriculum in a biblical way?” Don’t go searching out your next homeschool curriculum based on how well IT teaches your child about Christ, but rather how well you can USE it to disciple your children and how well it fits with what a real Christian education looks like.
Is it a bunch of busy work? Learn to tweak it or ditch it!
Does it take entirely too much time out of your day, leaving you very little time for deep and meaningful conversations with your children? Look for something that doesn’t monopolize your life.
Learn to see homeschooling as a lifestyle and not something you do in order to check off SCHOOL on your To-Do List. It’s time to really start teaching and leading and quit thinking your curriculum has anything to do with it.