Homeschooling as Discipleship

I remember the day I decided that we should homeschool. My 3-year-old son had asked to learn how to read. After just a couple of weeks of some basic instruction in how to string together CVC words, he was pouring through BOB books. By the time he turned 4, he was reading everything in sight.

I just knew he was a genius child. He was also busy, distracted, and a constant talker. I imagined him in kindergarten, bored to tears and not able to sit still or be quiet.
Homeschooling would be our answer. I quickly decided that in an instant and began the research.
Eight years later, and well into middle school, my son has slowed down with his genius tendencies. It didn’t take too many years for me to realize he was a bright boy, but not really a genius. And today, he continues to be busy, distracted, and a constant talker. We work around those things with homeschooling, so I have no regrets about that impulsive decision made 9 years ago. It would be simple for me to accept that we were supposed to homeschool because of these tendencies.
However, over the years, God has taught me a lot about homeschooling as a means of discipling my son. While my original reasons were valid and true, they are not the reason we keep at this thing. Honestly, if that was the reason, I might have hung up my homeschool teacher hat years ago.
Today, I want to share with you what God has been teaching me over the past few years about how homeschooling is the best choice we can make for discipling our children. In fact, the reason God calls us to homeschooling is for this very purpose.
If we look at how Jesus made disciples, we have the perfect model for how we can do the same with our children, and how homeschooling is the perfect way to do so.
HHM homeschooling as discipleship
Homeschooling allows more time to teach our kids about God. Time with our kids is the single most important factor in discipling them. Jesus set this example with his own disciples, spending time with them day in and day out, teaching them as they traveled along the road and setting the example for how to serve God. Having our kids with us all day, every day, gives ample opportunity to put Deuteronomy 6:6-7 into full practice —

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 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. (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)

Homeschooling allows our kids to be who God created them to be. There is so much pressure on kids today to conform to the world’s standards. Having them home with us allows them to discover God’s plans for their lives, without the pressure to be who the kids at school think they should be. Not to mention all of the crazy influences kids encounter at school today.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:2) 

Jesus understood that his disciples were individuals, created with certain gifts and purposes.

Homeschooling allows us to make sure our lambs are fully trained disciples before going out among the wolves. The argument that Christian kids need to be salt and light in the schools just doesn’t hold water. Jesus didn’t send his disciples out into the world until they were fully trained. And then he sent them out together. Disciples are mature Christians, not babies. As homeschool moms, we get the honor of doing that training so that one day we can send our kids out in the world to gather even more disciples.

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.  He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. (Luke 10:1-3)

What better opportunity do we have as parents to raise up our children for the kingdom of God than through homeschooling? No matter what your original reason was to begin homeschooling, it’s not too late to realize that the main reason God calls us to homeschool is for the purpose of discipleship. Jesus has set the example of how to disciple. Now it’s our turn to follow Him.

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,  to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Ephesians 4:11-16)

HHM benandmeavatar Marcy spent nearly 15 years as an Ob nurse, sometimes juggling homeschooling with the job she calls her first ministry. Grateful that her main ministry today is at home, she has been married to Tom for 16 years, and is the proud momma to Ben. Her homeschool style is delight-directed (just a hair shy of unschooling), using mostly unit studies, and greatly influenced by Charlotte Mason’s love of  living books. If she ever writes a book herself, it’s likely to be entitled, Homeschooling by the Field Trip Method. Although Marcy resides in Kentucky, she loves to travel wherever and whenever given the opportunity (more research for that book!).  You can find Marcy blogging at Ben and Me.

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  1. Yes this is true. So true. Since my kids started in public school then went on to private school I’ve see the benefits of both situations (if they work out for you and your child). However, as now a working and homeschooling parent, I simply can’t wait to get home to teach my children after a day a work. I do love what I do at my job day to day, but teaching my kids has become a way for them to teach me more about themselves. My DH also teaches them as we flip our schedules and he loves it also. Now just to keep the other negative influences at bay – like video games, lol!

  2. Amen!! Homeschooling is about discipleship. From the beginning I always maintained I would allow my highschoolers to decide if they want to go to public school once they became old enough. Mostly because I knew they would be able to use the firm foundations given to them to withstand and be the salt and light. I won’t lie that is scares the buggers out of me to have one of them make that choice… but I’m confident that if that choice is made because of their 14 years of previous discipleship training, they will thrive. I have one going into High School THIS YEAR and she has chosen to stay home again because she wants to work at her own pace. I won’t lie… I sighed with happy relief. 🙂

  3. This sounds so much like our older daughter and our journey into the homeschool world. We also started for academic reasons bc of her abilities but truly embraced it when wr decided that WE wanted to be the primary influences in her life, instead of spending the 2 hours we woul have free w her every day knocking out pointless homework and undoing all of the spiritual and emotional damage inflicted on throughout the school day. Thank you for this blog and your wisdom! I feel the doubts creep in this time of year when everyone is getting inundated with “back to school” shopping and pandemonium, so i needed this reminder to focus on the real “why”.

  4. I so agree, which is why I chose “Discipling our Daughters” as my topic for this week’s Crew blog hop. I chose the topic months ago, but I guess great minds think alike. 🙂 My series covers more than just the homeschooling aspect, but it is the most important reason we chose to homeschool as well. Glad to hear your heart on this and see that it’s the foundation for so many of us!

  5. Marcy, thank you so much for guest posting on HHM! We all subscribe to your blog and are thrilled to read your post here too…. and what a great post it is! I couldn’t agree with you more! Deuteronomy 6:7 is one of the primary reasons we homeschool as well!

  6. I know, a discipleship approach to homeschool creates a whole-life focus where we teach, train, guide, and help our kids to grow in every aspect of their life. Homeschooling allows our kids to be who God created them to be. There is so much pressure on kids today to conform to the world’s standards.

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