I love the opening heading in Chapter 1 of ‘Educating the Wholehearted Child’: “Home is Where Their Hearts Are” (p19). This, above all, is really what it’s about for us. In a Christian home, this is the place that will be a source of life and love to our children’s hearts, and a place of safety, growth, nurture and learning. Above all else, we hope that we can build a home where Christ is at the centre of every part of our lives.
A Christ-Centered Home
A Christ-centered home is one where an environment is created in which your child’s heart can be shaped and discipled towards encountering the living Christ. This is more than simply filling your home with Christian activities and all that comes with living a Christian lifestyle. Those things are good, but ultimately we hope they will be the outworking of our relationship with Christ Himself. What we are truly working towards is to lead and nurture our children’s hearts to know Him, and to fuel in them the desire to know Him for themselves.
For us, educating our children from home has always been the logical end result of how we take our responsibility as parents to raise our children.
“Educating the Wholehearted Child” does a superb job in laying out a biblical basis for why you might choose to homeschool. As to the biblical basis for what primarily motivates us, I couldn’t possibly try and whittle it down to any group of reasons of any certain scriptures, as there are many.
My favourite ‘parenting’ scripture, in relation to our commitment to homeschool, is: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it (Proverbs 22:6). In educating our children from home, we have this incredible gift of time and freedom to help them in discovering what their path in life will be. We can tailor their education to suit each of our unique children. It’s such a blessing and a gift to do this.
My husband and I are certain of our decision to homeschool, which makes those tougher days a little easier to navigate through.
A Christ-Centred Home in our Family
Simply put, we want our children to have an irresistible desire to know their God. We hope we’re creating a grace-filled home, where our children feel secure, encouraged, free, guided and supported, and above all else, loved. It really is by finding these things within Christ ourselves that we can ‘release’ them into the environment of our home, and into our children’s hearts.
As the children get older, we will add more bible study and discussion into their education. It’s important for us to have discipleship as a way of life, not just as another school subject. There are times for intentional bible study with the purpose of learning, but also for devotional times and reading for fun and family time. We want our children to have good memories of this, and weave the truth into their hearts in an environment of joy and family.
Our current devotional times sometimes look a little messy with our young children. We can’t always get them to sit still, pay attention, or get involved. But sometimes we’ve had really special times together, and God has used our children to show us precious things from His heart. The main thing is that we keep at it, and let our family devotional times grow as our children grow.
You might also find if you give your children freedom to express their child-like faith in their own way during devotional times, you could be amazed at what comes out of their hearts.
Being Intentional About What Comes In
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things”. – Philippians 4:8
We are faced with parenting choices that those before us did not have to make: social media, TV and movies, certain magazines and books, and an over load of information on the internet.
Can I encourage you to be intentional about what you allow into your home? Every now and then, have a scan through some of the things that may have drifted in. It shapes our children’s hearts and minds. Prayerfully consider if/when/how you will introduce your children to certain subjects that are outside your worldview and value system.
The environment in your home is also determined by what you bring into your home.
I’ve been challenged over the last few months about cutting screen time back to almost nothing. We’re not big TV watchers anyway, but there are so many other things to do that are better for our children. We have some new books from Christmas, and lots of fantastic learning resources and art supplies that can keep our children happy and occupied. Something for us all to consider and be intentional about.
Building a Christ-Centred Home
We hope to live out our faith much more as a family this year, and find those opportunities that exist all around us to love others with Christ’s extravagant love. We are His hands and feet. I love to pour out into the lives of those whom God has placed in our path. Generosity, hospitality, words of encouragement, faith-filled prayers – we don’t have to be gifted in great measure, we only have to be willing.
If you’re looking at building your ‘wholehearted’ home this year, what is on your heart for where you intentionally build? Family devotion times? Serving your community? Setting up better habits? Bringing in ‘noble, pure and admirable’ books and music? Establishing prayer and thankfulness as the first response?
Think and pray about these things, write them down, and put them in a place where you can see them. A Christ-centred home is at the very foundation of a ‘wholehearted’ homeschool.
- Purchase “Educating the WholeHearted Child” from Amazon
- Purchase “Educating the WholeHearted Child” from Book Depository
- Visit WholeHeart Ministries (the website of Clay and Sally Clarkson)
NB. These essentials are not laid out in this manner in Clay and Sally’s most excellent book, ‘Educating the WholeHearted Child’ nor are they a summary of the books content. But rather this is what I’ve understood from reading their approach, and have used their words of wisdom and insight to develop our family’s own ‘wholehearted’ approach to our homeschooling.
You might also be interested in the other posts in this series:
- Day 1: The Essentials Of Our ‘WholeHearted’ Homeschool
- Day 2: Our ‘WholeHearted’ Homeschool: Home
- Day 3: Our ‘WholeHearted’ Homeschool: Learning
- Day 4: Our ‘WholeHearted’ Homeschool: Methods
- Day 5: Our ‘WholeHearted’ Homeschool: Living