The topic of our WA19 Mum Heart Conference was “Homeschooling from the Heart”. The key idea was that for us to impact our children’s hearts – we must teach from our heart.
The heart is the place where we hold beliefs and values; we then process those beliefs and values in order to make choices.
To homeschool (or parent) from our heart – means that we teach our kids these beliefs and values that we have in our heart. A scripture that I have often reflect on is from Deuteronomy 6:6-7: These words I am commanding you today are to be upon your hearts. And you shall teach them diligently to your children and speak of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up …
Today I want to encourage you in four ways you can teach your kids the things in your heart.
- Know your Heart – you need to know what you believe and why, as well as what values you want to base your life on. In those verses from Deuteronomy God says that His words need to be first on the parent’s hearts before they can teach their kids.
- Live a life consistent with your beliefs and values – our children will see (and be turned away) from hypocrisy – we need to walk the talk. This does not mean we need to be perfect, but we do need to be honest, and show our kids that having a faith, and living a life of character is as much about dealing with our failures as it is about doing things well and right in the first place.
- Talk to your kids about what is in your heart – our children will be influenced because we have a relationship with them. This is very important in the teen/highschool years but even before that, when we deal with our children with respect (because they are precious and made in God’s image) then we start to build a pathway into their heart.
- Help your kids to build beliefs and values in their heart – beliefs aren’t just held nebulously in the space of our soul – they are acted out – they need to be acted upon to be true beliefs. So as our children grow in wisdom, and understanding they need to practice making choices based on the values and beliefs we are teaching them. Our children need to have practice to live by their heart well before they set out on their own as young adults.
The idea of having beliefs and values as the starting point in our homeschool is counter-cultural. We live in a society that values knowledge. School is built on the premise that a child needs information and skills to be successful. But your homeschool needn’t be built on the same premise.
Each of us will have different things in our heart – but as Christians there will also be a similarity in some things:
- We will desire a relationship with God
- We will desire to act in a way that honours Him and what he has done in our life
- We will desire to introduce our children to Jesus
- We will desire our children to choose Jesus
I am reminded of a quote from Ruth Beechick:
“Homeschooling is largely heart to heart. The methods and even the curriculum do not matter nearly as much as the relationship between child and parent.” —Dr. Ruth Beechick
This is so true. It is only as we spend time, be honest and vulnerable, and value our child as a person that we will have the opportunity to influence them in the things that matter. The things of the heart – beliefs and convictions, values, emotions and passions, choices – these things are not taught from books or even videos. These things are taught one person to the next, one heart to another. These things are taught as we engage with life, as we engage with people who live out their beliefs and values. We need to be those people in our children’s lives.
We encourage mums in a geographical area to gather together and build relationship and support with each other. If you meet monthly you may find these reflective questions helpful to guide your discussion.
Feel free to share your thoughts here in the comment section
Belinda is married to Peter and they live in the far north of Western Australia. Their four children (Joshua, Jessica, Naomi, Daniel) are all adults now so life looks different as Peter and Belinda move towards a new season of life. Belinda homeschooled for 20 years – taking each of their children from prep to year 12. They have all undertaken some form of adult learning since homeschooling and are moving into finding passions and interests of their own. Belinda’s heart is to encourage mums and dads to build strong families by being intentional and relational in all parts of family life.