The challenges of home-schooling

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For many parents, this new lifestyle of homeschooling is a huge shock. You are going to go from seeing your children a few hours a day to being with them 24 hours, seven days a week.

In Canada, where I'm from, all schools have been cancelled for the rest of the school year. This whole thing is like a crazy sci-fi movie gone bad.

Let's take families who spend little time together because of work, school and activities, and have all of that cancelled and put them in a house with nowhere to go. I think they may make a movie of this after this is all said and done.

I want to welcome you to the new challenges that lie ahead of you but also encourage you that you are not alone. Like generations before us, a challenge that we never thought we would have to face is before us.

This our moment to trust the Lord and lean not on our own understanding but walk with Christ through the midst of these trials so that in the end we "may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." (James chapter 1, verses 2-4)

I would be lying if I would tell you that this is going to be easy. What you are going to be doing will be hard, completely sanctifying, yet satisfying. My home-schooling mum friends joke that we never realised we were such angry people until we started home-schooling our children.

Having your children with you all the time does cause frustration and it brings up the sin in your own life. You are going to spend a lot of time on your knees crying out to God to help you, to change you and them. Through this, if we allow, Christ is going to make us more like Him. We are going to know our families so much more.

We have this amazing opportunity in history where everything has stopped and we really have two options before us: either we can claim our families back for Christ from the busyness of life, or we can waste this pandemic by just turning to technology. Let us embrace this, join God and disciple our children and go through this fire so that we may look more like Christ at the end.

The best education is from one book

The Bible clearly places the responsibility of Biblical discipleship onto parents. Sometimes, we are so concerned about helping our children get good marks so they can get into the right uni, that we forget what the most important duty of a parent is. That is to disciple our kids in our Christian faith.

It isn't the Sunday school teacher's or the pastor's job to disciple our children. Yes, they are to come along side and to reinforce and to help, but the responsibility to do it belongs to us.

We are told that in the Bible, "You shall teach them 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." (Deuteronomy chapter 6, verse 7)

Teaching them the way of the Lord isn't a one time thing, but daily, hourly.

We are instructed to walk with them through their lives, letting them watch us fail and explain our sin to them and why we need God, all the while pointing them to the cross that can save them. The most important thing we can teach our children is about the faith that can save them.

We only get 18 years with our precious children. Yes, right now I know you are exhausted, and 18 years feels like forever, but you blink and it is done. What an opportunity we have been given to break from our over-busy, regular life and to really teach our children, to invest in them for their future.

In the next few weeks and months, take time in the word as a family each day. Encourage one another, read the Bible out loud, ask questions, memorise scripture and pray as a family. Take time to listen to sermons or teaching series as a family. Take this time and share with them on what is truly important.

In this trying and scary time, we don't know what the outcome is going to be, but we need to show our kids who our hope is. Our hope is Jesus. Our hope isn't that we will not get sick, nor that trials won't come, but rather that God promises us that "He won't leave us, nor forsake us." (Deuteronomy chapter 31, verse 6)

He will be walking with us, just like he did for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fire (Daniel 3). He will be with us and guiding us. Our hope is in the fact that He is with us in all our trials, and that we have a secure eternal future.

Let's encourage our children with that hope. Let us walk out in our faith like in James and be doers of the word. Don't waste this next season because you have so many different things you need to teach your children while they are at home.

Courtesy of Press Service International