August 17, 2011
By Karyn Tripp
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 lds.org, 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.