Guest Post: Kathie Morrissey is the mother of 8 children, wife to Alan for 40 years, and a committed homeschooling mom of 31 years. She is the founder of The Character Corner, where she loves to blog about parenting, family life, homeschooling, and life in general. You can also find daily encouragement on her Facebook page.
Kathie is a popular speaker at home school conventions and support groups, as well as ladies retreats. Her heart’s desire is to help and encourage parents to be purposeful in raising Godly children with strong Christian character, who walk in purity, and have a heart for God.
She is also the author of two popular character curriculums, and several other books written to encourage Biblical parenting.
When you made the decision to homeschool your children, I’m sure that one of your top goals was to be successful in your endeavor! Fortunately you can go to God’s Word and see what the three elements of successful homeschooling are, and be reminded that true education seeks to train the heart and soul, not just the mind.
Those three elements are given to us in II Peter 1:5, where it tells us: “Add to your faith virtue(or character;) and to virtue knowledge.” We need to purposefully include God’s Word (building faith), character training (virtue), and then academics.
Biblical Elements of Successful Homeschooling:
1.Build your children’s faith.
It is important that we teach our kids about God and His Word. We should try to help them develop a love for God, and a desire to please Him.
We need to get His Word in their hearts and minds daily to build their faith, and help them develop a relationship with the Lord that will give them that desire to do what is pleasing to God. Getting God’s Word in their hearts and minds is the best way to build their faith.
Start your day by having a little Bible time with the kids right after breakfast. Include a little Bible reading followed by how it applies to their lives, and then spend time memorizing a verse or a passage.
Starting YOUR day with God’s Word shows your children that this is important to you, and will help them want to develop that habit. Get them excited about reading the Bible every morning on their own as soon as they are able to read well enough.
You want them to realize the importance of starting their day with God’s Word, and developing that habit of daily seeking His wisdom. Give them a plan that they will enjoy to make it easier for them to stay consistent. BIBLE READING PLANS YOUR CHILDREN WILL ENJOY.
2. Build your children’s character.
Daily character lessons are an important way to teach our children what Godly character looks like, and is an opportunity to show them from God’s Word how they can grow in those areas. Godly character also sets your kids up for success in life.
Character should be the foundation we lay BEFORE teaching academics, as character is vital for academic success.
I love the way that David Ballman says it in his book The How and Why Of Homeschooling:
The most important area of instruction is not academics, but the development of godly character. If a person has great intellectual knowledge but little godly character, his life will not have much positive impact upon the world in which he lives. Development of character is critical to the proper growth and maturation of a young child. Home educators are returning to the crucial development and nurture of character. The most important task of the educator is to prepare his students for life. And the best way to prepare a student for life is to teach, model, and promote the development of godly character. Character training is the most important and most laudable activity for a teacher to be engaged in. If a student is taught nothing else save character alone, he will be better prepared for life than those who are taught pure academics but no character.
3.Teach them academics.
God says that knowledge (or academics) is third on the list.
While I believe it is our responsibility as homeschooling parents to be sure our kids receive a good education academically, we also need to be careful not to let academics become a distraction from our top priorities.
Take your job seriously as you teach your children, and spend time preparing to be sure they learn what they need to learn and are prepared for life, and the purpose God has for them.
Keep these goals in mind as you make your school plans. They will give you guidance and direction, helping you to stay focused on the choices that lead to a successful homeschool.