August 17, 2011

Standing In Holy Places


I never thought I would homeschool my children.  Never dreamed of it, really.  I loved school growing up. I loved learning & succeeding in school.  So, imagine my surprise when I started educating myself in things going on in this world and started to feel the Spirit whispering to me very subtly that I maybe should think about homeschooling.  Maybe. 

My husband and I both started having these feelings at the same time.  My aunt is homeschooling her kids.  So, I decided to talk to her about it.  She planted more seeds, got me really excited.  I started reading every homeschooling book I could get my hands on.  Started praying my heart out, researching on the internet, etc.  I spent an entire year educating myself.

My reason for homeschooling started as a more logical reason- a better education for my children.  But, as I read and studied, that reason evolved.  My reasons now, are also for spiritual reasons.  I feel it is what the Lord wants for my family.  As soon as I took the first leap- didn’t put my son on the bus the first day of Kindergarten, I felt free.   I felt peace that I was making the right choice. I can’t say that it has been easy.  It hasn’t.

Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved… D&C 87:8
After I started homeschooling, I was introduced to a video called Celestial Education, by Michelle Stone.  It greatly influenced me, helped me understand the spiritual reasons that I am homeschooling my children. She talked about the argument people use against homeschooling where they say that you need to expose your children to the things of the world so they know how to deal with them.  I loved how she said this is the exact opposite of what is taught in the scriptures.  It never says anywhere that you you need to surround yourself with unclean things to learn how to be clean.  In fact, it has the opposite effect!  The more you are exposed to the things of the world, the more you become numb to them.  We have been told that the home is the most sacred place on earth, after the temple.  Why then would we not want to stand in this holy place and keep our children there, as well?

The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth. D&C 93:36
Two books that are recommended in the Celestial Education lecture are Teach the Children, by Neil J. Flinders, and Revealed Educational Principles by Jack Monett.  I highly recommend both of these. 

Teach the Children taught me that all education is spiritual.  All intelligence is gained through light.  True learning is more than gaining knowledge, but also wisdom to know how to use that knowledge in the way the Lord wants you to.  Intelligence =  truth + light. How, then could we justify separating our education from spiritual things, when all things are spiritual? 

Revealed Educational Principles is about the church in the early days and how the prophet & apostles encouraged the saints to teach their children in church schools and not send them to public schools.  It was a real eye opener for me.  Both of these books increased my understanding of why the Lord wanted me to begin this journey & reaffirmed my choice.

For a while now, we have been doing morning devotionals as a family.  With breakfast, or just after, we sit together and do a little scripture study and discussion time.  I try to keep it short and simple. We work on learning a new primary song or hymn each week.  We also have memorized the Articles of Faith. Then, we close with a prayer.  It has been such a wonderful time for us to really bring the Spirit into our home.  We have been using the book Scripture Study for Latter-Day-Saint Families, by by Dennis H. Leavitt, Bruce L. Andreason and Richard O. Christensen.  They have written them for all of the Standard Works.  We have been working through the Book of Mormon one. We have really learned a lot from it.  

Also, on,  under the children section there are some wonderful things.  You can listen to stories, play games, read the Friend magazine, watch video clips of the scripture stores, etc.  We like to watch the video clips of the scripture stories.  We often use these for our morning devotionals.  It’s been great for my little ones!  I love to see them learning about the gospel and being excited about it.
I have been trying to incorporate the gospel into all areas of our studies.  I always try to think of what the eternal perspective is to each subject we are learning and teach that to my children.  It is a beautiful way to teach and to learn.  I love learning about history and the scriptures together. I love teaching about the creation and science and nature all together.  I feel like education has so much more meaning and purpose when it is incorporated with gospel principles!

So, my question to all of you readers is this:  How do you teach with the Spirit in your home?   What are your favorite gospel teaching resources?  How do you bring spiritual learning into all aspects of your homeschooling? 

Karyn is a mom to three young children. She just finished her first year of homeschooling. She grew up in FL and got a degree in Home Ec. Ed. from BYU. She taught school for a few years before having kids. Karyn loves learning along with her kids! Some hobbies: music, cooking, sewing, reading, & gardening. She runs two different blogs- one focused on homeschooling- Teach Beside Me, the other is a food blog.

