Homeschooling at its best is an extension of parenting.  I have never put on a teacher’s hat, and Peter has not put on a Principal’s hat.  We are both parents teaching and training our children – teaching and training the whole child.

Typically educating a child means filling their mind and/or preparing children for a career.  As a homeschooling family I have opportunity to look broader than that as my purpose.

Jesus made it very clear that God considers the heart.

The heart is:

  • The place where we process moral truth – the conscience
  • The place where we understand, think, process, and know – the mind
  • The place where we determine what we will do – the will
  • The place where we feel – the emotions and passions

The heart is what makes us tick – it makes up the deepest part of who we are.

Be a Heart Focused Homeschool

It is our responsibility (and privilege) as parents to guide and teach our children’s hearts so that they are aware of God and His word.

Ps 119:11  I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.  

As we shape our homeschool day, as we choose the curriculum and activities, as we set our goals we must ask ourselves: Do we make room for the heart?

  • Are there things in your day that makes it hard to find time to focus on the heart?
  • When you put your daily routine together what where you aiming for? Peace? Productivity? Or time to train your children’s hearts?
  • When you chose your homeschool curriculum and resources what was your main concern? Academic success or a mature heart?
  • When you let your child take part in a particular activity, do you ask yourself, “How will this affect their heart?”

These are hard questions.

It takes times to teach and train the heart – Jesus had three years to mould his disciples and then they had to be ready to take His message to the world. We are likely to have more than three years with our children, and yet are we as intentional and focused as Jesus was?

For I have not spoken on My own authority;
but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command,
what I should say and what I should speak.
John 12:49

Jesus claimed that He only did that which His Father told him. It is unlikely that we know exactly what is ahead for our children and yet God can direct us and guide us in the specific things that our children need now to be prepared for God’s purposes in times to come.

Have you asked God what he wants your child to know? He can show you – and will show you:

  • a character weakness that needs to be addressed
  • what social skills need to be developed
  • what practical skills need to be mastered
  • God can show you what subjects need to be learnt

Often we let other issues determine the training of our children; even though we know their heart is the most important thing.

  • Expectations of others
  • Popular curriculum or homeschooling methods
  • Comparisons with the school system
  • Predetermined ideas and/or plans
  • Comparisons with other homeschool families
  • Demands of our daily routine

These issues are things that we need to deal with in our own heart.  The things that we believe are important – that is our heart thinking.  The things we value and are passionate about – that is our heart thinking.  The things that we choose – that is because of our heart thinking.  We need to recognise the things that are in our life (in our heart) that are hindering us from focusing on our child’s heart.

It is always tempting to copy  what everyone else is doing, it is tempting to do what we know the best (a traditional model of schooling).  But, if we are to be heart focused, we may have to lay some of those things aside and do it in a different way.

It isn’t a question of what methods we use, but rather it is an issue of time.  Are we taking the time to teach and train our children’s hearts.  Are we making time for the important things.

 

Further Reading

  • Heart Focused Parenting:  Since heart focused homeschool is simply an extension of heart focused parenting this is a good place to start.

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Be Intentional

 Every week I'll email an encouragement to stay intentional and relational in all your family life.  But for now, download your set of reminder posters - posters which I've used over the years to remind me to keep my eyes and heart on what is important.

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