Worldview. It’s the curriculum we’re teaching every day as homeschool parents.
It’s taught without books, charts, maps, or diagrams. It’s taught when we don’t realize we’re teaching it. How we see the world will forever impact how our children see the world. It’s taken me twenty years of homeschooling to figure out that worldview training is the most important part of the curriculum.
When I first started homeschooling I had no idea worldview training was on my schedule. I had all the other subjects listed in 15-30 minute increments (I was a little over-scheduled back then!), but I didn’t think of putting worldview training on the list.
Yet here is how I taught it unaware:
1) Through Scripture
Reading and memorizing God’s Word was always on my homeschooling schedule. By teaching it I was guiding my kids toward how God sees the world, which is the first step of biblical worldview training. It became the first part of worldview training: loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, emotions, and time in the homeschooling day.
2) Through focusing on family priorities.
The first few years of homeschooling, I signed up my kids for too many things out of the home, making all of us stressed and overwhelmed. With the help of my husband, we sat down and picked family priorities: dinner together, nightly story time as a family, and church service. When we focused on what we wanted to do most, it made it easier to say no to many good things. By focusing on family priorities we taught our children that family—and spending time with those at home—is important. This became the second half of worldview training: loving others as yourselves . . . especially the others closest to you.
3) Through service.
Service made the list of family priorities, but only after we’d been doing it for a while. It started when John and I began leading children’s church, and it was natural to get our children involved. It continued when I began volunteering at our local crisis pregnancy center. There were numerous days when I felt guilty for “dragging my kids along” to the pregnancy center, but looking back I realize that caring for those who needed Jesus’ love, compassion, and help was even more important than those math facts we were studying.
4) Through evangelism.
I can’t tell you the number of books I read on sharing my faith, but it actually happened when I was unaware. We started inviting some of the teen moms I mentored over for dinner, and God just somehow made His way into our conversation. Later, when I felt God drawing us to take a family mission trip, our kids (teens and preteens at the time) learned how to share their faith as part of the missions training. For three years in a row we flew to post-modern Czech Republic and shared what Jesus meant to us. Taking my children to a country where less than 1% of the people have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ showed them there is a world filled with people who need Jesus . . . and they can do something about it.
No amount of planning could have created such great worldview training for my children. Instead, God allowed the biblical worldview to shine through our lives as we walked, worked, and worshipped in everyday moments. When I followed the voice of the Holy Spirit, He led John and I . . . and we in turn led our family.
God knew what our kids would need most in life: a worldview focused on loving Him and others.
How did I figure out this was the most important thing after all? By observing my older kids. I see it when I watch my married son praying with and singing to his little one at bedtime. I saw it when I watch my missionary daughter’s Facebook statuses when she spent a year in the Czech Republic. Through leading Bible studies for international students and stopping to buy food and pray with beggars on the street, she communicated Jesus’ love. I see it in my son’s stories about how a conversation at work or at school (he attends a secular college) centers around him sharing about God’s love, God’s forgiveness. I see it in the way my kids live their lives for God, not because they know their parents are watching, but because the Holy Spirit flows out of them too.
In the last couple of years we’ve adopted three more children and are in the process of adopting 4 more! I have another 18 years of homeschooling to go. This time I already know what the most important part of our homeschooling curriculum will be . . . and I also know it won’t be taught with books, charts, maps, or diagrams, but rather how we live our lives, placing Jesus first and following Him most in every part of our day.
How do you teach and shape your children’s worldview?
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Andrea Cox says
Tricia, thank you for this one. I’m not a mother yet, but this is what I want: to teach my kids to love and serve God with every part of who they are. I’m learning more about it myself every day (have been my whole life; it’s a continuous process for me, as His mercies are new every morning). When the time comes to have kids, I’m sure I’ll be ready to take on the responsibility of teaching my little ones to learn to love God.