27 Jun, 2021 Homeschooling Myth Buster: Being in, Not of the World
by Gina McAndrew
Breaking The Myth!
“Homeschooling Isolates Kids From Being In The World…”
Is homeschooling a means to escape the real world, or is it an opportunity to show that we are to be in the world and not of it?
Jesus prays for us in John 17:14-16
“I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”
This begs the question then, is homeschooling an escape from being in the world, or a way to not be “of” the world?
As a long-time homeschool mom of four,
and teacher of 100+ homeschool art students, I have often had skeptics tell me “We choose to put our kids in public school to be a light”, implying that by keeping them at home we have snuffed out their little “candle”. And my response is always, “Where is your light?” I mean, if you can’t effectively shine your light as an adult, how exactly are you thinking your kiddo is going to do that?
We live in a culture where our kids are inundated with a plethora of issues, celebrities, and agendas that are antithetical to how we are raising them. Tina Griffin, Counter-Culture Mom, has dedicated the vast majority of her life to giving parents a means to identify and “counter” the worldly things causing harm to our children. This is but one tool: homeschooling is another. Because with homeschooling, you are filtering out those concepts that don’t support your values and beliefs.
Belief systems aside,
countless studies have been done that show our young people are unable to effectively process situations until they near the age of twenty-five (https://www.businessinsider.com/age-brain-matures-at-everything-2017-11). A simple Google search will provide hours of neuron-processing entertainment. This means it is imperative that we are there to equip them and help them understand the world around them. We cannot do our job effectively if we give our kids away for ten hours a day.
Homeschooling allows parents the unique opportunity to equip their children with the skills needed to actually deal with the world we live in. While there are plenty of doctors out there to help cleanup traumas such as Dr. Caroline Leaf (https://drleaf.com/) , a cognitive neuroscientist who is also a Believer, having a more hands-on parenting technique is always better at preventing stress in children.
So how can we effectively teach our children to be in the world and not of the world through homeschooling?
Incorporate a solid Bible curriculum into their morning routine. Don’t rely on the simple Sunday school lessons at church, or the weekly sermons. Kids need good, straightforward apologetics and doctrine to be able to resist being “of” the world. I’ve found that Bob Jones (https://www.bjupresshomeschool.com/category/Video-Lessons#BI) and Answers in Genesis (https://answersingenesis.org/homeschool-edition/) are excellent tools for Bible.
Talk about Jesus 24/7. Not in a weird or overbearing way, of course, but all of life leads to Christ and our children need to understand that. One of the wisest men I know shows students how to find Jesus even in entertainment. When my oldest children were very young, we sent them to a Christian school. The principal would show clips of movies during lunch and then talk about how they could relate their Christian walk to those movies. Invaluable life lessons. My kids will NEVER forget those moments.
Lead by example.
Another lesson they learned from this same principal was the story of how Jesus washed His disciples’ feet. No, he didn’t do that, but he took them aside at the end of one day while I was cleaning up art supplies and served them cake. He staged the lunch tables and served them in such a way that made them feel like daughters of the King. Invaluable life lessons. Again. And he led by example.
Put your kids in the community on your terms.
Take them to nursing homes, have them serve in the community, go on field trips, hang out with other families. You don’t have to keep them locked in the house to prevent them from being “of” the world; you just have to be there to help them navigate both the good and the bad.
Pray for them and with them.
If your prayer life is stagnant, so is your family. I can’t emphasize this enough. Pray, pray, pray! And then pray with your kids. Model this. When things are tough, pray together. When they hear or see something they shouldn’t, pray together.
Talk to them.
You.have.to.do.this! When they are younger, the talks are shorter and can be divided between brief discussions and reading fictional life stories that emphasize your values. But when they are older, you may end up hearing your daughter’s deepest, darkest fears at midnight. That’s when you listen intently, offer advice, and stifle yawns!
Homeschooling is not the Christian’s escape route from giants, troubles, and fears. It is a means of building strong, independent thinkers who grow up to be godly citizens who are merely in the world and not of the world! Keep God’s Word at the top of your own world, and you will have done your best at raising your precious children.
“Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.”
Gina McAndrew is the Founder and CEO of The Mark Project, an organization that equips believers with the tools they need to fulfill the Great Commission through art.
She is also the Founder and Director of Potter’s Clay Applied Arts, a program that equips students to glorify God through the arts. Gina has a BFA in Studio Art, an MS in Industrial Communications, and an MBA, all from Lindenwood University.
She has been teaching art and written communications to students of all ages for 15 years, focusing on the practical applications of these subjects. As a former upper-level manager and homeschool mom of four, she seeks to implement new ideas at both companies.
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