"I advise no-one to place his child where
the Scriptures do not reign paramount"
The following article has not been prepared by us but accurately reflects and summarises our views on Christian/Messianic home schooling at NCAY.
Elohim (God) commands Christian parents to train their children in the ways of the Lord. We are not comfortable with the idea of delegating that precious responsibility to others, no matter how well-intentioned they might be. We believe we can better fulfill our God-given duty as parents if our children are with us most of the time. We believe Elohim (God) has established the family as the primary place for the instruction of children. Yah'shua (Jesus) was home schooled by his parents. Our children need to be with us seeking to live out what we believe, in all the various situations that arise throughout the day.
We agree with the research done by Dr. & Mrs. Raymond Moore that children are not going to learn good habits by spending large amounts of time with their peers, and that the "real world" is not age-segregated. We know that Elohim (God) can use our family to teach us real cooperation and team work, so that the older can help the younger, and the stronger can help the weaker. Elohim (God) uses family members to smooth each other's rough edges, so we can better serve Him in society. Being with our children so much gives us ample opportunity to work with them on how to treat others in a way that is pleasing to Yahweh. If children know how to show kindness and respect to family members, they will know how to treat others with whom they come in contact.
Homeschooling allows us to give our children a more well-rounded education, emphasising Bible instruction, work and service, rather than academics alone. We can provide much more individualised instruction, and accomplish more in less time than the average teacher with 30 children in a class. We have a better opportunity to show our children the value of learning, as we find ways to teach from real-life experiences. We also agree with the research done by Dr. & Mrs. Moore that some children may not be ready to read and write until they are 9 or 10 years old and that there is nothing wrong with this. (Better Late Than Early and School Can Wait). We like the idea of being able to tailor our instruction to each child's developmental level, rather than trying to force them into some sort of educational mold, or have them live their lives with some sort of stigma or label because they may learn differently, be gifted, or not learn as fast as others in some areas. This is especially important to us in light of Brandon's blindness and Joshua's love of movement and insatiable curiosity. Each child has their own particular interests and we wish to teach them according to their interests as much as possible.
It is our hope that home schooling will enable us, as parents, to form deeper, more lasting bonds with our children -- bonds that will help them withstand the pressures of temptation during the teenage and young-adult years. By not sending our children to school or allowing extensive time with peers, we hope to shield our children from stresses and pressures for which they are not ready. At the same time, we desire to prepare our children for real life by regularly reading Elohim's (God's) Word, and by answering their questions clearly and straightforwardly, giving such information as they are able to handle at their ages. We want our children bonded to us and not to their peers. We want them learning social skills from us and not from other children.
"Do not learn the ways of the nations" is a dominant moral principle found throughout the Bible. As parents, we are convicted that our children should grow up in a wholesome environment and gain a knowledge of everything good and true. We don't believe this can happen in the public or private school system.
In the public schools our children will receive very strong exposure to the belief that our world came into existence without Elohim (God). In both systems they will also encounter overwhelming social pressures from other students to conform to their immoral value systems. Foul language, dirty jokes, drugs, prostitution, pornography, and a thirst for violence will surround them. We believe this would be detrimental, not only to our family's value system, but also to our children's ability to learn what is good and true.
We believe we can have a greater impact on our community by home schooling and working together as a family to serve others. It is our desire to reach out to others, and to show our children the many different ways in which they can be a blessing and point others to Yah'shua (Jesus). We want to help them become sensitive to the needs of people different from themselves, and to appreciate the many diverse kinds of people Elohim (God) has made. We want them to grow to be kind, unselfish, giving, and loving adults.
We hope our children will be in no hurry to move away from home. Our goal, however, is that when they do leave, they will be thoroughly prepared to accept the responsibility of adulthood. We want them to be mature, not only academically, but spiritually, and in the area of practical skills as well. We want them to know how to:
We want our children to understand that all of life is spiritual -- their job, home finances, leisure time, how they treat their bodies, etc. Our desire is to prepare each child to be able to manage money, keep their home clean and orderly, select and prepare nutritious food, and use the time Elohim (God) gives them wisely. We wish to lay a good foundation in all academics as they are ready, and show our children how to find information they need. We want them to develop a love of learning and an appreciation for all areas of information they need. We want them to develop a love of learning and an appreciation for all areas Elohim's (God's) creation. Our goal is to move our children gradually from dependent to God-directed learners.
- Study and learn Elohim's (God's) Word, and apply it to their lives.
- Recognise doctrinal error, share the Gospel and articulate their faith.
- Encourage others from the Scriptures.
- Serve others for Christ's sake.
- Relate respectfully and confidently to people in authority.
- Live out the Gospel in a winsome way.
- Handle conflicts in a way that honours Elohim (God).
- Trust Elohim (God) for the strength to live for Him.
Another very important goal we have is to teach these precious children discernment. Rather than simply filling their heads with information, we want our children to learn how to think. We are trying to show them how to analyse what they hear and observe, evaluating it in light of Elohim's (God's) Word, instead of automatically accepting something to be true. We seek to help them develop a pattern of responding to life based on Elohim's (God's) truth, rather than on how they feel at a given moment. In Matt.10:16, Yah'shua (Jesus) said, "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents, and innocent as doves." That is our goal not only for the children Elohim (God) has entrusted to us, but for ourselves as well.
Children are a special gift from Elohim (God). Each one created uniquely and in Elohim's (God's) image...with the ability to think and to do. We believe children need an educational environment that will allow them to think, reason, problem solve, and discover answers on their own. This way they won't grow up to be followers of other men's thoughts, but leaders who search the Scriptures on their own to find answers in Elohim's (God's) Word.
We believe each child needs to experience success and feel he/she is an important part of Elohim's (God's) work. We believe children need to be listened to and guided gently toward making right choices. Children need every opportunity to learn, grow, experience, and do a variety of activities in order to develop into productive, inquisitive, and knowledgeable adults. To be whole persons they need to have active and interactive experiences spiritually, mentally, physically, and socially. An isolated activity here or there does not facilitate meaningful learning. A child's world needs to make sense. Learning is a process that involves everything the children and parents do, working together, enabling the children to become readers, writers, and mathematically literate. From morning worship to evening worship, everything should work together to make active and interactive learning happen in the home.
We realize home schooling is not for everyone, and that many Christian families have achieved goals such as those we mention in this document without home schooling. We know that there are many fine Christian teachers and schools available. But we love having our children with us. We count it a blessing to be able to teach them at home, and to be there to watch them blossom. For our family, at this time, we see home schooling not only as a wonderful means of academic training, but as the best means through which we can disciple our children, and prepare them for useful, practical lives as servants to mankind and for Christ's sake. Elohim (God) has called us to teach and make a difference in the lives of our children.
Written by Atom & Sonja Biggs and reproduced with thanks.
"Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it"
(Proverbs 22:6, NKJV)