As with the problem of the “church” being a building, we have a similar problem with “school” being a place to go to get education. We have a church house and a school house. We think of a church as a building and we think of going to school as going to a building. That is why we prefer the term Family Learning to the term Home School. Everything about the family should be a learning process.
Public School A Recent Phenomenon
Do you realize that public school is a relatively recent phenomenon. A great preacher from South Carolina use to tell how he worked all week as a boy to earn fifty cents. He then gave that fifty cents to a school teacher in exchange for a Latin lesson. The public school system, as we know it did not exist. Can you imagine our world without public education? I can! Family learning, or home schooling enjoys it. Family learning has been very successful in our country and is the model closest to the Bible.
The Bible Is The Foundation of All Education
Now we go to the Bible. It is the authority on learning, because it is the Mind of Almighty God! The All-Wise God knows all there is to know of learning. The Family is His learning center. David says, “I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimoniesare my meditation.
I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts,” (Psa 119:99-100). This sounds rather arrogant to the modern ear, but none of our scholars will ever be used to write the Word of God!
He claims more understanding than all his teachers. The source of his understanding was the testimonies of God. But notice, he doesn’t just know about the testimonies, they are his meditation. They are meditated. He dwells on them. The ancient scholars were nothing to him, because he not only meditated on the testimonies, he obeyed them. The way of the very best education or learning is to meditate on the Word of God until it is so clear that you can keep it or live it. “For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart, (Heb 4:12).
A Simple Curriculum
I know this seems radical to some, but at least consider a simple curriculum. Use the McGuffey Readers. They are moral, well laid out, and when you get to volume six you are reading at a college level in our colleges today. Next, teach math by mastering addition, subtraction, multiplication and division with fact sheets, which are readily available. Once the four basic elements are mastered there are many good materials to advance to college level math. Now the third part of a possible curriculum for a Christian family is the Bible. The Bible is the greatest source of true knowledge known to man. I’ll be even more simple. Have your children master Proverbs. If they master Proverbs, and Proverbs masters them, they will mentally be prepared for anything they face in life. Add to Proverbs the Gospel of John, to make the Person and Work of Christ clearly known. John is easy reading and has an excellent vocabulary. Faith in Christ produces the excellent atmosphere for learning. The Holy Spirit will actually, from the heart, help the learning process.
Our Purpose Is to Glorify God
Remember that the purpose of the Christian family is to glorify God. The parents and the children make that their purpose in life. I suppose that a good way to state the purpose of learning is to prepare the student to be successful in life, or to make them happy and successful in “making a living”. Paul considered this, “And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful”, (Tit 3:14). Paul wanted Christians to have good works (jobs) for necessary uses. Note that Paul’s emphasis is that we do not live to work, but we work to live, or produce the things necessary for life. He expands the need for work , “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth”, (Eph 4:28). The idea is to labor to earn means to have necessary things, with some left over to give to the needy. This is simple. Thus, isn’t it fair to say that the purpose of education is to produce such a lifestyle. This is a far cry from the modern education machine which seeks to turn out workers for the military industrial complex! We hope to develop these simple concepts presented here in Freedom In the Christian Family. We could avoid many, or most of the problems in our culture today if our lives simply centered around the family as described by the Bible.