By Jennifer Waddle, Crosswalk.com
Several years into our homeschooling journey, I was surprised to learn that not every family incorporated Christian values into their home education. In fact, I learned that there were many types of homeschoolers, including secular parents, who did not want any form of religious basis for their child's upbringing.
Of course, the freedom to homeschool is a wonderful privilege for every family, and I'm grateful for state laws that support parents' decisions to educate their children as they see fit. While there are many options to choose from, here are the benefits of Christian homeschooling and the advantages of incorporating Christian values into our children's education.
It Establishes a Biblical Foundation
For our family, the number one reason for homeschooling our children was to establish a biblical foundation. From experience, we knew how difficult it was to spend time in the Bible when our kids were enrolled in public education, which also involved many extra-curricular obligations. Bringing them home allowed us ample time for Bible study, prayer, and worship, our top priorities in our homeschool schedule.
By integrating Christian principles into daily lessons, homeschool parents lay the groundwork for a biblical worldview. This Spiritual grounding not only facilitates the moral development of children but also encourages them to step into a personal relationship with God.
Heather Jenkins, Director of Educational Curriculum for Answers in Genesis, writes, "For believers, we should examine the world around us through a biblical lens, using Scripture as our starting point to discern what is true and right. We rely on the perfect, complete, and infallible Word of God and not the worldly ideas as our foundation to guide us in all areas of our lives (Romans 12:2; Psalm 119:105)."
As Christians, we believe that the Word of God lights our way. Therefore, we want the Bible to be the foundation of everything our kids learn. Homeschooling allows us time to cultivate Christian values without the time limits of regimented school schedules.
It Emphasizes Character Development
Christian homeschooling emphasizes strong moral values and the importance of character. Personal integrity becomes a focal point as children are taught Godly characteristics such as kindness, patience, and self-control.
In the article, How to Teach Christian Values to Your Children, Christine Hage writes, "Where should we begin when trying to teach values? Begin with God. Take time to explain some of the values that God demonstrates toward us: Forgiveness, love, mercy, patience, trustworthiness, and dependability/faithfulness. Emphasize to your children the importance of knowing God—knowing Who He is, His character traits, and how He wants every one of us to know Him and personally walk with Him."
Raising Godly children starts with pointing them to Him. He is the ultimate example of character, virtue, and integrity. The Bible says, "This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all." (1 John 1:5)
Christian homeschooling emphasizes character development and allows parents to exemplify Godly characteristics throughout the day. These values are prioritized when parents are afforded plenty of time to cultivate them. In my opinion, this is one amazing benefit of home education from a Christian perspective.
It Provides Personalized Education
Every child is unique in the way they think and learn. I discovered this the hard way when we started homeschooling our sons in the 7th grade. I erroneously thought that both of them would thrive from the same curriculum used in the Charter school from which we'd pulled them. I didn't consider their different learning styles, and honestly, the first semester was extremely difficult.
One of the beautiful blessings of Christian homeschooling is the opportunity to customize curriculum for a personalized learning experience. Parents have the freedom to tailor curricula to suit their child's unique abilities, interests, and ways of storing knowledge. While it isn't always clear-cut, this approach maximizes the child's learning potential and cultivates their strengths.
For S.T.E.M.-oriented children, finding a Christian curriculum that is rich in science and math will engage students in rigorous education while also developing these skills from a biblical worldview. For creative students, incorporating art, music, and theater into their lessons helps them develop a love for learning while encouraging creative expression. For any type of learning style, a curriculum that emphasizes the unique way God designed human beings can significantly enhance a child's school experience and view of learning.
In this in-depth article titled, Understanding Learning Styles, the author states, "One of the many responsibilities included in training up our children is helping them navigate the gauntlets of their educational experiences. Regardless of the educational environment—from the traditional classroom to homeschooling—it's our duty and privilege to help our children to learn."
Christian homeschooling provides a wonderful opportunity to personalize your children's education based on their God-given strengths, talents, and gifts. This is probably the most exciting part of the homeschool journey - seeing your kids thrive in the way they were created to learn.
It Cultivates Strong Family Bonds
Homeschooling provides an unparalleled opportunity for families to strengthen their bonds by spending more quality time together. Because schedules are flexible, parents can foster more in-depth discussions, spontaneous adventures, and creative outlets.
Strong family bonds are one of the signature characteristics of Christian homeschool families, mostly due to an atmosphere of love as taught by Jesus Himself. Of course, this isn't to say homeschool families always get along, as there will always be issues that arise. However, a Christ-centered homeschool environment encourages unity and camaraderie as much as possible.
The hope for most Christian parents is that their children will value their family relationships and grow up with deep respect for their upbringing. Melissa Ringstaff, from A Virtuous Woman, says, "Homeschooled children often spend more time together and have more opportunities to work on projects and activities together. This can lead to a sense of camaraderie and teamwork that can last a lifetime."
Cultivating strong family bonds is a great reason to teach Christian values in your homeschool. The value of nurturing your family's relationships day-by-day will last far beyond your children's educational years.
It Reduces Exposure to Negative Influences
Negative influences in the public school system were the initial motivator for our homeschool decision. In fact, our homeschool journey was supposed to last for one semester while we found a better school for our boys. However, God had other plans.
In our continued search for a safe, academically rich, and character-driven school, we came up empty. Time and again, research led us to obstacles in the school system that we could not overcome. And in the end, the Lord equipped us to turn one semester into more than 14 years of home education.
While I realize homeschooling isn't for every family, reducing our children's exposure to negative influences is. Christian parents have an obligation to ensure their children are in a safe environment where toxic, worldly views are limited. Anything explicitly contrary to the Word of God must be closely examined and removed from our children's education if possible.
Shielding children from secular worldviews that contradict who they are in Christ protects them from many of the confusing messages circulating today. Solid, Christian homeschooling includes the mental, spiritual, and physical well-being of our children while also providing safety from the negative influences of the culture.
Ultimately, there are many advantages of incorporating Christian values into our children's education. Establishing a Biblical foundation, emphasizing character development, personalizing curriculum, creating strong family bonds, and reducing exposure to negative influences are just a few of the fantastic benefits of Christian homeschooling. I pray the Lord will give you wisdom, peace, and favor in whatever decision you make regarding your children's education. God bless you and keep you.
Jennifer Waddle is the author of several books, including Prayer WORRIER: Turning Every Worry into Powerful Prayer, and is a regular contributor for LifeWay, Crosswalk, Abide, and Christians Care International. Jennifer’s online ministry is EncouragementMama.com where you can find her books and sign up for her weekly post, Discouragement Doesn’t Win. She resides with her family near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains—her favorite place on earth.