Not everyone is called to homeschool their children, but those who are know it's challenging on every level. It's a challenge often strewn with criticism and an incredible amount of self-doubt- so much so that we can frequently be tempted to quit all-together. Homeschool moms are notoriously some of the most insecure people in the world. We seem confident because we're willing to be so counter-cultural, but when it comes down to it, we're frequently overrun with doubts and fear- and so we compare and second-guess at every turn.
Jesus faced many of the multitudinous challenges we also face on a day-to-day basis (and obviously a few more). The disciples did not "get it" every time he told a story. He frequently had to stop and explain what he meant to them (the parable of The Good Shepherd in John 10 is good example of this). And even when they understood at the time, he would still have to go back over and over again explaining the same concepts, telling new stories, giving new examples. He consistently had to refresh and remind them of truth he had previously taught them.
Even when he went to the cross, they still did not have a good grasp of what he was teaching them. Only once the crucifixion and resurrection took place, and they had the resurrected Christ actively in their lives, did they truly gain access to the knowledge and understanding that he had been working tirelessly to pour into them.
So here's the big secret, and it's a tall order for sure-
Homeschool like Jesus.
I promise, I haven't lost my mind. I know that this is a lofty goal- but we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength!
I have proof that this is a key to walking with courage, strength, and confidence in educating your children at home- but first, a few notes. He was not *just* a model for homeschooling with excellence, He was God with skin on. He was and is our Savior, our Redeemer, our perfect Lamb. He was a big deal- the BIGGEST deal.
He was our living, walking perfect example of living a God-filled, God-glorifying, God-obedient life. He set the stage for what that life looked like, lived it perfectly, then called us to incline our hearts and minds to do the same. He was a disciple-maker: a fisher of men. And so then, Mama, are you.
Jesus lived, loved, directed, disciplined, taught, and ate with his disciples. He prayed for them tirelessly. (Click here to get access to an intentional prayer guide for 2018). They were his students, and he walked alongside them day in and day out in every endeavor. He set the example for them. Our Lord and Savior was the epitome of Deuteronomy 6:7- You shall teach them (these words) diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Parable after parable, throughout all four gospels, we see Doubting Thomas, and zealous Peter who still denied Christ three times. They heard him teach and preach time and time again, yet they often walked away confused or with short memories.
There was very little fruit for all of his work until the Holy Spirit entered their hearts.
You have to have a changed heart to have a changed mind.
Only once the Holy Spirit and the living Christ had changed their hearts into a new creation could the seeds that Jesus had worked tirelessly to plant, begin to sprout, grow deeply into their hearts, and create great fruit.
Ultimately, without the Holy Spirit there is no true education. And therefore the aim of education would be to tirelessly sew into the relationships like Christ did. The process would be to live alongside your disciples in relationship, teaching the same thing in new ways to reach a new part of their soul so that one day, when the Holy Spirit has changed their heart, the seeds planted long ago will spring to life with great understanding.
All knowing is endowed by our creator. It is simply the teacher's job to plow and plant, waiting for light to shine on the tended soil so that ultimate truth may grow deep roots and fruits of knowledge may rain down upon them. God is the ultimate landscaper of souls.
And because I'm reading all I can of her work right now, Charlotte Mason says it best here (in her first Volume Home Education):
"But the mind is not a receptacle into which ideas must be dropped... On the contrary, a child's mind is no mere sac to hold ideas; but is rather, if the figure may be allowed, a spiritual organism, with an appetite for all knowledge. This is its proper diet, with which it is prepared to deal, and which it can digest and assimilate as the body does foodstuffs." (Principles of Education, 9 & 10)
Christ knew up front that it was all about relationship and an experience with the Holy Spirit. He knew that much of his labors would be in vain, for the present time. He knew that when he taught the thing once, he would have to teach it again. (Can I get an amen?)
He knew that even when they seemed to really get it, that one day soon, they would deny all of it.
But he did it anyway.
He persisted in their education and in their refinement. And he did so through living stories and close relationship, with encouragement and well-timed rebukes, and always, always with love (which, ahemm, includes being slow to anger...and patient).
His crucifixion covered our sins. His resurrection triumphed over death. His seed planting and disciple-making changed the course of humanity for eternity.
He gave them all they would need knowing ultimately every bit of it would be brought to the surface, by the Holy Spirit, when THE TIME WAS RIGHT. They would be equipped to go out and disciple and love the world. He taught, corrected, disciplined and discipled and to the human eye, it was met with only fleeting, shallow understanding. But Christ knew the ultimate fruit and used eternal eyes to press on.
And so must you and I, sweet friend. So must you and I. Check out the link below for some beautiful printable scripture to inpsire you on the hard days!