As I've said over and over again, and will always say: homeschooling our children is nothing more than raising them up to be disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ!
And many wonder, what does that mean practically? Our children have to live in a world where they can provide for themselves and their families. Will knowing Jesus as Savior and Lord and walking in his teachings really give them the tools they need to do that?
And the answer is a resounding yes!
To be a disciple of Jesus, is to be a life-long learner of His Word and world, and a joyful lover of one's neighbor.
Contrary to what can be often understood as the nature of Jesus' teachings, loving God and loving your neighbor (Mt. 22:36-40) is not some kind of feel-good teaching that exists in a vacuum of moral philosophy. Rather, it has very tremendous practical implications!
What does it mean to love our neighbor, and what does that look like?
Obviously we have the very crucial aspect of the Good Samaritan (Lk. 10:25-37). But that's not the only example we're given in Scripture.
For starters, the command, "You shall not steal" (Ex. 20:15), implies that you shall work to provide for yourself and your family. Paul picks this up in his exhortation in Ephesians: "Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need." (Eph. 4:28)
Likewise, Paul wrote to the Thessalonians: "But we urge you, brothers...to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one." (1 Thess. 4:10, 11)
Being able to share with those in need and not being a burden to others are both great ways of loving your neighbor. And that requires work (Prv. 6:6-8). And productive and effective work requires knowledge (Prv. 18:15).
Thus part of our discipleship for our children is to teach them to acquire knowledge as a means of loving their neighbor.
But what about loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength? What does that mean, and what does it look like?
To begin with, God created man in His image, as a sub-ruler over His creation. That is why he gave us the mandate to subdue the earth and have dominion over the created order (Gen. 1:26, 28, Ps. 8:6).
This necessitates a working understanding of God's creation - and with that an understanding of how this creation relates to God as its Creator (Col. 1:16, 17, Heb. 1:3). Having dominion of this created order certainly entails understanding the basics of language, math, science, sound reasoning, history, civil order, social ethics, and a host of other strands of knowledge.
Thus part of our discipleship for our children is to help them grow in their thought life as a way of expressing their love for God by having dominion over his creation.
So, yes, let us embark in a new school year - ensuring our children are learning things that will teach them and equip them to have dominion over God's created order - as He commanded us - and then use that knowledge to love and serve our neighbor.