Before we start talking about the nitty gritty of how to homeschool we must start with THE WHY. Just as scripture is clear that a foundation not built on the Rock is shaky a homeschool foundation not built on the Rock is also shaky.
I want to start by making sure we are all on the same page with two statement:
1. Education is NEVER neutral
There is always an agenda behind everything taught. Furthermore the Bible is clear that you are either for Christ or against Him. There is no middle ground here and the same is true with the education of your children. Martin Luther said "I am much afraid that schools will prove the great gates of hell unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures, engraving them in the hearts of youth. I advise no one to place his child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which men are not increasingly occupied with the Word of God must become corrupt." We must realize that the education of our children is to be guarded carefully. Be wise and seek Godly advice on what to teach, which curriculums to use, and what voices you allow in your home.
2. Education is ALWAYS discipleship
Whomever you allow to educate your children has the power to disciple your children. In the case of homeschooling this puts a large weight on our shoulders. However, the Lord has already put this weight on our shoulders. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 says
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
As parents we are to be teaching our children about the Lord when we sit at home, when we are out, when we lie down and when we get up. That pretty much covers ALL day. As homeschool families we are given the unique opportunity to have our children with us all the time. This means we can follow this scripture and surround our children daily in The Word. Teaching science - God is the Author and Creator of life. Science points to Christ. Teaching history - The Lord has numbered our days and allowed all of history to happen. His finger print is all over history. History points to Christ. Teaching math. God is a God of order and logic. Math points to Christ. All subject either point to Christ or away from Christ and we need to take up the charge of this passage in Deuteronomy and be sure that in all ways in all our days with our children we are pointing our family back to our Savior.
So back to the question at hand what is your families "why" I challenge all Christian families that THE WHY of homeschooling should not be academic excellence (though there is nothing wrong with an academic education) If at the end of high school our children know more about American History, Chemistry, or Algebra 2 than they know the Word of God then we have failed. If our children's education is not founded on faith, discipling our children daily in the foundation of the Word of God than what is the point in bringing them home. We need to recognize that we are not just homeschooling our children for an education but, we are homeschooling our children with their future in mind. Our number one goal as parents should be to raise children who love the Lord God with all their hearts minds and souls and this should be no different when homeschooling. Yes, the methods in which we do this can vary from family to family however, the foundation should be the same. What a beautiful thing to be in a community of God fearing families whose number one objective as homeschool families is to grow their children into passionate followers of Christ!
This is our Why and without it your homeschool will crumble. There will come hard days in homeschooling and when they come you need to have the truth of why you are homeschooling to fall back on. A school day may go horribly wrong (and they do sometimes) but if you have pointed your children to Christ, taken time to read and discuss scripture together, and been an example of what a follower of Christ looks like than your day is NEVER waisted!
A few other verses for you to ponder as you consider THE WHY for your family and the Lords instruction to parents on teaching our children His Word:
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
1 My people, hear my teaching;
listen to the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth with a parable;
I will utter hidden things, things from of old--
3 things we have heard and known,
things our ancestors have told us.
4 We will not hide them from their descendants;
we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
his power, and the wonders he has done.
5 He decreed statutes for Jacob
and established the law in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors
to teach their children,
6 so the next generation would know them,
even the children yet to be born,
and they in turn would tell their children.
7 Then they would put their trust in God
and would not forget his deeds
but would keep his commands.
8 They would not be like their ancestors--
a stubborn and rebellious generation,
whose hearts were not loyal to God,
whose spirits were not faithful to him.