"Souls over school". We love that saying around here! It helps me redirect my mind to what is truly the most important thing in regard to home educating my children.
This time of year, it is so easy to get caught up in curriculum choices, books, read-alouds and co-op groups. We have been kind of brainwashed into thinking those things make up the entire education of our families.
Don't hear me saying that those things are not important because that's not what I'm saying. I do believe that what curriculum we choose is important to our home school, I do believe we should be reading aloud to our children, and I also believe that in certain seasons of life co-ops are beneficial to our families.
However, as I've homeschooled over the past 9 years the Lord continues to take me back to these truths: 1. My children have souls that never die, and I need to care for those souls while I have them with me. 2. True wisdom is found in fearing God. Knowing who God is and who they are. Proverbs 9:10 says-"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." By God's grace he anchors me in these things, so I do not get caught up in worlds standard of what education means. My husband and I want for our children to be wise young men and women who follow Christ, fear God, love their neighbors, and glorify God in all they do. Alot goes into each of those things, but you get my point:)
Let me share with you how a pastor and curriculum developer Kevin Swanson defines education: Education is-the physical, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual training of our children for worship, relationship, work, and discipleship in this life and in eternity.
I really believe that definition covers everything! Most importantly the last sentence " in this life and in eternity" This world is not it! I am not interested in my children only gaining knowledge that has a tendency to puff up in pride while we are here on this earth. We desire children who will walk humbly with God now and into eternity. Education is discipleship. It is the training or "paideia" of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4 "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."
Now, we still focus on basic "school subjects" and I will get into that in a minute. But I also want to encourage you in just enjoying doing the simple things you do as a family, and don't ever think that stuff doesn't matter! I love doing life with my family. Waking up with them, making food, caring for and cleaning our home, gathering together in the living room to read God's word together, playing outside, working around the farm together, running errands, cook-outs, making meals, watching movies, traveling, laughing, etc. All of this is homeschooling/discipleship!
Let's get back to talking about the "school subjects" we do. Right now, we keep it very simple. Reading, Writing, and Math, and we throw in science, history, and language arts.
-My children will learn to read because I want them to be able to read God's word. I want them to delight in God's word. I want them to be able to read books from men and women who have studied theology their whole lives and be able to glean from them.
-My children will have an understanding of grammar to understand how God's word is written. The indicatives, imperatives, tenses, context etc. are important to know when reading the Bible.
-My children will learn math according to where they're at in their life, math will show them that God is a God of order and things he does are done in very specific ways. They will learn how to handle the money that God will one day give them to provide for their families and to glorify him through it.
-In science we will teach them of God's amazing creation and intricacy in creating this world. We will praise him for it!
-History will point to God's providential hand in everything.
-The read alouds will be stories from God's word and stories about people whose faith and character have stood the test of time.
Everything we teach them and how we teach them should give them a clearer picture of who God is and what he has done.
So, if you're hearing all the things right now on social media or with friends about curriculum and other people homeschools, please stop and pray that God would direct you to the things that he has specifically ordained for your family to learn.
This year I encourage you read the Bible more with your children, teach them life skills they will need when they become men and women, teach them to love their siblings, to honor their parents and other authorities in their life, build up their character to be honest hard-working servants for God. And just enjoy spending this precious time with them. It goes so fast. Take extra time for holding, cuddling, and just loving on the children that God has blessed you with.
Each year I depend on the Lord more and more to fill all the gaps in my children's education. I trust and know that he made them, and he will accomplish his will in their lives. The Lord will equip my children with everything they need to do what he has put them here to do. And each year I and more humbled that all this homeschooling has less to do with me and more to do with him. I pray he does the same work in your heart.
Head over to our shop for some "Souls over School" t-shirts and stickers to help you remember why you are homeschooling!