The Bigger Picture

The year was 1981, and for two weeks I had been struggling with an important writing assignment. Enrolling my children into a homeschool satellite program to escape truancy charges from the public school was dependent on this statement of homeschooling faith. Although I was frustrated with how much time and effort preparing this statement required, this document became my doctrinal guideline for homeschooling for the next 25 years. Frequently, I referred back to my God-given declarations contained in its pages and reminded myself why we were teaching our children at home.

The Bible contains many examples of individuals who verbalized or wrote down their convictions to solidify their commitments. Jacob made a verbal covenant with Laban by setting up a stone altar in Genesis 31:44-45. Joshua set up a memorial of stones from the Jordan River to serve as a testimonial of God's provision to future generations (Joshua 4). Greatest of all, God set His Word literally in stone for Moses and the nation of Israel when He carved the Ten Commandments into two tablets (Exodus 24:12).

Do you know why you are really homeschooling? Isn't there a bigger purpose than simply getting your children out of public school for academic or safety reasons? Have you formulated God's purpose for your homeschooling, so you are not tossed around by each obstacle that comes your way? Perhaps writing a declaration of homeschooling might also help you bring all your thoughts together into one single-purpose statement. The beginning of our family's statement, inspired by Deuteronomy 6:5-7, might help you get started. "As Bible-believing Christians, we are convicted that the ultimate responsibility for our children's education is ours, the parents."

Father, whenever we do Your will, we face opposition from Satan. Help me to see clearly the purpose You have for our family's homeschooling and guide me to preserve that message for our strength in the days ahead. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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DAWN H 01/10/2009 02:09:18

What an excellent post! Quite thought provoking!

LYNDA B 01/10/2009 05:24:31

Wonderful lesson, it helps to read encouraging words of others, thank you. In Jesus name, Amen

LINDA W 01/10/2011 04:46:03

I'd like to read your actual declaration. Would you consider posting it? :)

SARA G 01/10/2011 05:45:42

I too would love to see what other Scriptures have inspired other women in establishing why they are homeschooling. I am new to this, and previously felt completely comfortable having others teach my children. They were in a Lutheran school, with weekly chapel, and daily bible verses. My son, now in public high school had a firm foundation with this and Catholic middle school. My true purpose in pulling my daughter out really was to get her away from the mean girl bullying and a shocking vibe of negativity that had spread through the teachers, that had seriously affected her learning. So after looking at other private schools, public schools were not an option in our area, we decided to homeschool. I love it! We're adjusting. I'm learning a lot from her, with her, and because of this new situation. But I can't honestly say that I began homeschooling because of Deuteronomy. I fell into it as a last resort.

SANDRA S 01/10/2011 06:12:05

This post is an incredible blessing. Thank you.

GAYLE C 01/10/2011 08:49:18

I agree - this was a great post. Very well-timed for me and not just for homeschooling goals but for family and life goals, as well. I'd like to see that statement, too :-). How inspiring.

MANDI H 01/10/2011 09:25:38

!!!! I too have a written statement of my reason for homeschooling it includes deut.11. I wrote it my first year of homeschooling, (my oldest daughters kindergarten year). I go back and read it from time to time. It helps me keep focus of my purpose for homeschooling and the goals I hope it accomplishes! Thank u for this post...it encouraged me to go back and read it once again!

Sarah M 01/10/2011 10:07:50

We are not yet a homeschool family, but I have taught as a teacher in this environment for years. We are currently praying to see how we can make the change in our life to homeschool our own children. On the very day when I thought, maybe it would be too much to homeschool my kids, maybe they are better off in a traditional school, no later than 5min. after i had that thought, I read this. God is amazing!!! Thank you for this story, it has restored my vision. :-)

JODI N 01/10/2011 15:20:07

That's a wonderful idea. I might give the whole "put it in writing" thing a try. Thanks!

CHRISTINE K 01/10/2011 16:00:23

It is inspiring to hear someone speak using the bible as their guide. I too hold to that verse and several others. I have never been comfortable with strangers in Christian schools or not, helping to raise my child. We are told by society this is the right thing to do. I might not choose these "teachers" as a friend, yet I am expected to hand my child over to these strangers 30+ hours a week. I know many are good people, but I believe God commands otherwise. Thanks so much for this encouragement!!!

CHRISTINE J 01/10/2012 08:23:08

I teach one of mine for this reason :) He is pushed every year one more grade forward.. and is falling one/one 1/2 years behind as he goes.. he is a 5th grader with an IEP and so i stepped in to help teach him at home to get him back up to some kindof speed with his age group .. he is building a greater attitude now that he is home part time,, Bible always comes first with us at home before math and language kicks in for the day

01/10/2013 05:49:00

Thank you! Interesting that just this morning I decided to make a covenant with God on another matter. I love it when God words like this!

NORMA Q 01/10/2013 07:18:26

Awesome idea!! Definitely plan to make a \"purpose statement\". And post it in our little \"classroom\". When things get tough ... I can always look at it to remind me!! :) Thanks!

TJ M 01/10/2013 09:09:10

I don\'t know where I got this paper (maybe Doorposts???) but it is called \"Encouragement Along the Way\"...it is a pretty sheet with roses on it, and I have it laminated, yet I don\'t look at it near enough. I hope it helps today! ;o) \"But my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.\" Phil 4:19 \"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ\'s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.\" 2nd Corn 12:9-10 \"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.\" Isaiah 40:31 \"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.\" Gal 6:9 \"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.\" James 1:5 \"Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.: 1Thes 5:24 \"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.\" 1John 1:9 \"O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever.\" Psalm 107:1 \"In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.\" 1Thes 5:18 \"I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.\" Psalm 13:6 \"...Great is thy faithfulness.\" Lam 3:23 If anyone is needing a great book to read and inspire...I just started one called, \"Kisses from Katie\"...and it is amazing!!!! She is 22 and has adopted 14 girls in Uganda and believes it is her life work from the Lord. I have 5 adopted children and the love that God has put in her heart for these children is supernatural. Quite incredible...I actually cried in my sleep apologizing to God last night after reading her book. Oh, to have a love so deep for children...God\'s kind of love. I know we do because we keep our children home with us and all that entails...but gosh, I want to do more...and this books is helping me \"see\"...check out her blog. (in your spare time of course!!! ;o) Blessings, tjmc

DEB W 01/10/2013 09:11:43

Colossians 2:2-3 \"My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (and verse 4: \"I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.\") I read this verse after making the decision to start homeschooling 4 years ago, and immediately printed & posted it on my refrigerator, as our mission, our goal, our purpose for homeschooling. This scripture says it all, doesn\'t it?

DEB W 01/10/2013 10:05:05

I have to add the context to Paul\'s words in Colossians in my post above. If you start reading at the end of ch. 1, Paul is explaining why he labors for the church, which continues into ch. 2. \"We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me. I want you to know how much I am struggling for you....My purpose is that....\" Colossians 1:28-2:2 Then read further in ch. 2, verse 6: \"So, then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.\" All of this reminds me of why we keep on doing what we do, and why the struggles are worthwhile. Also, I love the verse in Col. 1:29 that says, \"struggling with all HIS energy, which so powerfully works in me.\" Reminds me that I don\'t have to go on my own strength, but HIS!! Hope this gave further encouragement to someone.

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