Every homeschool parent has dreams of raising his or her children to be functional, productive citizens. We want them to be able to adequately care for themselves as adults and, if they marry someday, have the skills necessary to support and raise a family. But, in addition to teaching them to care for themselves and their immediate family circle, we who are homeschooling parents have the opportunity to bring up children who will impact our world with holy influence until such time as Jesus returns.
Why is the homeschool environment an ideal place to incubate world-impacting leaders?
We teach our children to think outside and beyond the box.
Homeschooling parents tend to steer away from a cookie-cutter approach to education. We are able to accommodate our children’s differences in learning styles more than is possible in an institutional school setting. We can take the time to discuss subjects of interest and pose thought-provoking questions for our children to consider.
We can teach them to think things through for themselves, rather than imbibing whatever popular opinions are tossed at them by others. Within the Christian home, we should teach them to invite the Spirit of the Lord into their thought processes. He is the Spirit of Truth (John 16:13-15), by Whom all thought should be measured and tempered.
Homeschooling is well suited to fostering creativity.
Because of the individualized learning that often goes on in our home schools, which includes the flexibility to explore topics of special interest and the opportunity to do hands-on learning, creative thinking tends to blossom in our children.
We are able to create because we have been made in the image of God, Who is the Creator of all things. So, if we teach our children to invite the Lord into their ideas, their ability to bless others through their creativity will be multiplied far beyond their natural abilities.
Homeschooled children quite naturally learn to take responsibility.
They tend to absorb basic life skills just by being together with family and doing lots of things with Mom and Dad. They learn to study on their own when necessary. And, especially with larger families, they have to do their part in keeping the family moving together smoothly — whether through accomplishing their given chores, or helping with caring for younger brothers and sisters, or taking the initiative to do things for themselves, just because Mom doesn’t have time to do it all for them.
Taking responsibility is part of their God-given call to selfless giving, which is a big part of genuine leadership. We’ll talk about this in greater detail in a later post.
Homeschooled children tend to have high character standards.
As with taking responsibility, the development of good character partly comes about naturally as we live out our day-to-day life as family. We are able to address character flaws in our children as we see them happening on a moment-by-moment basis, and steer them in a better direction before things get too out of hand. In addition, many homeschool parents methodically teach character, using a Bible-based character curriculum with their children.
Homeschooled children tend to be mature in how they view life and in how they relate to people.
This is because they are around adult people a lot (their parents, as well as extended family and friends). The maturity of older people rubs off on them. They have more time with their parents, to watch how adults resolve conflict and respond to people relationally. They are not miniature adults by any means, and should not have that expectation laid upon them, but they do tend to be more mature than children of the same age who spend less time with adults and more time with peers.
Most importantly of all, we can instruct our children to view life biblically.
When we understand our world from God’s perspective, we are open to His ideas and problem-solving input. We can tap into His wisdom. Our world needs people who have answers which proceed from God’s supernatural wisdom.
In the Old Testament, Joseph and Daniel are excellent examples of godly men who greatly benefited the foreign nations where they lived, through wisdom they obtained from the Lord. They became national leaders. But on the other end of the spectrum, 2 Kings 5 gives us the story of a young servant girl who, through a caring comment, became the means for her master to be both healed of leprosy and become a believer in the true and living God. Whether we are placed in high or low places of responsibility, God can mightily use the person with a right perspective of Him and His ways.
Please keep in mind that in the above points I am speaking in terms of tendencies. This is not to say that all homeschool families will do well in these areas, or that families who do not homeschool cannot excel in them. But because of the sheer amount of time we spend with our children in the homeschool environment, we do have a great opportunity to develop leadership qualities in them.
Next time we’ll talk about what leadership is, and why even our more passive children can, and should, be leaders on some level.