Our Attitudes as Teachers

I’ve been meaning to start a series on my blog for my future reference with some of my favorite quotes and Bible verses related to homeschooling.  I don’t know how often I’ll post “inspirational” material.   As my long-time readers know, I tend more towards practical activities and unit study writing.

I’ve been reading a book that is called Things We Wish We’d Known: A Guide to Abundant-Life Homeschooling.  I don’t actually know why I decided to pick it up off of Paperback Swap, but I’m glad I did.  This book was published in 1999, and it contains snippets of advice from 50 respected members of the homeschool community, many of whom have successfully graduated their homeschoolers at this point, even though they were in the thick of things when this book was published.

The most recent essay that I’ve read is from David and Shirley Quine.  It’s adapted from their book Let Us Highly Resolve, and after reading their essay, I’ve requested their book from Paperback Swap, so I’m sure I’ll be writing more about them in the future.

As I was reading their essay, I ran across this quote of I Peter 5:2-4

Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither has as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock.  And when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

I loved this quote as I read it because the Quines were discussing how important relationships are to homeschooling.  In their example, we are the shepherds and our children are the flock.  Our job as parents is to feed the flock by developing a loving relationship with our children.  Once we’ve laid the basis of our relationship to our children in unconditional love, we teach them–not by lording over them, but by giving them an example that they want to follow because of our relationships with them.  This is the kind of care that God will reward in the end.

I loved this because I thought that so often our attitudes as we teach our children is to check off a list, fill a bucket and make sure we are meeting standards.  Often we do this to our children’s detriment or even without considering them much as we parent from a position of fear or pride.  Instead, the focus in these verses is on feeding the flock, caring for them, overseeing them and providing an example.

I want to be the parent who provides my life as an example and takes care of my flock as they watch me.  I want to model the virtues and knowledge that I want them to have so that I can help them to grow into the people that God wants them to be.  I want my children to know that they are loved and they are able and I want to see them thrive and grow under an umbrella of that love.

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