I love to serve God. In fact I try to do so in everything and everywhere: At the gym, while out shopping, at PSP Sports And More co-op, Disneyland®, my church on Wednesdays and Sundays, classes, and especially in my own home. Okay, stop. Really, who does that? I and thousands of other parents do.
In the mid-1980s, my oldest son, then four, was allowed to attend my church’s small private school, because he could do kindergarten work. I really thought this was the best education for him. After all, I reasoned, it was my church and they taught the word of God the way I believed. The teacher of our church school was a retired schoolteacher and longtime friend of my husband’s family. She really was a wonderful teacher. But the Lord would not allow my heart to be settled. At that time I had not heard of homeschooling and didn’t know anything about it.
At that small Christian school disagreeable things would happen. Thoughts would come to me like, “I wouldn’t have handled things that way.” So we started taking him out for vacations and the teacher gave us his work to do while we were gone. What great fun teaching my own son. This happened for several years, back and forth between home and private school until my son finished second grade.
At this time we heard about the CHEA Convention. We went. My husband went to the legal classes, while I attended the how-to classes. Then there was the exhibit hall. Wow! Who knew there were so many choices in curriculum and other materials for homeschoolers?
California state law prohibits the teaching of “sectarian or denominational doctrine, directly or indirectly” in any part of a course of study at any public school, including homeschooling through charter schools. That’s why we chose to homeschool through a private Christian homeschool program.
Private Christian homeschooling really is the best avenue to train up godly children and to build strong families. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he won’t depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Sound familiar? This is God’s word to us. “Teach your children when they rise up and lie down, when they sit at home or when they walk by the way” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9). Yes, this too is God’s word to us. We parents have been told to do this.
That is a heavy responsibility. But I can tell you after 25 years of doing this; I am still committed to homeschooling my three children who are still at home. It is serious business between God and us. When we are given instructions in His word, we are expected to respond. I have no regrets giving up my life for my children’s sake, but even more importantly, for God. Teaching my children at home has meant I can teach them God’s truth in every part of their curriculum.
My grown children are strong in their values and strong in their family relationships. This doesn’t mean there haven’t been rocky times. The bottom line is we put in the time and effort it takes to make a strong family by 24/7 homeschooling according to God’s instructions. God always works things out for those who honor His word.
Unless God gives us more children we have six years left till all five have graduated from high school at home. Then there is college at home. Bring it on, God, because I know I can do all thing through Christ who strengths me.
I believe we will answer on judgment day if we deliberately put our children and ourselves in a Christ-less education environment, with teaching that is unscriptural. As you can see, I take God’s word literally and aim to keep it. God’s grace, which is sufficient for me, will help me keep His word. You too can fulfill God’s word and live it daily before your children. Teaching them every step of the way through Christ-centered schooling. Don’t compromise.
Doing things God’s way is always right. He will put His convictions in your heart through His word and through godly counsellors. Ask Him what wants you to do concerning homeschooling. Pray with your spouse about everything. This will bring unity into your home. We do this with our children as well. Every night we gather together for closing prayers as a family. If we are gone we call home to pray.
Our family has stayed close to each other and to God. I believe that has happened because my husband and I obeyed God to train up our children in the admonition of the Lord.
Kerry will be telling her story at Parenting With a Vision Conference on April 5 at The Master’s College.
Kerry Byers is the mother of six children and has three grandchildren. She has been homeschooling since 1986, graduating three of her children so far. Currently she is a Regional Advisory Board Member with CHEA and runs a homeschool support organization, PSP Sports And More, with her husband and family. PSP Sports And More is an outreach ministry of her church to private Christian homeschoolers designed to encourage families through the offering of sports, fine arts, and other academic classes, incorporating Christ in all.