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Old 05-09-2017, 08:22 PM
timf timf is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2013
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Default The Missing Element in the Christian Homeschool Equation

There are many reasons for secular parents to consider the homeschool option;

1. Avoiding the low standards of public school.
2. Avoiding developmental harm from age segregated social dependency.
3. Reluctance to embrace values of deviancy, environmental cultism, and racial self-hatred.
4. Option to pursue the interests of the child to a deeper level when they are interested.
5. The desire to establish “family” as more than a transient convenience.

There are additional reasons for Christian parents to consider homeschool.

1. Establish a developmental environment where Jesus, God, and the Bible are not jokes.
2. Being able to apply Deuteronomy 6:7
3. Focus on developing character.
4. Focus on developing Christian maturity.
5. Being able to apply James 1:27, John 15:19, and 2 Corinthians 6:17

There are two things first noticed when traveling in home school circles. The first is that it is almost universally run by women. The second is that even moms who have been homeschooling for a while demonstrate a significant level of apprehension and even fear regarding the “right” curriculum, schedule, course, method, or program. At first glance much of this is often attributed to the uncertainty associated with any new undertaking. However, even after years on homeschooling, this apprehension is often attributed to a lack of guidance from those who have gone before. To a certain degree these factors contribute, however, there is something even more basic that is often over looked.

To establish a context, a hypothetical illustration may help provide a context.

A father comes home after a full day’s work and would like to relax and watch TV after dinner. His wife tells him that his 10 year old son had become frustrated with a math problem and refused to do it during his study period earlier in the day. The mother expresses her concern that the math course she ordered may not be the right one.

The father takes his son aside and asks him to give an account of the situation that caused him frustration. After hearing his son describe the events as he saw them, he goes over the following points with his son;

1. The Bible says to be angry and sin not. Did you express your frustration and anger to your mother? Did you then apologize to her or do you need to?

2. There are several possibilities for the frustration you encountered. Tell me which ones you feel applied to your experience.
A. You are mentally limited and unable to do the work.
B. You were inadequately prepared and need more foundational work.
C. There was an error in the problem you were attempting to solve.
D. The problem required effort that you were unwilling to expend.
E. You expected or desired to do something alternatively and upset with the task.
F. You were not given enough time or resources to do the work.
G. There were circumstances or distractions that impeded your work.
H. You were upset about something else and it spilled over to this situation.
I. You are frustrated with math in general and took advantage of this opportunity to express it.

After talking with his son, the father then instructs the son in alternative ways that such situations might be dealt with in the future such as calling for a time out. The son may not be able to master his emotional state at the time or adequately verbalize his feelings. He may request the opportunity to go and sit on a chair until he is better able to communicate. Establishing such family practices can provide resources to better deal with recurring problems.

After talking with his son, the father then talks with his wife. He asks her what her thoughts are concerning their son’s abilities and how useful she thinks the material is she is using. He may offer to download some Youtube videos or search for other instructional resources with which to experiment. He assures his wife that she is not “doing it wrong”. He tells her that learning is not so singularly critical that any misstep is a calamity.

In this illustration we see an important role for a husband and father.

1. Reassuring his wife.
2. Analysis and resolution of problems.
3. Establishment of methods to resolve problems.
4. Review and alteration of methods as needed.

There are two main reasons why the dynamic of the illustration does not often operate in Christian homes.

1. Satan has been advancing a centuries old program to create division between men and women.
2. Satan has been advancing a centuries old program to destroy families and reduce individuals to be components in his systems and collective enterprises.

In the first case some women may resent the intrusion of the husband into a realm they consider their own. Some men may avoid the effort, responsibility, conflict, or uncertainty they see in taking on such a role.

The second reason has many implications as it so permeates the current of the world that it is difficult to remain “unspotted” by it.

Ephesians 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Satan has established such a firm grip on even the concept of learning and education, that it is often difficult to consider alternative methods.

The modern approach to learning is a sequential exposure to information and testing to see if the information can be retained, even briefly. This places an emphasis on retaining “data packets” of information with the associated penalty of having “failed” to do so.

Previous to this modern method of education which was designed to suit the industrial processing of children, the world trained its children through various forms of apprenticeship. The difference between systems and relationships has a significant impact on how a child learns.

In a systems approach the emphasis is on getting it right and passing the test. In the apprentice or relational model there is every expectation of getting it wrong. A journeyman or master would review a “failure” with an apprentice with a view towards learning from the failure so that the next go would more closely approximate the desired outcome.

Women have a tendency to cling to that which provides assurance. In a relational home this would be the assurance that her husband gives her that her efforts are not failures. In a “systems” type home an attempt to gain assurance is derived from test scores that are used to validate that the correct approach is being used. The assurance derived for correctly implementing a procedure has a cold and mechanical feel to it and is often not fully satisfying.

Another difference commonly found between the systems approach and the relational approach is the perspective on experimentation. The systems approach presents a program as finished, functional, and almost guaranteed to produce the desired outcome. In educational systems any failure is laid at the feet of the child (or in the case of homeschool, the mother). It is interesting in public school a failure is always attributed to the child and never the teacher.

In a relational environment the tools and resources employed are also often considered as potentially inadequate, inappropriate, or even ineffective. The openness to try different resources reflects more of a comfort with experimentation than is usually found in a systems type approach.

Men could play an important role in the instruction of their children, encouragement and assurance of their wives, and reducing the negative impact of these worldly systems on their families. For men to undertake this role several barriers may have to be addressed.

1. Husbands who are inert may never find the motivation to be pro-active (nagging is seldom a successful strategy to accomplish motivation)
2. Husbands who have shown little leadership in the home may find resistance to any attempt to do so.
3. Husbands may have no knowledge of where to turn for mentorship or instruction. (seeking out older wiser Christians is not a common practice among system type Christian communities). (additionally, older wiser Christians are not all that common)
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