Beginning with Home Schooling (1)

My wife Sue and I started home schooling our children in 1990, but my interest in Christian education began in 1977. This was when the church we were in built a school and opened it, using the ACE curriculum, firstly for the children of the church, and secondly for others.

That was a big step to take, at the time. But an even bigger step, and probably a more Biblical one, is to home school your children. That way, if anything goes wrong, it’s your fault. You won’t be able to blame a teacher or a Principal.

Sue and I began with the ACE curriculum, too, and if I was starting out in 2019, I’d probably do it again. If you are an evangelical believer, the ACE curriculum will give you at least 80% of what you want. It will give you what you need to teach a child to read, and much more. Then in 2011 I purchased a contract with the Australian importer of ACE curriculum to Australia, so families with us at Hebron Home schoolers can access ACE curriculum at a discount price, compared to retail.

But before you consider curriculums for your children, you have to address more fundamental questions of education. You ought to ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” Getting the “Why” part right, is more fundamental than the “How?”

If you sort out “Why?” The “How” will fairly logically fall into place, and that leads us straight to scripture. God said concerning Abraham,

For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him (Gen.18:19).

If God has chosen you, and Jesus made this plain, when He said that “… I chose you…” (Jn.15:16), what permits us to do anything other than accept and put into place, what God expected of Abraham?

This means that the Christian child should understand there are such things as “God’s commands,” and though God gives us lots of choices to make, we need to have it straight in our minds that:

  1. This is God’s world, made by Him miraculously in six days, some 6,000 years ago.
  2. Jesus Christ died to save sinners, just like us, and rose again.
  3. Each of us will have a day of accountability, before Him.
  4. Christian parents are obligated to give their children a Biblical, Christian education.

Sending a child to a public school is not consistent with a Christian education; it’s the very opposite. Sending a child to a school that doesn’t teach a six day creation 6,000 years ago, is not giving them a Christian education, because education has to be consistently Christian, if it’s going to be faithful to God.

So, that means we avoid some forms of “education” with our children, if we want to be faithful to God. We have to think of “…what is pleasing to the Lord” (Eph.5:10), so we take steps with them that are Biblically directed and thus worthwhile, with a view to preparing them for a life of service and dominion, in this world.

When I was fourteen, my farmer father heard from a neighbour that he’d arranged with a veterinarian to perform a Caesarian operation on a cow, one winter’s morning, and my father and I attended. The calf had died inside the cow and was rotting. If left, the cow would soon die. So, the cow had to be opened up, and the pieces of calf removed, one piece at a time. One could say, there was some odour.

It was pretty earthy, but not awful. It was a good, positive experience. The vet disinfected the insides of the cow, sewed up her up, and she lived.

Was I glad I attended this? Yes.

A year later, my father suddenly died. No more life lessons from him.

Twenty one years after that Caesarian observation, married now and with three children, I needed a job, and got one in the best unskilled opportunity around: a sheep abattoir. The prospect of working with freshly slaughtered sheep did not really bother me, though it bothers many. I worked there for seven years, while I completed training to become a teacher.

The lesson?

Be careful how you define “education,” because it’s a broad subject. It includes life experiences that God permits us to have.