Purposed Parent/Connected Child Podcast Episode 017 - Purpose of School
Welcome to the Terri Hitt – Purposed Parent/Connected Child Podcast
Episode #017 – Purpose of School
Are you yearning for greater connection with your child? Would you like to parent beyond the moment with eternal perspective? Let’s grow together now with practical tips, scripture, and stories geared to draw your heart to Jesus and guide your child into His arms.
When President Barack Obama presented his State of the Union Address several years ago, announcing a new challenge to redesign America’s high schools in order to better equip graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy, I believe many who heard this promise missed the opportunityto ponder exactly what the real purpose of school is. Have you ever stopped to think about what you actually expect from a public school? Is the institutional public education system in America meeting your expectations and the needs of your unique child?
As I continue this podcast episode, it will be apparent that I am a huge homeschool proponent. Please take what I say from this opinion and know that I trust each of the listeners of this podcast are prayerful about what God has for you and your family. I also trust that each family will very prayerfully seek God’s instruction on what is best for your children and not only what is convenient. I understand what it is like to work full-time outside the home. I felt like I did not have the opportunity to homeschool. We felt the extra income I brought in was needed. We also worked very hard to get to the point that I could quit that job and be able to survive without the additional income.
I also know there are many mothers (and some fathers) who work full-time and homeschool their children. Remember that when you homeschool, you are freed from the constraints of public education and free to form what works for your family under God. Even though I will talk in this episode about how public school is currently established, remember that the freedom found in home education relieves you from building your home school as a replica of the education your child currently receives. Through the years, I found that the more I moved beyond how traditional education in public school was set up, and focused on our relationship with Christ, the needs of my children, the plans I had for them and their future, and considered their qualities, interests, and talents, the more successful our private school became.
Public education, as it is constructed now, corrals your child for 7 – 8 hours of education a day beginning in grade school, then adds additional time of approximately an hour for homework after school. As children reach the middle and high school years, the hours spent in class or activities, practices, and sports climb even higher. When you add in the increased homework load and jobs, and we see that kids spend almost all of their waking hours away from home and family. It’s easy to assume that parents have virtually no influence over school-aged children unless they are home-educated.
Our culture tends to push the myth that public education is the only way to prepare students for life, to allow them to acquire skills necessary to obtain a career after graduation. Yet is this actually true? Many feel the government education system now established in America merely pushes students along until graduation, in order to assure that “no child is left behind.” Even more distressing is the concern that 21st century schools have been exposed as progressively worsening indoctrination camps which fail to properly educate students, instead pushing agendas that divide families. Does it appear to you that public schools set up children for a successful future that equips them to reach their full and God-given potential? Or is it based on an assembly line mentality that moves children from grade to grade until graduation?
Some think of homeschooling as an inappropriate substitution for education, citing low socialization of students as the negative mark against this method of education. I believe what proves homeschooling as the superior choice is the type of socialization students receive. Home-educated children aren’t hidden in a closet or dungeon with no social life. The majority of homeschooled children are supported by adults and other children, whether it be siblings or peers in co-ops or extracurricular activities and study groups, and focus on a different guideline or set of expectations for socialization, which enables them to become well-equipped in interactions and able to converse with a range of ages and interests. In addition, I’d like to ask those who feel homeschooled children lack a social life this question. What part of sitting at a desk for hours a day in an institutional atmosphere and being taught morals and ideals contrary to what your family believes and that do nothing to promote a strong relationship with God is superior to what a loving, observant, godly parent can provide for his or her child?
Most homeschoolers are actually closer to family, more mature for their age, converse with parents about life issues, are uninterested in blindly following culture, and most have not been introduced to inappropriate graphic sexualized teachings, communist and socialist brainwashing, or gender and identity confusion.
Often educationally superior to the majority of publicly educated students in a variety of ways, including testing in the areas of language arts and literacy, authentic American history, and often Biblical studies, the home-educated child proves that a government-driven system interested in stripping genuine American history cannot be trusted to equip our children for a successful future that ensures God-given rights and talents. Americans are now right to question whether public schools are simply indoctrination camps that provide 9-5 childcare services and are paving the way for leftist ideology and dissolution of Christian values our country was founded upon.
Parents must certainly begin asking important questions, if they are not already doing so.
