What is Messianic homeschooling?
an article by Julie Allen (RestoringtheWay.org)
To answer this question thoroughly, let’s examine what Messianic homeschooling is NOT.
Messianic homeschooling is not like mainstream Christian or secular homeschooling because the focus is different. In a Messianic homeschool, the focus and center of our life and learning is the Torah.
Messianic homeschooling is not a substitute for public school or private school. The goal of schools (both public and private) is to train up students with good grades who will one day secure good jobs and teach their children to do the same. The schools which produce students who have completed a college degree program are ranked and receive recognition for producing students who go on to become successful in the world’s eyes. The primary goal of Messianic home schooling is to instill wisdom in the hearts and minds of our children. We want our children to be successful in the Lord’s eyes.
Our primary goal is not to achieve high scores on tests of knowledge in science, history, math, or spelling. Those subjects are wonderful but they are not the focus of Messianic homeschooling. Our focus is to teach our children the commands, decrees, and laws that the Lord our God gave us. We want our children to live a long life and fear the Lord our God as long as they live. We want to equip our children to teach their children and their children’s children because it is God’s will that we do so.
Deuteronomy 4:6-8 Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” 7 What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him? 8 And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?
Deuteronomy 6:1-2, 4-9 These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. 4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Many people ask me about Messianic homeschooling. There are two main questions people ask me. The first is: “How are your children going to get into college or get a job to make money?” The answer is a bit more complex and I will address the subject of college in its own blog post but the money part is something we don’t worry about. Why, you ask? The Lord promises us that when we are dispersed into the nations (which we are) and return to the Torah with our whole heart (which we are challenged to do daily) then He will restore our fortunes, have compassion on us, and gather us to Himself.
Deuteronomy 30:1-3 When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come on you and you take them to heart wherever the Lord your God disperses you among the nations, 2 and when you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, 3 then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you.
Who does worry about clothes, shelter, jobs, etc.? The Bible says the pagans worry about these things but we are commanded not to worry about these things. We are commanded to seek God’s kingdom first and foremost and all of the things we need will be added unto us and provided for us.
Matthew 6:25-34 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
The second question many people ask me is: “How will your children have friends or a social life?” We are so blessed to live in an area where there are many homeschooling families. Our congregation is full of youth, children, and babies who are all Messianic and are all homeschooled. But our focus is not to have dozens of friends for our kids. We focus on QUALITY rather than QUANTITY when it comes to our children’s friends. First and foremost, God is their best friend.
James 4:8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Next, their siblings are their friends. These are the people that the Father decided to put in my children’s lives. We have four children and we have taught them how to be each other’s friends first. If they are not faithful with being friends to each other, they are not ready to add to their circle of friends. We have taught them how to love each other.
John 15:12-15 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
Finally, they are ready for adding friends to their circle. Once they can guide their friends and help them to continue in the Torah they are ready for friendships. We train our children to be kind to all people but to keep company and be close friends with those who are good company for them.
Proverbs 12:26 One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
Proverbs 13:20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
Messianic homeschooling is an amazing method of learning and teaching. I learn every day and because the focus is the Torah/Bible, I study constantly. This has greatly improved my walk with the Father and led me closer to Yeshua my Messiah. I am so encouraged to see my children learning His ways and studying His word every day.
Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the Torah is our schoolmaster to bring us unto Messiah, that we might be justified by faith.
I say all of these things not to downplay the importance of learning the sciences or gaining an understanding of mathematics or to be a good writer but to encourage you as a Messianic homeschooling family to seek to follow the Torah, teach the Torah, and instill a love for the Torah in your children’s hearts first. Let that be your focus. Then, all of the other subjects will be added unto you. I have tried to interweave the teachings of the Torah and the rest of scripture into our Messianic homeschool. When we learn about a science topic whether it is a study of physics or biology, we talk about our creator’s laws. We talk about His consistent wisdom and faithfulness. We talk about the principles of reaping and sewing. He is in all subjects. When we see that 1+1=2 every time, we feel comfort in knowing that will never change. It never changes and neither does our God.
Numbers 23:19 God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?
Malachi 3:6a “I the LORD do not change.”
So, be encouraged as you begin to homeschool or continue homeschooling. Remember not to lose your focus on what is important; the source of our wisdom and our children’s wisdom is the Torah.
Proverbs Chapter 2
My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding—indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, who have left the straight paths to walk in dark ways, who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways. Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman, from the wayward woman with her seductive words, who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God. Surely her house leads down to death and her paths to the spirits of the dead. None who go to her return or attain the paths of life. Thus you will walk in the ways of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous. For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it; but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it.