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Academics and Discipleship - Live life with your kids - Issue 103
May 29, 2009
Hi there! ....

My week:
This week I cancelled extra family activity (including some Mum only activities) and yet the week quickly filled with visitors and medical situations! It was a good exercise in learning to say 'no' and only doing the important things. We are working on establishing independent study habits for Nomi and Daniel which meant regardless of the interruptions they had some focus desk time each day.

I’m going to leave you with two thoughts this week

  • What did you do with your kids today?
  • The Importance of Academics

They may seem at odds with each other – one focusing on life and one focusing on academics, but if we are to educate the whole child, we need to consider both aspects.

Live life with your kids!

What did you do with your kids today?

As we follow a discipleship model for training our children (or replacing our traditionally understood homeschooling methods) we need to continue to be diligent, intentional and purposeful. It is easy to slip into the habit of saying “Oh there is learning value in this. I won’t see it as an interruption.”

But ... If it is interrupting what we have on our hearts for our children, it is still an interruption and we need to guard against them. I have recently found myself overloaded with good things. I have needed to stop and take stock of the things that I have allowed to become the norm, these things have interrupted our focus on the important things that we want to do with our children. These things have to go!

I like to ask myself questions. Questions that make me think about the important things, questions that make me assess my days and keep them in line with the principles that I choose to live by. It doesn’t matter if my day included a formal math lesson, blogging, gardening or visiting a sick friend – I need to know that we’ve been spending our time on the right things, on the things that God has put on my heart.

What have I done with my children today?
Has life just happened and we’ve been swept along?
Have I been with my children, teaching, training, talking, praying, living?

The Importance of Academics

In keeping with the maxim, Live life with your Kids, we spend much of our day doing the things that have to be done – the chores around the house, dealing with heart issues as relationships crumble, helping a friend or dealing with business. So often the intentional teaching of academics can seem to fall by the wayside. What is the discipleship perspective on academics?

I believe academics is a important part of our children’s training and we need to find an appropriate place for it in our priorities and home life. Unfortunately society around us often elevates academic success without any connection to impacting society. Jesus calls us not only to be hearers (learners) but doers .. to put His truths into practice.

The Bible constantly reminds us to “Know God’s Word”. One of the strongest learning vehicles is language – speaking, listening, writing, reading and thinking. Our children need to be able to read the Bible and communicate it’s truths to others; we use speaking, listening, thinking and writing in order to communicate to others. This gives us a great motivation for our children to develop language skills.

I have become all things
to all men so that by all possible means
I might save some.
1 Corinthians 9:22b

I often think of this verse when I consider the habits and practices of our family – do the things we do prepare our children to be able to relate to all people – just as Paul was. Paul could stand in the academic halls of the times and debate for the whole day, defending his faith and pleading for others to believe and yet, he could also talk to the roman soldier, the sea captain and tent makers – because he too was a worker, working for his keep. He had the strength of character to address rulers and yet the gentleness to encourage Timothy a young man of the faith.

Are our children prepared with knowledge and skills to be able to address people of different nationalities and beliefs? Or people of different social status, different academic abilities, different natural abilities? Of course, when we look at our children now we don’t necessarily see these skills – but we need to be training them: building their skills and developing them towards this goal. They may not be a “Paul” but they need to be ready to step up whenever God calls.

It starts with a love of God, godly character, language skills and general knowledge. The whole child needs to be educated.

Many of these things can be built into our every day life, our family discussions and our general reading time. But you may need a focus season to give due credit to these skills.

The lips of the wise spread knowledge;
Not so the hearts of fools.
Proverbs 15:7

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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter I know homeschool mums are busy with lots to read, so I have divided my newsletter into four sections and you will receive one section a week; short but regular newsletters!
  • Be a Deliberate Parent – Encouragement to continue in purposeful and intentional parenting.
  • Family Life is a Resource for Education – Spotlights on a particular aspect of family life so we can see the natural opportunities available to us in educating our children.
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  • A Homeschool Thought – Discussing homeschool issues

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