12 comments - Add a comment below -:

JRoberts said...

The paragraph about standing in holy places really resonates with our family, especially this line: "It never says anywhere that you you need to surround yourself with unclean things to learn how to be clean. In fact, it has the opposite effect! " How often we have to defend our choices to family and church members. It is so sad. Thank you for the wonderful post!

We find that the spiritual teaching can come at amazing times. We never plan to teach the spiritual, except for scripture study and the FHE lessons, but we look for it in everything to expand on what we have learned. It is amazing and beautiful the things that have come up in our learning just by watching for the gospel tie in.

Dana ♥ said...

Something to think about... Standing in Holy Places AKA the Temple and our Homes....

We go to the temple to learn and buoy ourselves up from the evils of the world. Like wise, we educate at home to teach and buoy our children up from the evils of the world.

Thanks for the post!

DAY said...

WOW, you touched on so many of the same thoughts and feelings I had/have in my own homeschooling journey. I took a years time in my decision as my daughter finished 2nd grade in public school. We have now just finished our first year of homeschooling and I couldn't be more grateful for the promptings of the spirit to change my perspective on education and help me realize that homeschooling and incorporating the gospel into our learning was the right thing to do! Thanks for a wonderful post and I will look into that video!

Corine said...

I didn't know that the "Scripture Study for Latter Day Saint Families" existed. But some of my favorites are the scriptures written by those same authors. For example: "The book of Mormon for Latter Day Saint Families." (Forgive me if this is what you meant! :o) I want to get all the standard works this way. We have used the B of M one extensively in our family scripture study. It was especially great when the kids were younger for two reasons. One, there are some *real* pictures of real places from the scriptures (along with many drawings), which makes the reading more real. And two, when they didn't understand a word, there was a quick reference to explain so I didn't have to waste time brainstorming (this may sound lame, but I LOVED it!). There is also quite a bit in the lower half of each page with information that I didn't know until studying it. This is a great resource for people of all ages! I think we all learned the B of M very well as a result of using this book, so I plan to use the others with my family as well.

PS We are so blessed to be homeschooling families! :D Thanks for the great post! :)

Corine :D

Christina said...

I'm grateful for your post. We have been homeschooling for two years going on three now. The world is changing faster and faster. Something I'm noticing is that as I teach the kids history I'm looking for ways to teach the prophecies and revelations that have been taught to is in the scriptures! And we talk about how important it is to realize history repeats itself and what we should be preparing for. The latest news with the super congress has opened up a study on the declaration of indepence and where our country separated itself and people gained freedoms. And how today those freedoms are being challanged but we are still a blessed nation and no matter what we have those blessings upon us as told by prophets. I love homeschooling and tying in the gospel in every aspect. Thanks again for the post. Today I stand a little taller as a am reminded of my purpose here.

Christina said...

Oh and I use the institute manual for personal scripture study and then in the mornings I'm prepared to guide my children by explaining what certain verses or chapters are trying to say. For example this morning it was 2 nephi chapter 7. Issiah speaking, I was very grateful after we finished the 11 verses, when my 12 year old said "WHAT???". Lol. I was able to explain exactally what was to be taught about trysting in God not the arm of flesh. Whew. Very grateful for that institute manual. Again thanks

Eve said...

The Scripture Study book I have used too and like how there are ideas for both older children and younger ones. I really appreciate this post--I have been coming to see this way of thinking more as each year passes. It makes sense to base the foundation of our education on the restores gospel of Jesus Christ--but since it is not exactly how I was raised (educationally-speaking) posts like this are a great encouragement bring welcomed ideas to try, so thank you again!

Kendra said...

When I teach my kids any subject we try to apply it to the gospel. I as them questions to get their brains thinking in both directions - secular and spiritual! Great post!

The Osborne's said...

What a wonderful post! I really enjoyed the Celestial Education interview and all the resources shared. I would probably never have come across these things if not for this post. Thank you!

Jennifer said...

Thank you so mcuh for this wonderful, inspiring post! I have had the same sort of promptings myself, especially within the last year of homeschooling my three little ones. Thanks again!

Erica said...

Thank you for this post.

SAH in Suburbia said...

Very powerful post. We are just beginning our homeschooling journey with our oldest child and you have given me much to think about.