Real School

Real School - Parenting Like Hannah

Photo by Kevin (KB35)

School starts early in Georgia. Before the weather cools or the leaves begin to turn, our children are back in school. We live in a town where the parents are very involved in their children’s education. Almost all of the parents walk their children to class on the first day of school. PTA meetings are packed and home work is a high priority.

Most children in public school spend six to eight hours a day at school. We worry if they are getting taught enough to make them competitive for college admissions. We find tutors if they struggle and push them when they procrastinate. It often seems like their entire future depends on how well they do in first grade.

Are we as concerned with their spiritual education? How many hours a week are your children exposed to God’s word? If you rely on Sunday morning Bible class as your child’s only exposure to God, it would be like sending your child to “real” school for an hour a week. How long would it take him to graduate at that rate of learning?

Did you know that in Jesus’ time, studying the scriptures was considered the most important thing one could do? Even adults spent hours discussing the Torah and the Prophets. Rabbis have written about groups who would even break away from celebrations like weddings to discuss scripture.

One of the things I love about homeschooling is the many homeschool families who value teaching their children about God and His words. I have noticed the attitude of many of these families is that the most important thing they can teach their children is a love for God and an attitude of obedience to His words. The academics are important to many of them, but I think the prevailing attitude is, “What does it profit my child to have a Harvard education if he loses his soul?”.

I don’t have all of the answers for you and your family. I hope you will take the time to examine your educational priorities. Is it more important to you for your child to have an Ivy League education and a high paying job or to be a loving, godly woman? The two goals aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. It is very easy, however, to be so overwhelmed with the requirements of “real” school that our child’s spiritual education gets pushed to the back burner or off of the stove entirely.

Studies have shown that just like a foreign language, religious education “sticks” better when started at a young age. Learning God’s word requires the same amount of effort as learning anything else. It requires study, hard work, practice and correction. One or two hours a week doesn’t provide your child with the spiritual education she needs to be a well equipped servant of God.

Where will your child learn about God? From the media? College professors who mock God and the Bible? His friends? A preacher who may or may not be preaching the truth? The reality is either with spiritual education or without, your child will eventually develop his own views of God. I would prefer my daughter to be well educated in His word, His principles and have her own personal relationship with God before others try to influence her.

Hopefully, with a solid education in spiritual matters, she will be able to withstand any false teachings and remain a dedicated servant of God. Only then can she truly become the woman God meant for her to be.

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Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 11:18-19 NIV)