Homeschooling Your Firstborn

Being a firstborn child can’t be easy. After all, our firstborn children must bear the brunt of our parenting and homeschooling mistakes simply for being the oldest. While some of those lessons can only come with experience, here are three practical points of advice we can keep in mind as we do our best to teach our eldest children:

1. Recognize the importance of the oldest. Although the firstborn may not always be the leader in every family, many stories in the Old Testament illustrate the importance of the firstborn’s position within the family. Stories such as Jacob stealing Esau’s birthright, the sacrifice of the Passover lamb for the firstborn of every Hebrew family, and the principle of the double portion of inheritance found in Deuteronomy 21:17 clearly reveal the special blessings and responsibilities given only to the firstborn. Christ Himself, the Son of God, is called the firstborn in Colossians 1:15: “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.”

2. Understand birth order. While each child is unique, firstborns stereotypically are leaders who are reliable, conscientious, structured, cautious, and controlling. “In short, it’s not necessarily the fact that a child came out of his mother’s womb first that he grew up to be a leader who talks a blue streak,” wrote Jocelyn Voo. “Rather, it’s the fact that his parents treated him as their firstborn child that shaped his attitude and behavior.”

3. Trust your values. Despite your lack of experience as you make difficult decisions raising and teaching your oldest, homeschool blogger Hillary Boucher suggests finding confidence in the values that likely led you to homeschool in the first place. “May I walk this journey with humility, acknowledging that my decisions won’t always be the right ones and I will make mistakes,” she wrote. “May I draw from a deep well of compassion for both myself, my partner, and my son as we figure it out together.”

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