1. What is the purpose of school?
2. Is my child receiving the education I want them to have?
3. Is the education my child receives appropriate in the eyes of God?
4. Does their education shape them to be and use the unique God-given potential inside them?
Deuteronomy 6:6-8 says, “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
The most important education your child will receive should come from you, the parent. Godly instruction is eternal. Relationship with God through Jesus will never be stripped away, it never fades, and only increases as your child deepens and matures their walk with God.
Deuteronomy 6:5 says, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”
The greatest gift a homeschool journey will bring you and your child is the opportunity to connect parent to child under God. A strong foundation built through intentional, consistent time in the Bible together is absolutely priceless. This relationship firmly constructed on the truths and training of God and with each other connected to and through Him is a blessing our Heavenly Father extends as we train our children in Him and seek His guidance on teaching and equipping them to know, love, honor, and obey Him. Am I saying that every homeschooled child is going to be a model Christian? No. Each person has free will, but a school crafted through an atmosphere of learning God’s word and truths in a loving, humble, household where parents live the life they preach lovingly and unwaveringly will draw the heart of your child to God in a way nothing else will.
Deuteronomy 4:9 says, “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”
When we live with fullness of joy in a mature and growing walk with Christ, allowing our Heavenly Father to guide our heart and mind, attitude and emotions, our children see and reap the benefits as they are taught to learn and carry the same loving, humble walk with Christ.
Ephesians 6:4 says, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
I know my home life and relationships with my children would not be the joy they are without homeschool. Our daily Bible studies are a highlight and necessity that has equipped us with spiritual growth and maturity at a level that would not have been possible otherwise.
Psalm 34:11 says, “Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.”
Ephesians 6:1 says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”
Aside from the beautiful benefits of a gentle, godly atmosphere and training in the Lord each day, there are other advantages that come from teaching your child at home. Home education, however, is not a perfect solution without struggles. In fact, most mothers who make the choice to teach their children from home have many concerns or fears as they start the process. No one enters this area without wondering if they can do it. Part of the beauty in homeschooling comes from being right where God wants us. We are completely dependent on Him to make our school a success, if we choose to recognize Him as the one in control. I have been on my knees more times than I can count over the years. Through hardships and trying life situations, illness, adoption, deaths, and more, God has kept us on track and given us the opportunity to enjoy learning.
We make our schedule fit our life, not shift our life to meet the demands of an institutional system.
Are you one who has wondered whether you should elect to homeschool your children? Have you already started and are in need of encouragement? Homeschooling is as isolated or robust as we choose for it to be, but remember this: God is always there with you. He created your children. He formed my children. Each person is a unique and individual human being created for a purpose ordained by God Himself. As you homeschool, keep God front and center, seek His will with what and how you will teach. Ask Him to gift you with wisdom on what curriculum choices are best for your family. Allow time to seek His guidance and discernment, and allow time to hear His words and recognize His prompts to you.
I’d like to list several important tips that helped us and that I believe may serve you in this season of beginning or continuing your school. Don’t worry about taking notes. You can find the transcript to this episode and all of the tips and information online at terrihitt.com.
1. Create a homeschool that seeks God first and strives to understand and obey His call.
2. Create a homeschool that respects the child.
3. Create a homeschool that serves the unique talents and interests crafted within your child.
4. Create a learning environment that fosters a love of learning.
5. Create a homeschool that allows children to make mistakes without condemnation or embarrassment.
6. Create a homeschool that focuses on the strengths and weaknesses your child is exhibiting and fosters what he or she needs to succeed with joy.
Additionally, I believe you will want to create a homeschool that answers these questions (and whatever others you desire for your unique family).
1. Where do I want my child to be in his or her relationship with God at the end of their school years?
2. What type of relationship do I want with my child each school year?
3. What relationship do I want with my child when our school years together are over?
4. What do you want your child to be able to say about homeschooling together?
5. How do I want the love of Christ reflected in our homeschool and relationships together?
6. Do I observe and understand the ways my child learns?
7. Am I working to develop myself in order to reach the needs of my child?
8. How can I use our time together and the curriculum I choose to form the traits I desire my child to develop?
9. How can I strengthen the beautiful qualities God has already crafted inside my child?
Near the beginning of our homeschool journey, I created a Mission Statement that still guides our time today. This statement hangs in our dedicated schoolroom, and serves as a reminder to me of the importance of settingand maintaining specific values and principles I desire to foster throughout the life of my children and myself. I am sharing it to help you imagine and craft a Mission Statement that best serves your family and enables you to keep your focus foremost in your mind through the years.
