Homeschooling for Character

Some of you are homeschooling this year, and I have a few words to share with you. The underlying premise of homeschooling is one of NOT doing the usual—for why not send your children to a public school if all you’re teaching are the 3 R’s? The inclusion of scripture and worship separate the public and private realms, but what is the difference between home education and Christian institutionalized education? In a nutshell, I believe it is character training. It is belief that a mom's job isn't done when her child turns 6 or even 16.

Let me offer an example. In every household there is a dawdler. I had mine. If he attended any school outside the home our day and his instruction would have been far different.


Mom: You must tidy your room before breakfast.

Child: It’s time to go to school (bed unmade). We’re going to be late!


If the family eats breakfast and rushes off to school, bed unmade, what sin of omission would I have taught my child? As a homeschooling family, what did I teach instead?

Whether we like it or not, all of our child training includes both obvious or subconscious character training. The joy of homeschooling for me was taking that choice into the realm of scripture memorization, character training studies focused on my son(s) becoming the men God wanted them to be. The question lies in how to get that mission accomplished. I have a few ideas:


· Choose your rules with care, then enforce the rules like their survival depends upon it.


· Choose materials that honor God.


· Include literature that aligns with your central purpose.


My character training novels include scripture study moms and dads can utilize with precision. Add additional discussion questions as they pertain to your child. Assigned memorization of what a trait and its scriptural admonition. One of my sons wrestled with contentment. He can still recite, “having food and rainment I will therewith be content.” We focused on that character quality time and time again because he never saw anything he didn’t want, no matter how often we studied it. My job was to be more persistent than my son, unwearying in schooling him, patient and willing to keep the Word of God before him at all times.


As I developed the characters of Christine and Miller, I thought of my grandchildren and all the little lessons I’d love to teach them, had I teachable moments with them. Find materials and literature that accomplish these goals, and your homeschooling will be a ministry that completes you and helps you realize one of your purposes in life.

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Created September 2018, Saralee Rhoads