Plan your Discipleship Days
When you homeschool it is important to have a plan. It is not different when you Disciple you children. It is always helpful to know where you are going. When you allow your whole life to be an educational experience there is a danger in wafting from activity to activity. This would not be a Discipleship model.
There is Intention,
Direction and Accountability
God has given us the responsibility to train our children and we don’t take that lightly. We are therefore very intentional and directive in where we expect our family to go in their education. And when I say “education” I mean that we are intentional and directive in every area of their life:
- their body
- their mind
- their spirit
- their emotions
- their life skills
- their talents
We are educating their whole body.
Peter and I have worked together over the years to write down the goals we have for our family – what we want our family to be characterised by. Many good opportunities come our way but if they are not in keeping with our family goals and directions they are just good opportunities. I want to live my life, and train my children to live their lives living God opportunities and not settling for good opportunities.
The first step of our plan is written in our Family Statement. As we have developed this over the years it can be summarised by four key character traits we want for our family:
These character traits are to be the bottom line assessment of our days.
I would encourage you to write a Family Statement. Our full statement is more than these four words – and initially yours would be longer as well. It is over the years, as we have become familiar with the statement and it has become a foundational corner in our decision making that we can summarise it to these four words.
The next step of our plan is written along the lines of Required Learning:
- God (includes reading His Word, the Bible)
- Relationships (God, Family and others)
- Life Skills
- General Knowledge
Once again this list is part of our assessment of our days. It directs our decisions as far as our daily schedule goes and it directs our choices of curriculum. This is a priority list – spending time with God every day is a priority and if that is all that happens in that day I will be happy.
If you think carefully though you will see that these five areas overlap. For example when my children spend their daily time in the Word, they are reading, they are learning what is required of them (eg Character) which will in turn, affect the way they act towards others (Relationships) and so forth.
- We want our children to love and serve God, developing their own personal relationship with Him.
- We want our children to love and serve others – recognising that God has given us our family as the first priority.
- We want our children to live their lives, their words and their actions, to be reflecting Jesus. Therefore we teach Character Traits to help them flesh this out.
- We want our children to have the practical skills to serve others.
- We want our children to have first a broad base knowledge which gives them the ability to relate to many different people groups – be it ethnic, religious, social, academic, etc. Secondly we want them to have a specific knowledge that prepares them for God’s specific calling at a later stage in their life.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What are the things that are the most important to you?
- What do you want your children to look like at the end of your Disciple-ing time with them?
- Consider all aspects of your life – what do you want them to emulate?
- Consider the things that you hold dear in your life – what do you want them to participate in?
- Consider the things that you have learnt since you left school – what do you want them to achieve?
As you write your own plan, it will take time. It will be a learning curve for you, as you get to know your own philosophy, as you get to know your own desires and as you get to know your own children. Even if you start with what seems to be a small concept write it down and build your plan from there.
Just because we don’t use the word Homeschool we still need to be intentional, directive, and accountable as we Disciple our children.