An Investment for Life
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
For some time now, I have been thinking about the topic of Home schooling. In the years that I home schooled my children, (beginning in 1985), it was still somewhat of a new concept and therefore, looked upon as being unwise, unintelligent, somewhat rebellious, and to some, just plain ole stupid. Through personal experience, reading, and hearing about home schooler’s, I’ve concluded that the academic achievements as well as the spiritual and social dynamics are extremely successful.
We, my Pastor/husband and I, began to look back in history at the education of the early American Pilgrims in 1620, the Puritans in 1630 and up to the 1800’s, and found that most of their education took place in the home, either with the parents or a tutor (usually a pastor) providing the instruction. Our heart’s desire was to teach the Word of God to our children and provide for them a home that would train them up in the way they should go. We felt that training our children was a God-given responsibility––whether it be through home schooling, Christian school, or public education. We soon realized that for our family, it was definitely home schooling.
Realizing early that the most important benefit of home schooling was the spiritual aspect, our highest priority was for our children to have a personal relationship with Christ, believe that the Bible was the inspired Word of God and love Jesus. We learned that biblical principles could be applied to every subject and wrong philosophies could be exposed carefully and consistently–––which we did at the dinner table regularly throughout their teenage years.
We learned that famous people which were home schooled had a Hall of Fame and below is a short list of some of them who serve as further evidence of the success of parental commitment to this kind of teaching.
At least ten presidents were taught through substantial teaching in the home.
George Washington, called the “father of our country,” received most of his education at home by both patents until his father died when George was eleven.
Thomas Jefferson was taught to read and write by his father at home and later became the second president of the United States and responsible for drafting the Declaration of Independence.
John Quincy Adams was completely home schooled until he was twelve years old and entered Harvard at the age of fourteen. The godly example and instruction of his mother, the commitment and sacrifice of both parents to personally train and produce integrity and wisdom in him, enabled him to become the sixth president of the United States.
Abraham Lincoln was likewise educated through home instruction. Lincoln would walk to other households, reading nearly every book within a fifty mile radius. His godly character was instilled in him through his home schooling family which aided him in serving as president during the dark days of our country’s Civil War.
John Tyler, also a president, was “tutored at his father’s knee” and according to several historians, there was no record of President Tyler attending any public school before he enrolled in William and Mary College at the age of twelve.
William Henry Harrison, Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt were all taught at home and all became presidents. Theodore Roosevelt was one of the few presidents who was endowed with an encompassing intellect, a love for literature and the arts. Franklin Roosevelt was trained in French and German and at age fourteen enrolled n Groton school and four years later entered Harvard.
President Woodrow Wilson developed a love for reading, and was taught by hands-on learning, skillful apprenticeship and biblical principles. His father would regularly take him on trips to teach and develop his interaction with adults which enhanced his ability to become the president of the United States.
Many Delegates of the Constitutional Convention Were Taught at Home. At least seventeen of the total delegates were schooled at home. These men drafted the most important and significant Constitution in the history of the world and two of them would become presidents, Washington and Madison.
Benjamin Franklin, printer, inventor, author, and U.S. minister to France was home schooled except for one year of grammar school and one year with a private tutor when he was between the ages of eight and ten. Apprenticeship, taught at home, trained him to be highly skilled in printing and because of his pioneering spirit, he taught himself science so well, it put him on the cutting edge of many scientific discoveries.
You might question the validity of these men and their claim to being trained at home, but I encourage you to investigate their lives and their educational resources to find this to be true. (It is interesting to note that Thomas Edison was expelled from public school at age seven because he was considered “addled” unable to think; confused by his public school teacher. He lasted only three months in formal schooling. Over the next three years, his mother taught him the basics at home, and as Edison himself stated, “She instilled in me the love and purpose of learning.”) (The New Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol.6, Macropaedia (Chicago: University of Chciago Press, 1983).
When he [Edison] was an overly tender 10 years old, his mother introduced him to an elementary book on physical science, and that marked the beginning of his life-long effort to teach himself. He set up his own chemistry laboratory in the basement. Since he was crushed by the overwhelming disadvantage of poverty and had no welfare net to save him, he went to work at the age of 12 and became self-supporting while continuing to educate himself and carry on his own experiments that eventually helped to revolutionize the world. Quote by Wyn Wachhorst, Thomas Alva Edison (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1981), 180-83.
Thought: The Word of God is the source of all truth and the standard by which all things are measured. Without a biblical foundation in your child’s education, your program will be incomplete. God will honor those who honor Him, especially those who commit to training their children in His ways–– the most important aspect of home schooling.
Proverbs 23:19-26 ~ Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way. Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags. Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old. Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding. The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him. Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice. My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.
This is a diligent and sober call to young people to adhere to the advice of their godly parents in all profitable instructions. Truth guides the heart and gives right principles that we might be kept back from sin and be well-informed in wisdom and instruction. Teaching the Word of God in the home is powerful and the means by which knowledge makes the riches of Scripture come alive. Home schooling is not just about teaching the ABC’s (reading, writing and arithmetic), but instilling in your children; a love for God, His Word, and His Ways. When we integrate all of these together, we have wise teaching which enhances learning and promotes a heart for God.