When we were exploring the idea of homeschooling our daughter, I did a lot of research. There are as many types of homeschoolers as there are parents. As a card carrying overachiever, I was floored by the families who had working farms, ground the flour for their home baked bread and educated children who went on to earn college degrees at young ages. Many of these families were also Christian and appeared to have children who were living their faith.
While I have yet to grind my own flour when I bake bread several times a year (versus weekly for those super homeschoolers), I did adopt a few of their secrets of success. One of them was having a plan and following the plan. Their plans weren’t necessarily rigid, but they knew without one their children would miss learning crucial material.
Over the years, I began thinking about the idea of planning. I worked with our daughter to develop a plan for all of the things she wanted to learn how to cook and all of the life skills she needed to learn before leaving for college and we slowly worked through the list over time. Why don’t we have a similar plan for the spiritual education of our children? The very rare church may have one, but most will just point to their curriculum scope and sequence. I don’t know that I have ever met a parent that developed one (although I am sure someone has).
With a degree in education, I often have master educational plans floating around my brain. I don’t know why I didn’t capture a spiritual education plan for our daughter, but thankfully with lots of time and intentionality, I believe we eventually gave her a strong faith foundation. Would we have been more thorough and effective if we had a more formal plan? I think if we weren’t too rigid, it might have helped.
So what should be in your child’s spiritual education plan? What Bible stories should they know? How will they develop spiritual disciplines like independent Bible study and prayer? What scriptures will they memorize? What godly character traits should they be mastering? How do you plan to help them identify, develop and use the gifts God gave them to serve Him? What else do you want to make sure they are actively taught about God and living the Christian life?
The spiritual education of your children is eternally important. It needs some serious time, attention and planning. If you put more effort into planning your children’s baseball or dance careers or preparing them for college than you do into their spiritual education, don’t be surprised if their faith foundation crumbles.