“Our mission at GraceLight Academy is to study, understand, and instill the Lord Jesus Christ in our heart, words, thoughts, and actions and to recognize His love, provision, and guidance in our lives. We will also strive to instill and foster a lifelong love of learning and to gratefully use the gifts and talents He lovingly bestowed to us in ways that honor and glorify Him.”
We also have a sign in our room that reads, “GraceLight Academy is dedicated to the Lord, for only He can make something out of nothing.”
We have also crafted class rules that guided the early years of learning together and continue to be a foundational strength in our school.
“At GraceLight Academy we listen carefully and respectfully to one another. We allow others time to talk, and we strive to please God as we learn from each other. When we don’t understand something, whether it is an old fact or something brand new, we ask questions and never feel ashamed. We want to learn. God gave us beautiful minds to use in ways that please and honor Him. We also take time to cuddle. God made us a family and we want to show our love for each other.”
As I read this set of rules, I smile because I remember why I included the last portion. I wanted to ensure that while we continued on busy and sometimes hard schedules with family and life issues throughout seasons during the years, we would always make time to tell one another when we needed a time out of sorts to connect and enjoy each other. I never want the rush of life to rule our actions or reactions, but for love to be honoring and inclusive so that we always feel safe and joyful at home together.
We also have a quote by Robert Collier on our wall. It reads, “Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.”
One other quote hangs on another wall. It is entitled, “We Are a Family,” and is by G. Copeland. It reads, “Since before any of us were born, God planned for us to share our lives with each other. He knew exactly how our strengths and weaknesses would balance one another, and the depth of love, understanding, and commitment we would learn to feel. He knew that the richness of our separate characters would be developed through the hard times, and that mutual trust and respect would be born as a result of overcoming the trials together. He knew that we would laugh together and cry together. He knew we needed each…to hug, to help, to teach, to share…to love.”
Of course, an American flag hangs in our schoolroom and our walls are also decorated with school and artwork, timelines, facts, and Bible verses that are meaningful to us and which support the focus of our school and life. I chose them when we began homeschooling so that the wisdom, attitude, and hope I desired would be what was shaped within each of us, and of course, each year we may add or subtract some of what hangs. I will share some of the Bible verses we chose now in the hope that it will inspire you to find what verses speak to you and help support the goals you have in your mind and heart.
PROMISE: 1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
I chose this verse to remind us that when days are hard, learning is not easy, or life is complicated, we always have the promises of the Lord to sustain and encourage us.
WISDOM: Proverbs 16:21, “The wise in heart are called discerning, and gracious words promote instruction.”
I chose this verse to remind us that God’s wisdom is all we need. This world is not our home and we must keep our focus on Him through all we do.
ATTITUDE: Proverbs 5:12-14, “You will say, “How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction! I would not obey my teachers or turn my ear to my instructors. And I was soon in serious trouble in the assembly of God’s people.”
I chose this verse to ensure we began our homeschool journey with the proper attitude and continued to grow it over the years in ways that honor and please God and bring us closer to Him and each other.
HOPE: Isaiah 55:11, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
I chose this verse to remind us in good and hard times of life that no matter how we feel or what circumstances appear to be like, God is good. He is present. He goes before us, and so do the truths of His word. I wanted us to always seek Him and stand on His truths.
Your homeschool should reflect your family, children, and goals. There is so much to be said on this topic alone! If you want to get a clearer understanding of home education, I suggest reading the Charlotte Mason Home Education series of books as they teach of a philosophy of education and formation of character. I also suggest using a majority of living books in your curriculum.
As we see educational concerns and changes in public schools, more parents have made the choice to home educate their children. Please make sure you follow state regulations and guidelines to ensure that your school is established correctly from the beginning. I highly recommend that you find local educator groups to help guide you. For example, I am I member of Midwest Parent Educators. You can search online to see what may be in your area. I also highly recommend HSLDA, Home School Legal Defense Association. You can also find information about this excellent organization online. As a member, you gain access to help with almost any area of your homeschool questions and concerns. For example, they guide you to local groups, help with school planning, and can assist with guidance for high school, transcripts, and so much more.
Remember to craft the school you prayerfully desire to build. My youngest had to begin learning English at the age of nine, undergo many surgeries and procedures, and didn’t really start to learn until she was ten years old because of spending her early years in an orphanage. We haven’t labeled her grade like a public school would. It can be annoying at times to answer the simple question about what year she is in, but we have found simplicity and freedom in allowing her to learn faster in some areas and take more time on others. Thus, her grade levels are mixed, but it works perfectly for her. Many children are learning in this way and I find it much superior to the traditional institutional learning.
