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Sunday, September 27, 2009

God's Curriculum

When I was growing up Science was one of my most favorite subjects! Although, they taught that the earth was billions of years old, I never bought into that idea. I had a basic knowledge of God and that creation was His handy work. I wasn’t raised in church by any means, but I did attend a church for a short time as a third grade girl. I learned that Jesus loved me and learned one memory verse. I occasionally attended various Vacation Bible Schools in the community and enjoyed them immensely!

During my high school years, I attended a local church with a friend for four years, but mostly joined in the youth activities. I don’t recall learning much about the Bible, but I did learn a bit about etiquette from the experiences I had with the youth leaders. My mother would discipline me as a child while growing up in regards to the language I used when I would lose my temper.

When I became an adult and desired to find a church once again, I faced the fact that I really didn’t know much about how to behave myself publicly. I was used to how we behaved growing up in the streets of Los Angeles, and although I knew my behavior was wrong, I didn’t know how to apply any good behavior. The best thing for me at the time was just to be quiet and not talk. If I did talk, it was quite evident that I was a foolish girl with little education in regards to manners.
After I trusted Christ as my Savior, I began to have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. I was self-directed in my learning for the first time in my life. Through my years growing up in the public school system I learned what the teachers said I should learn in order to graduate. I always knew I was a smart girl, but I rarely applied it and thus limited my potential. My goals were just to skim by and get out of school. I had no desire to continue with school after my twelfth grade year. I wanted to get a job and make money.

When I was sixteen years old I got a job as a cashier at a local drug store. While I worked there I learned much about working with people and was advanced to the photo department and that is where the seed of photography was deep rooted within my heart. At that time I had a desire to learn about photography and I learned much about cameras, batteries, film, and developing. Having patient co-workers and an employer who saw my potential, they guided me in learning a trade that I could take with me when I moved to Nevada. I wonder where I could have been by the time I was eighteen if I had been directed and taught at a younger age?

Here I was, twenty-one years old, brand new in an old fashioned church, with no manners. Through the first twelve years of being in this church I learned an array of manners and public etiquette from some wonderful Christian ladies. I learned to read my Bible and understand it’s teaching, how to dress professionally, how to speak to others with kindness, and many other socially acceptable speech. My own children were blessed to be able to attend their Christian School for Jessica she attended K-9th grade, Moni attended K-6th grade, and Gina attended K-2nd grade, and repeated K a second time. During those years I was able to volunteer in their school and learn a vast amount of information about how to teach children. I was finding that the same methods of learning and studying my Bible were used to teach the children how to read, write and do arithmetic.

Fast forward to today and I’m now educating my children at home. We are so blessed that our families support us whole heartedly! We have some friends and co-workers in our ministry who are also extremely supportive and positive towards our efforts and lift us up in encouragement for our desire to home educate. However, there’s always a critic.

Some people just don’t understand, maybe they’ve never read about it, or spoken to anyone who homeschooled. Perhaps they knew someone who did homeschool and failed miserably at it. I know there are many people who spread this criticism repeatedly and that does not help the homeschool movement. I feel that not only should homeschooling families set the example for homeschooler’s world wide, but people in general should educate themselves about homeschooling before causing dissension among fellow community citizens. Even more than that, fellow brothers and sisters in Christ should do the same.

As homeschooling families, we have the awesome opportunity to be a witness to our communities, family members, and loved ones in our efforts of home educating our children. Many people ask right away what our curriculum includes. Many home educators will respond with a list of books they’re using. If you’re a faith based home educator I have a verse to share with you.
Daniel 1:4, “Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.”
God shows us in this passage what kind of children the King of Babylon desired to have work for him. In verse 4 he says that he wanted them to teach in his kingdom. Here we have a pagan king who sought out God’s children to come to his aid. Daniel was the son of Abigail, the great peacemaker who was taken into King David’s palace and became his wife. Daniel was raised in the King’s palace with a mother who desires to have peace. If you read about Abigail’s story in the book of 1 Samuel chapter 25, you will learn what a great woman she was. How awesome for Daniel that God allowed her to be his mother!

I believe Daniel was taught how to be a peacemaker like his mother and she must have taught him to love the Lord and live his life to please God. King Nebuchadnezzar desired to have children well favoured, so Daniel must have been well favoured. He was the son of the man whom we all know was called a man after God’s own heart. He must have been qualified to have been brought to the King and Daniel shows his faithfulness to the Lord in his lifestyle, even while living in this kingdom for three years. As you read through the story of Daniel, you will see that he was a true man of God and lived above reproach.
God certainly used Daniel, and his friends, to reach the land of Babylon, by taking a stand in what they believed. It wasn’t their knowledge and understanding of Science that touched the King’s heart, but it did open the door for the amazing opportunity they had to be a light in Nebuchadnezzar’s dark land. Although Daniel was well educated, he also had a walk with God. We can easily see areas in which God wants us to educate our children by verse 4 of Daniel chapter 1.

We have wonderful opportunities to be a light for the Lord when people ask us what we’re teaching our children in our loving home environments. God instructs us how to educate our children in the Bible.

1.A walk with God(Devotions and prayer), “Children in whom was no blemish”

2.People Skills, “well favoured”

3.The Bible, “skilful in all wisdom”

4.Critical Thinking, “cunning in knowledge”

5.Science, “understanding science” and not just the facts of Science, but understanding it.

6.Manners, “ability in them to stand in the king's palace”

7.Language Arts & Reading, “they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans”

8.Math can be found throughout the Bible. God used specific mathematical equations in his commands to building his temples, Jesus counting and grouping the people, Noah building the ark and counting the animals, etc.

9.Writing, the Bible also shows how important writing is, as the men who penned the Bible needed to know how to write.

10.Health, throughout the Bible God teaches us how to eat healthy.

11.Physical Education is also throughout the Bible and he makes it clear that we are to work hard, even the Virtuous Woman exercised. Proverbs 31:17, “She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.”

12.A Trade, Jesus was a carpenter, the Virtuous Woman made clothing, Adam and Eve were gardeners, etc.

13.History, The Bible is loaded with History and God instructs us to be familiar with past events when we read that the King Ahasuerus summoned the records to be read to him.

14.Geography, the Bible is full of geography! Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” He commands us to go into the entire world and teach people about Him.

There are a variety of ways a parent can educate their children at home. I choose to use God’s Word as the Basis for our home education. I believe education comes from the Lord and it is an incredible opportunity to share the Love of Christ with others through our homeschooling lifestyle.

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