Thursday, December 29, 2011

The High Places Are Meant For You

Oh, tell me five months haven't passed since my last blog. Since life finds me in the season of child rearing, I find myself with little time to spare, and when I can write, my thoughts often run along the lines of this most important area of family theory. So...I've been thinking lately...

God's word equivocates us to hinds (a deer-like animal) which are able to "skip upon the hills" and nimbly negociate the sharp peaks of the highest ascents. The high road is surely the place to be. With great views and the fresh air of the highlands, who wouldn't want to travel there? The high road, however, requires sacrifice of those who would seek it. As Hannah Hurnard points out in her book, Hinds Feet on High Places, one must be first equipped with the feet to travel there. No worries, though, Jesus will do that for you. But you must walk with him and follow His directives exactly, for you are going places you have never been. The high road is never the easy path.

There is much to hinder you from choosing the high road, of course, but for those who dare, the rewards are incalculable.

Think on that for awhile, and then read on. You might even want to check out the aforementioned book.

Application of the truth of hinds feet and the high road can be made across the board, but there is no concern more significant than its application in the area of family and children. With that in mind, I offer the following thoughts concerning home education from one of my favorite education resource groups. Why, you ask, does she so often share thoughts on this subject? Surely it's not the only subject of import. Surely not the only subject, but I have found that the way in which a family regards education is the way in which they regard the formation of their child's worldview. And, I'm in the middle of this, so the philosophy of education is often on my mind. God gives us the absolute right to shape our children's character through education.

Whether you already enjoy what I consider the the educational high places or you are thinking over the course of action you need to take concerning your children's education, below you will find some most interesting ideas that will help clear the thinking process. Remember, education is so much more than getting information into a child's brain. Education literally shapes who you are. Teachers are really mentors and gain precious paths of influence over the mentored. The information imparted is colored by the worldview of the writer and what you learn shapes how you view the world. Education is character training; to call it less is to devalue its power.

Homeschooling is not a new idea. Indeed it is ancient, as evidenced by this description of education in the Old Testament: “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart. And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” (Deuteronomy 6: 5-7)
Public schooling is the new idea, and was not common in America until the passage of the first compulsory education law in Massachusetts in 1852.
Homeschooling remains the absolute right and choice of parents. The numbers of children being homeschooled grows each year. Why? Because it works.
1. Homeschooling allows parents to keep their faith active and alive. You can’t live a God-centered life if God is not allowed in your door, as is the case in the public school. Teaching at home allows you to have all learning infused with the Word and Spirit of God.
2. Family values are preserved in the homeschool. We can instill our values, which are God’s values, with regard to life and death issues, heaven and hell, evolution and Creation. Everything else in our culture, it seems, tried to detract from family values. Homeschooling is one way to preserve them.
3. Homeschooling allows for both academic acceleration as well as learning at your child’s own pace. If your child is achievement oriented, he can and will excel in homeschooling. Conversely, if your child learns in a different way or has cognitive development issues, you can tailor-make your studies to suit them.
4. You can practice sane socialization in your homeschool. Rather than being randomly assigned to a group that most likely does not share your values, you can introduce and encourage God-honoring friendships. Instead of the peer dependence seen in the school setting, your child can relate to and learn from people of all ages.
5. Finally, you can ensure the physical safety of your children. Hardly a week goes by without news of another act of school violence. Homeschooling allows you to raise your children in the safety of your home.
If homeschooling sounds like a good fit for you and your family, know that you have an absolute right to do so. Some states are higher in regulation, while others have few if any requirements. We suggest that you focus first on some key principles to succeed:
1. Know the law in your state.
2. Follow the law.
3. Do your work as homeschoolers excellently.
4. Keep good records.
These will be the keys that will be able to protect your right to homeschool in the future. Doing an outstanding job and being able to demonstrate that your children are being well-educated will help protect the freedom to home-educate.
If you are thinking of homeschooling your children or have already chosen this right, the Christian Law Association, through the Homeschool Legal Advantage, stands behind you with information, encouragement and representation for you and your family.

When you home school, you are not alone! There are many support organizations and thousands who are choosing to home school every year. In the Austin area, I direct a support group and service organization. See information about that at or see our home pages at