Why Home School?

by Lycia Evanoff

Five years ago, my husband and I made the decision to educate our children at home. We did so for a variety of reasons. We wanted them to have the freedom to pursue their education and interests at their own pace. We wanted to spend as much time with them as possible. We wanted them to have a Christian education.

What defines a Christian education? For us, it is an endeavor to look at all things in light of Scripture. It is an effort to introduce our children to Christ, to encourage each of them in developing a personal relationship with Him, to give them a base from which to build their lives.

In Deuteronomy 6:5-9, God admonished the Israelites to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon 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." In other words, make your study of God and his word a part of your daily existence.

So we began with the basics -- memorizing the books of the Bible, the names of the apostles, and the days of Creation. We wrote down the books of the Bible on individual index cards, shuffled them, and had contests to see who could put theirs in order the fastest. We did exercises where we "counted" by naming the books of the Bible or the apostles. We raced to see who could sort their cards out by the divisions of the Old Testament -- Law, History, Poetry, Major and Minor Prophets.

God's word is incorporated into our day in a natural manner. Where else to begin our study of Science but with the literal beginning? The materials we use emphasize Creationism. We have attended seminars and visited museums that evidenced the wonder of God's Creation -- not the Big Bang Theory or evolution of life from some primordial soup. We read tons of good books of all reading levels on topics from dinosaurs to DNA. We watch videos, sing songs, color pictures, and memorize poems -- all the while learning a little more about the Creator each day. Even our middle school and high school level textbooks, authored by a highly respected scientist, are grounded in a Christian worldview.

When I was in school, history studies consisted mostly of memorizing dates and people's names long enough to take a test and then promptly forget most of the details. How much more fascinating it is to use the Bible as the basis of history! Reading Genesis a chapter at a time, we have drawn a family tree from Adam to the twelve tribes of Israel and studied the geography of the Bible lands. We have considered what the conditions were like in the Garden of Eden. Egyptian culture, and the worship of pagan gods, was studied in light of the plagues God inflicted before Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. We have studied the Roman culture and its impact during both the period of Jesus' birth and His death. History has come alive, but it's history in light of the Cross.

Currently, our children are studying the book of Genesis in their Youth Class at church. This too will be credited as part of their home education. They are going into great depth in their studies, memorizing the periods of Bible history, the Patriarchs, the twelve tribes of Israel and will continue learning more as they study one or two chapters each week.

In short, unlike subjects such as Algebra or American Literature, Bible study is not something we study for a semester or two, assign a grade, and record a credit. It is a part of our daily life, it affects everything we do, and it makes us who we are. If we succeed in our efforts, each of us -- parents and children -- will be studying until the day we end our life on earth.

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