Reposted from Homeschool-101 Apologia
My heart went out to this young homeschool mom as we talked in a quiet corner of the bustling homeschool convention center in Portland, Oregon. “You homeschooled for twenty-one years. Did you ever want to quit?” she asked. “Why didn’t you? Why in the world are you still speaking on homeschooling now that your kids are grown?”
I prayed fervently, silently, and quickly for the Lord to give me powerful words of encouragement for this battle-worn mother. “Of course I wanted to quit,” I replied. “Many, many times. But I couldn’t because the stakes are too high. As Christian homeschooling moms, we are not just teachers. We are first and foremost kingdom builders. Joe and I wanted our kids to have a great education. But more than that we wanted them to know Christ—to walk with Him, seek Him, love Him, and serve Him.”
“But how can moms be kingdom builders?” she asked.
Our conversation ended when I had to run to my next session, but it continues to commandeer my thoughts and prayers to this day.
After the conference ended, Joe and I took two days to visit Oregon’s spectacular coastline. As we walked together one day, we were revived and rejuvenated with that inexplicable strength that comes when we witness God’s majesty in His creation. We marveled at the breathtaking views of the rugged cliffs on our left and the enormous black monoliths jutting out of the ocean on our right. Surrounded by these imposing edifices, the words of the psalmist rang in my heart: “From the end of the earth will I cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed and fainting; lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:2). Oh Lord, I prayed, you are our Rock, and you alone are the answer when we are overwhelmed by the assignment you have given us to teach and train our children.
I became lost in thought and prayer as we followed the bend in the shoreline. Suddenly, we found ourselves staring up at Haystack Rock, a 235-foot-tall stone that dwarfed all others on the beach. Upon closer observation we realized that this massive rock served as a refuge and shelter to throngs of birds and a host of sea life. Again, the words of the psalmist resonated within me: “Be to me a rock of refuge in which to dwell, and a sheltering stronghold to which I may continually resort, which You have appointed to save me, for You are my Rock and my Fortress” (Psalm 71:3). Oh Lord, I prayed, continue to be a shelter and refuge for parents who are seeking to serve you by teaching their children at home.
A Powerful Illustration
As the sun began to set, the temperature plummeted—not into the low 80s that I was accustomed to in Carolina—but into the low 40s. We turned around and hurried back toward our hotel. That is when I noticed that the house on the cliff was actually built into the rock. That house isn’t going anywhere, I thought.
What a powerful illustration of Luke 6:47-48: “Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.”
The one absolutely essential trait that all Christian homes should have in common is that the people who live within have “dug deep” and laid their foundation on the Rock. Our lives, our children’s faith, and their educations must be built on the Rock if we want them to survive the storms in this life and last for eternity.
But how do we do this? The founders of Harvard explained it this way in their Rules and Precepts written in 1646:
Let every student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3) and therefore lay Christ at the bottom, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning.
In other words, everything we do and everything we teach in our homeschool—science, math, literature, home economics, everything—must be based on God’s Word. At the very core of our homeschooling, we need to commit ourselves to Christ’s admonition in Luke to come to Him, to study His Word, and to act on what we learn. Then we must teach our children to do the same.
At Apologia, our commitment, the driving force behind all we do, is to aid you in this quest. Every resource we publish—from our science texts to our worldview curriculum to our “how to” books—are built on the unshakable foundation of God’s Word.
We know from Luke that our work as homeschooling parents will often be arduous and sometimes overwhelming, because the wise man who built on the rock had to dig deep. But we can take joy in knowing that as we labor in our home and homeschool for Christ’s sake, we will be building God’s kingdom one child at a time.
Zan Tyler is director of Apologia Press. Her life as a speaker, writer, and homeschooling advocate began thirty years ago when, as a homeschooling mother, she was threatened with jail by the South Carolina state superintendent of education. Zan founded the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools in 1990 and served as its president for ten years. She has been honored as the South Carolina Homemaker of the Year and has appeared on NBC’s Today Show. In addition to her book 7 Tools for Cultivating Your Child’s Potential, she has written for numerous academic journals and homeschool magazines such as HSLDA’s Court Report.