“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23, NIV)
School instructs the mind, trains skillful hands, and inspires the passionate learner to embark on new opportunities and embrace knowledge.
Education is beautiful; appreciated by well-trained minds and hands.
What about school for the heart?
What tends its soil of motives, issues, and wellsprings of life? There’s counsel when the heart is oft already broken, and mind already confused.
What tends the heart and keeps its wellsprings vibrantly healthy? What keeps the heart beating strong and passionately for the best of God’s glorious treasures of wisdom while gently guiding the mind to align with the convictions of the heart?
God’s word is the seed in the heart of “good soil” that cultivates salvation and wisdom. The seed must be planted in the heart, and then cultivated (Luke 8). It takes diligent work. For the Christian parent, it should be of utmost importance to help guide the child in God’s wisdom and gently steer the heart toward the knowledge of God and fear of the Lord. Afterall,
“the fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom” (Psalm 111:10)
It’s the “beginning of all wisdom”… the beginning… which means one has a starting point when beginning to learn wisdom and then the learning of wisdom continues. Just think about that for a moment and how important it is.
In the craziness of life, it is oftentimes a daunting task to embrace wisdom, instruct wisely, and train another to be wise. Homeschooling seems to serve as one solution to providing more opportunity for planting God’s word in young hearts and establishing conviction and wisdom. I call it…
If I am going to be blessed to stay home and homeschool my children, then I absolutely must resolve to deal with the issues of the heart as part of purposeful instruction. I want heartschool to be a conviction and passion for our family. Be of good courage non-homeschooling families because the Godly charge to guard our children’s hearts and teach them to do the same for themselves is an education not limited to homeschooling families. Homeschooling doesn’t work for everyone; however, I will say that…
Homeschool truly is beautiful.
Here are 10 phenomenal reasons:
Achievement toward high academic standards, instruction for students with special needs – among the many reasons to homeschool...
1 – Luxury in Learning. Parents gain the luxury of setting the pace for each child according to individual needs and learning styles. Methods of instruction can be explored, such as Classical Education.
2 – Curriculum Choice.Implementation doesn’t need to follow the ever-changing trends of education with fluctuating ideas and curriculum.
3 – Mentorship. Relationships. Field trips. Mentorship among siblings can be taught to produce purposeful responsibility for older siblings. Sibling bonds can grow exponentially. Students have more time for family, friendships, and exploring life through hands-on experiences and field trips.
4 – Intentional Friendships & Socialization. Today, many options for socialization exist. Homeschool co-ops, church youth groups, community sports and clubs provide purposeful opportunities for social interaction and relational growth. Parents can intentionally help their children choose and grow in friendships with others. As a parent, I get the opportunity to closely network with other homeschool families. If my child bonds well with another child and family, I can intentionally help foster that friendship to grow while likewise getting to trust and know the family better.
5 – Health. Relaxation. Families can embrace good health and relaxation with less pressure induced by long school days, peer pressures, and often unhealthy school cafeteria options (or foods that fail to comply with special diets and allergies).
6 – Technology. Global Awareness. Parents and students have immediate access to the home computer and wireless devices for advanced learning- globally. Schools presently prioritize opportunities to include new technology (SmartBoards, interactive white boards, computer programs, etc…) into their educational experience. Meanwhile, homeschool families have various means of technology at their fingertips – at any point in the day.
7 – Extra time for Excellence in Arts, Sports, Activities of Choice. Time can be devoted to passionate studies of interest and skills that they excel in…music, the arts, and sports.
8 – History & Science. Focus on History and Science can be explored without limitation of time and resources. The educational opportunities through homeschooling are truly limitless. Schools often struggle keeping up with the foundations of Reading, Writing & Arithmetic. Sometimes, History and Science get pushed to the side.
9 – Flexibility. Parents that juggle non-standard work hours have the flexibility of scheduling family time time with their children (for example, the school day may begin later in the day when dad leaves for work in the afternoon). Families are free to vacation according to their family schedule (rather than according to the school calendar).
10 – Family & Life Skills. Visits to elderly family members and friends embrace multigenerational learning. For example, a visit to a great-grandma may provide the opportunity for the child to bake a family favorite recipe, or perhaps, learn the lost arts of sewing, crochet, or canning.Families have more time together; parents simply have more time to bond with their children – which is priceless.
The Heart of the Matter
The greatest opportunity that a homeschooling family can embrace is the opportunity to cultivate the heart in God’s ways. When a young child strikes a tantrum, or a pre-teenager struts an attitude in the home – the homeschooling parent is home – and can immediately address the heart issues.
If a child is heart-broken over a life challenge, discouraged, or confused – the heart can be cultivated. In an ever-changing culture that pushes God out of the picture, the homeschool parent can continue to bring God into the picture of the home and help plant His truth and wisdom into the delicate hearts of those they treasure most.
Focus on heartschool and take advantage of the opportunity to cultivate the heart and teach God’s wisdom.
May we be mindful that
“to whom much is given, much will be required” (Luke 12:48).
Christian homeschool families are called to wisely manage their time to grow in the ways of God. What good is knowledge without the knowledge and wisdom of God?
Let’s allow God to work in all of our hearts – changing us from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18, King James Bible)… and that is truly a good thing.
May we forever be enrolled in God’s heartschool.
God’s seed: “But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” (Luke 8:15, NIV)
Planting God’s Seeds of Hope
*Brook Joy writes articles on Faith, Life, Culture, and her personal journey with Health (IBD). Brook is a chocolate-loving wife & homeschooling mama (and a Christian for 20+ years)… planting and growing God’s seeds of hope at missionzera.com