• David Quine

Successful Home Schooling

The school year is almost over! As you look back over your last year with your children, how would you evaluate it? I know that deep down each of us will ask that tough question. However, it is a difficult question to answer. How is success really measured? Do we turn to standardized tests as the ultimate gauge for success? Or maybe we should bring out a ruler to measure how high the stack of work book pages our children have completed for the year? Or maybe it is just knowing that the end is close at hand and you made it! Shirley and I have vacillated between all three ways from time to time. But there must be a better way.

RELYING ON HIM

Successful home schooling is leaning our entire personality on Him in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness. One of the common threads we have seen through out the home schooling movement is the feeling of inadequacy. Beginning home school mothers often think that those who have been at this for several years have it all together. Don’t let anyone fool you. We all have those feelings of inadequacy. How many times do we think “If I were just _____ or if my circumstances were like _______, then everything would be perfect.”

The apostle Paul wrote that “Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ, the Messiah may rest yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell upon me!”( II Corinthians 12:9) Each of us have strengths and weaknesses. God is not looking for perfect parents. Rather, He is looking for parents with a perfect heart. That does not mean a perfect person. A person with a perfect heart is one who is willing to allow their weaknesses to be the opportunity for God to demonstrate His power through them. When you lean your entire personality on Him in absolute trust and confidence “you can know and understand what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe” (Ephesians 1: 19).

Another aspect of our feeling inadequate comes from not knowing what to do. “What is best for each of our children?” and “What practical insights do you have for me?” are often asked of us at the various conventions we attend. Of course, every situation is unique because every child is unique. Though it would be nice to have a simple formula to follow, it is not the way God has cre- ated people. Trying to create such a formula reduces life to a machine. As Christians we must resist such an idea. Does that mean that we are afloat on a sea without a rudder? Not at all. We can have confidence in each and every situation because “in accordance with the riches and the generosity of His gracious favor, which He lavished upon us is every kind of wisdom and understanding (practical insight and prudence) (Ephesians 1: 8). This need for wisdom is another opportunity for us to lean our entire personality on Him. We can have absolute trust and confidence in His wisdom for each and every situation. Does this mean you just sit by and you do nothing? Not at all.

LABORING IN LOVE

Paul describes his ministry as a “labor and striving.” It will even produce “weariness.” These are certainly words that describe Shirley and I at the end of the day. However, listen closely to the apostle Paul: “For this I labor [unto weariness], striving with all the superhuman energy which He so mightily enkindles and works within me” (Colossians 1:29). Paul explains that “[Not in your own strength,] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing, and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight” (Philippians 2:13)

Although successful home schooling is a labor, it is God who supplies all the superhuman energy which He works within and through us. There is no task too great for our great God. There is no situation too complicated for our wise God. He has “lavished” His grace upon us.

PRODUCING THE FRUIT OF GOD

The world is filled with many false ideas. These ideas are presented in plausible, persuasive and attractive arguments. What a person believes to be true affects the choices he makes. What a society accepts to be true affects the direction the culture takes. We must see to it that no one is able to take our children captive to the various philosophies presented today. Successful home schooling makes our children rich with the abounding wealth and blessings of assured convictions and leads them to become more intimately acquainted with Christ. The apostle Paul writes that we must “Have the roots [of our being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him] being con- tinually built up in Him , becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught (Colossians 2:7).

Of course, we are all concerned about each of our children’s character. True Christian charac- ter “is not developed, or ‘built’ through human attention and energy. The method of attaining unto a character by attention and energy, which is now elaborately explained and constantly recommended by many, is the best the world can do, and that method may have some realization within the sphere of the shadow the world has chosen as its ideals.... True Christian character is the ‘fruit of the Spirit.’... It is no longer something for the human strength to attempt, nor is it to be done by the human strength plus the help of the Spirit. True Christian character is produced in the believer, but not by the believer” (Lewis Sperry Chafer, He that is Spiritual).

If you have had a year of laboring unto weariness as most of ours have been, we encourage you to lean your entire human personality on Him in absolute confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness entering into a season of rest. “Thus says the Lord: ‘Stand by the roads and look; and ask for the eternal paths, where the good, old way is; then walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls” Jeremiah 6:16. “Let us therefore be zealous and exert ourselves and strive diligently to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves], that no one may fail or perish by the same kind of unbelief and disobedience [unto which those in the wilderness fell] ( Hebrews 4:11). This year measure your success by God’s standard and entire into His eternal rest.

{Bible references from the Amplified New Testament.}

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