Lean in close, friend. Today I’m sharing why I don’t plan Bible study time for our homeschool. That may be a bit surprising because those who know my family know that I’m sitting in a room with 15+ Bibles as I write this.
Even so, homeschool Bible time isn’t something I implement.
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Before we dive into why I don’t have Bible time written into our homeschool schedule, know that I’ve been following Christ since I was a child. You may find it worth knowing that I’m a pastor’s wife and that one of my greatest goals as a parent is to help my kids walk with God and live out His calling on their lives.
You may even be interested to know that most of our homeschool curriculum is written from a Christian worldview. In fact, I can only think of one or two subjects where we happen to use faith-neutral material.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to weave our faith into our homeschool days. That said, I’ve never implemented regular Bible time or study in our homeschool schedule and have no intention of starting anytime soon. Here’s why:
Why I Don’t Schedule Homeschool Bible Time
1. Academic Bible Study Doesn’t
Guarantee a Relationship with God
I don’t schedule Bible time in our homeschool because I want my kids to see that God isn’t concerned with rules or routines; He desires a relationship with them. Don’t get me wrong. Obedience and discipline have their places in a relationship with God, but those are heart things. They can’t be mandated and they can’t be accomplished through a lesson plan.Loving God is a heart thing. It can’t be scheduled on a lesson plan. #parenting
You see, I could force my kids to spend hours each day with their Bibles open and highlighters in hand, but that doesn’t necessarily produce life change or a love for God.
Here’s the thing: I want my kids to read the Bible each day. Better yet, I want them to know the history, why it matters to them, and where to turn when they need counsel.
I also want my kids to spend time with God each day — time listening and talking to Him — because healthy relationships of any kind require time and communication. I want all of those things for them, but our homeschool lesson plans aren’t the place to make it happen.
2. Relationships Are Personal
Relationships take time and work, that’s for sure, but my kids don’t study their grandparents in our homeschool in order to have a relationship with them. I don’t assign chapters or plan topical discussions to help my kids better know their aunts and uncles.
I also don’t have an area with friends’ names jotted onto my lesson plans and page numbers and points to emphasize as we dig deeper to learn more about them. That’s not where their relationships are nurtured.
We don’t approach relationships with family or friends that way and that’s also why I don’t schedule homeschool Bible time. It’s great if our homeschooling helps to strengthen their faith, but homeschooling itself will never be enough to help them follow God.
I don’t schedule homeschool Bible time because I want my kids to understand that their relationships with God are theirs. I can point them toward Him, but they have to choose Him. After all, I can only take up my own cross each day. They must choose to take up their own.
3. God’s Word Shouldn’t Be a Chore
One of my ultimate goals in homeschooling is to cultivate a love for learning, but there’s no fool-proof way to accomplish that in every subject we encounter. That’s why I never want to treat God or His Word like subjects in our homeschool.I never want to treat God or His Word like subjects in our #homeschool. #ihsnet
I want my kids to want to know Him more, to seek His will, and to crave time with Him. Those things certainly happen through studying the Bible, but that doesn’t mean that Bible study and schoolwork go hand in hand.
My husband can attest to this because of his experience attending Christian schools through his school years. He saw the resentment that comes with treating Bible study like another school subject. He witnessed the tendency to dread it the same way students often dread math, history, or any subject deemed difficult to grasp.
This was also true in communities we served through our time in ministry. We’ve known parents who spent crazy amounts of money on tuition in order to enroll their children in Christian schools because of chapel meetings and required Bible study each day.
It sounds great in theory, but chapel and Bible study mean nothing when students view them as chores. That’s what happens when you turn a relationship into a requirement. It becomes a chore and just another thing on a long checklist each day.
I don’t ever want my kids to think that God belongs in a box our homeschool to-do list. Instead I want my kids to understand that God takes priority in their lives. He’s not something I can pencil in somewhere between math and history each day.
In Lieu of Homeschool Bible Time
So, if we don’t do scheduled Bible time in our homeschool, how do we approach God’s Word with our children? In short, we do our best to live out the charge from Deuteronomy 6:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 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. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. ~ Deuteronomy 6:5-9
While we don’t schedule homeschool Bible time, the homeschooling lifestyle helps create that Deuteronomy 6 culture for our family. It gives us those opportunities to look for God, share how He’s at work, and pray together and for each other in the day-to-day happenings around us.
We do family devotions, we listen to sermons when hanging out together or running errands, we share what we’re learning through our individual study times, and our lives center around serving God together. All of this is who we’re called to be and it all happens without the help of our homeschool schedule.
In conclusion, I recognize that the concept of Bible time isn’t a bad thing for any educational setting. I also recognize that many good things can come from studying God’s Word academically. For my family, however, we choose not to incorporate that into our homeschooling.
If Bible time is an important part of your homeschool routine, I’m happy to hear that you’re doing what you feel is best for your family. That’s the beauty of homeschooling, right? We don’t have to walk someone else’s path. We can choose our own and walk in confidence.