The Why of Biblical Worldview Homeschooling

“Why” for the younger child

When the Pilgrims migrated to the New World, they did so because of their faith. They were persecuted in Europe for their stance on the truth of scripture, and they wanted to find a place where they could practice it.

Within one or two generations, though, these Pilgrims had begun to drift toward the despotism that they had tried to escape. They imposed strict religious principles on their communities and placed their definition of Christianity inside a tightly controlled box. Any deviation from their idea–man’s idea–of the way a Christian should act was fiercely punished. This led to, among other things, the terrible time of paranoia, hysteria, and idiocy called the Salem Witch Trials. Why? One contributing factor was the early Pilgrims failed to pass their faith onto the next generation. They failed to pass on that fervor, that great faith it took to leave one country, cross a terrible ocean and start life in a strange land.

Psalm 78:1-8 instructs us in our faith: pass on the faith to the next generation: “We will not conceal them from their children, But tell to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done” (v 4). In all, this passage refers to at least four generations of descendants, directing the faithful in careful teaching of their descendants. Faith was meant to be carried forward through the generations. Parents and grandparents are urged not to forget nor to neglect the teaching of the faith.

mom and child with BibleMany parents homeschool in order to teach their children their faith, train them up in the way they should go (Prov. 22:6). Establishing a strong biblical worldview foundation is the vital stage in homeschool parenting for younger children. (In another blog I will address the absolute necessity of biblical worldview for teens.)

Very young children can enjoy the songs and stories from the Bible that teach lessons and show the majesty of our great God. Even very young, children can be taught a high view of God and of scripture. This is where biblical worldview begins. We follow the instruction of the Bible, which tells us in a beautiful manner about how to train a child:

Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons 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 up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (ASV, Deut. 6:4-9)

When my children were little we took time to wonder at the beauty of nature and of the God who so meticulously created it. We talked about each season in turn, and took special care during Christmas to talk about the symbolism of every decoration we hung with intention around our house: the lights, the stars, the angels, the nativity scene–all of it. We purposefully talked about it as we walked, as we lay down, as we drove, as we worked.

While we drove in the car we sang along with Bible verses put to music, sometimes stopping the tape (yes, cassette tapes and CDs–it was the 80s and 90s) to talk about it.

When I asked some of my current teenage students what helped them to develop their biblical worldview as children, they gave me a variety of replies. Some of them said Sunday School and Veggie Tales were instrumental. Another student chimed in: “Don’t worry about Sunday School–have them listen to the sermons each week!” Some mentioned that time in the Word as a family was key for them.

One student mentioned something I emphasize to families all the time: the integration of media into your family life. No matter what you watch on TV with your child, stop and talk about it with them. Everything has a worldview–even (and especially) children’s programming. Disney has a definite worldview that could keep you talking for hours. I remember taking my children to see Pocahontas in the theater, and we talked all the way home about its deceptive worldview. (Today I still use that movie with my students as a great worldview discussion.) There is value in even those things that mistakenly get shown to your children–for instance, if they are at someone else’s house and see something of which you might not approve. There is a great opportunity not to freak out, but to talk.

While your child is young, make sure of your purpose for homeschooling: not to isolate your child from the world, but to insulate him. There is a huge difference, and it has to do with biblical worldview.

Some parents will homeschool out of fear, and this will drive them to isolate their children from the world. They don’t completely withdraw; they have their church friends and other homeschoolers to play with. But they unplug from the rest of the world and create their own little community, separate and apart from everything else. This is not completely wise, in my humble opinion.

Raised in relative isolation, these children will not know about the world in which they live. They will not know about how other people think and act, and why. They will know nothing of the depravity of the world in which they live, and this will also produce another effect of having no idea of the depth of the sin from which they are saved. When the song says “Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!” I wonder if our children know what wretches we really are, and how deep grace really is–that sweet and severe balance of Law and Grace in our lives.

I am not advocating the soaking up of every bit of news and immersing your children into the depths of darkness. However, talking frankly about some of the bad things that go on in the world will help them to see our world’s need for a savior. About the sad lack of truth in this world. We shared some news stories with our children and talked about them openly, answering their questions as best we could. Because we had a fearful child, we didn’t go into detail, but we prayed together about the bad things and the need for our presidents’ wisdom over the years. (On a side note, as I grew up my parents sheltered me completely from the Vietnam War that was raging. I saw and heard the hippie protest songs, but I had no idea what they were for. I was in junior high before I had any clue there had been a war, and in high school before I was taught what it was about. I felt pretty stupid!)

This is reality parenting from a biblical worldview. Letting them know that “out there” is a world full of pain and ugliness, but that God has a plan through it all. Let them know that people do not have any idea what truth is, but that the Bible is the measuring stick for absolute truth, and truth can be found within its pages.

armorofgod350We talked a lot about character, about the fruits of the spirit, about the armor of God. We read plenty of good literature that posed moral problems the characters had to work through. We talked a lot about that literature, fostering in them the love of reading. We helped them choose good books rather than trash at the library. But we talked to them about why that novel was trash and not edifying to read.

Have a high view of scripture and of God in your home. Teach them those central passages of scripture that show the vitality and truth of the Bible and its importance in their daily walk. Show them that Christ is the center of all things (Col. 1:16-20), and all things hold together in Him. When examining a flower or a butterfly, talk about the care God took to make even these small, beautiful items, and how much more He cares for His people.

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2 Comments

Filed under Biblical Worldview, Education, Homeschooling, Parenting

2 responses to “The Why of Biblical Worldview Homeschooling

  1. Kay Howat

    I’ve enjoyed your recent blogs, especially the last one on ‘unschooling.’ You’ve evidently been in a creative and/or especially thoughtful mood of late. Hurray! I just finished teaching my last Bible study on “The Story” on Monday evening. Had a great and loyal group of ten. It was a wonderful experience (31 weeks), but looking forward to a break. Will be ready to go againwith something come fall. I need Daniel’s address for my last birthday check to him. I’m sure he’s extra busy with the ending of this spring semester. He doesn’t have much longer to go; sure he’s anxious. Love you, Kay

  2. Pingback: Biblical Worldview Homeschooling for Teens | Writing Rhetorically

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