I read a very interesting article this week. Exposing the Major Blind Spots of Homeschoolers was written by a homeschooling father, Reb Bradley, and was originally published in the Virginia Home Educators Magazine. I found it on Joshharris.com.
While I agree that some points in his article are particular mine fields for homeschoolers, I feel that this article should be read by parents everywhere regardless of where their children are educated…. If we are being honest we would acknowledge that all parents have blind spots. It is good to face them, self evaluate and ask God to reveal to us the areas we need to work on.
The 9 different reasons that he felt contributed to parental blind spots are: 1. Having Self-Centered Dreams 2. Raising Family as an Idol 3. Emphasizing Outward Form 4. Tending to Judge 5. Depending on Formulas 6. Over-Dependence on Authority and Control 7. Over-Reliance Upon Sheltering 8. Not Passing On a Pure Faith 9. Not Cultivating a Loving Relationship With Our Children
In the weeks to come I may take the points of Mr. Bradley’s article and pick them apart within my own personal experience. I don’t know…. I do know it has caused me to think deeply on this subject for the past few days. Most people have a preconceived notion of why people educate at home. I don’t feel like all of the above reasons are bad things, in and of themselves. I know many parents who educate through the public or private systems that want to build up their family, shelter, and discipline their children. The problem arises when we elevate any one of them above our God.
In summation Mr. Bradley writes:
Those who have the most power to influence our hearts are those to whom we are drawn: those who succeed with our values (which is what a hero is), those who can benefit us, those who make us feel valuable, and those who have earned our respect.
If our children grow up motivated only by fear of consequence, they will eventually get away with what they can whenever we are not around (Eph 6:6). If we have their hearts they will seek to honor us whether we are present or not, and their hearts will remain open to our influence.
I refer you to the apostle Paul who modeled this approach to leadership perfectly, “Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, yet I appeal to you on the basis of love…” (Phile 1:8-9a). Paul’s pattern with the churches suggests he understood that appeals to love were more powerful than commands and threats.
These closing words have been where I have stood evaluating. Am I drawing my children to me, or repelling them with my behavior? Am I winning their hearts? Have I led in a manner that earns their respect? I do not want to make my home a child centered home, catering to their every whim and desire, with no discipline or structure, but I do want to disciple my children’s hearts. Pointing them to the Lord whenever possible, modeling grace, humility and love.
I invite you to read Exposing the Major Blind Spots of Homeschooling by Reb Bradley for yourself. I hope you will prayerfully consider what it may reveal to you. I would love to hear what your thoughts are after reading it.
this article was written as a part of The Christian Home. If you are interested in writing for these blog carnival, please visit The Legacy of Home to find out how to submit your post. To read more of this week’s publication visit A day in the Life.