I also ask that you consider what works for your child. When President Obama gave his State of the Union address many years ago and spoke of preparing students for college, I believe he overlooked the simple fact that not all children need a college education. Some will be led to use their God-given abilities in other skilled areas. Some may follow their heart calling to be a stay-at-home mother and raising the next generation of children. Whatever your child is equipped for and prayerfully following with your guidance will be the path they are destined to take. Don’t let comments or questions from others deflate their excitement or alter the plans God has for them. Instead of asking recent high school graduates where they are going to college, we should inquire what plans they are pursuing next. There are people needed in skilled trades and I love that God made each of us with unique interests. Just because our culture has grown to expect college, it does not mean that it is the right choice for everyone, especially with the huge amount of debt and the indoctrination that can dangerously confuse those attending.
However, if your child is in pursuit of a career that needs a college degree, know that a homeschool education is respected and admired by universities, just as a public education is.
I hope this episode equips and encourages you in your understanding of the purpose of school. It is important to realize and rememberthat home education is established as a lifestyle that encourages the best of my children and prayerfully brings the best out in me as I continue to learn and grow, as well.
There is so much more to be said about home education. In fact, there is too much information for several podcast episodes. If you have questions for me, I’m happy to help in any way I can. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear Heavenly Father, You are so good. Thank you for entrusting Your children to us. Thank you for making each of them unique and beautifully, intentionally formed in the image of You. Father, we praise You for the opportunity to homeschool our precious children. Please protect our freedom and choice to home educate Your children and help us to start them off in the way they should go as we seek Your perfect ways for them individually all the days we are privileged to raise and influence them. Help us to see them as You do and equip them to follow the gifts and talents You have gifted to them. May they pursue You with love, honor, and loving devotion and follow the path You have set before them. Help us to never be a stumbling block for our children. Enable us to be godly encouragement that shines You and Your truths. In the precious name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Thank you for listening to the Purposed Parent/Connected Child podcast. Both of my podcasts may be found at terrihitt.com, iHeart Radio, Spotify, and are also part of the Spark Media Network. Both podcasts may also now be found on the Edifi app, where you can hear thousands of the best Christian podcasts in one place for your listening enjoyment.
If you find value in what you hear through my podcasts, and you would like more information on the topic we discussed today, I invite you to listen to previous episodes. To hear episodes that deal with homeschooling or educating children, I suggest listening to the following episodes of the Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast: Episode 89, Ignite the Fire of Learning with Sheila Carroll – Part 1, Episode 90, Ignite the Fire of Learning with Sheila Carrol – Part 2, Episode 91, Interview with Charlene Notgrass – Notgrass History – Part 1, Episode 92, Interview with Charlene Notgrass – Notgrass History – Part 2, Episode 93, Interview with Emily Hladik – Understanding American History – Part 1, and Episode 94, Interview with Emily Hladik – Understanding American History – Part 2. You may easily find these episodes at terrihitt.com. Just click on “podcasts” and type in the topic or title you wish to hear about in the search bar at the top of the page. Please let me know if you would like more information on the topic of homeschooling.
Also, have you rated or reviewed this podcast on Apple Podcasts yet? For those who have, I thank you so very much! If you haven’t, would you please consider doing so? When you review my podcast on Apple Podcasts, it helps to elevate the standing of the podcast online so that more people are allowed to find and hear it. If you believe the content you hear should be heard so that more people can begin to deepen their walk with Jesus, live with eyes set on eternity, and raise or influence children for Christ, would you please write a review and rate the podcast for me? Please also follow and share both of my podcasts with friends or family who would like to choose Christ over culture and be a parent (or be a grandparent) who connects with eternal purpose.
Remember, if we are not purposed in knowing Jesus ourselves and showing Him to the next generation, the world will direct them away from Christ. Live With Eternal Perspective helps us to find, trust, and follow Christ more intimately. Purposed Parent/Connected Child shares biblical, practical truths for parents and grandparents to influence and mentor Christ over culture.
I pray that what you hear on this podcast draws you nearer to God and helps you cling to Him, despite any circumstances in your life. Until next week, keep looking Up while focusing on new ways to Live With Eternal Perspective.