Back To School—Are You Ready?

by Dr. Georgia Purdom on August 18, 2011

It’s that time of year again—one that many children dread (not mine—she loves school!). Parents and children alike will begin another year of homeschooling or Christian or public schools. No matter what your educational choice is, parents are commanded by God to teach their children His Word:

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, iwith all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:5–9)
Give ear, O my people, to my law; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, Telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done. For He established a testimony in Jacob, And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers, That they should make them known to their children; That the generation to come might know them, The children who would be born, That they may arise and declare them to their children, That they may set their hope in God, And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments; (Psalm 78:1–7)
If you are not homeschooling then it is especially important that you know what your children are being taught and that you are actively involved in their education and their school. If your child attends public school or even some Christian schools, have you taught them to listen for key words like evolution, Mother Nature, millions of years, tolerance, and diversity? Do you communicate with them daily about what they are learning? Do you review their homework and actually read the papers they bring home? These are all great ways to be informed and to discuss with your child any teachings that may be contrary to God’s Word.

Outside of the daily interactions with your child, there are many ways to form effective relationships with your child’s teachers and school (if their main source of education is outside the home). Are you attending the PTO (parent teacher organization) meetings? Are you communicating frequently with your child’s teacher? Are you helping with sports, field trips, class parties, and other events?  These are all ways that you can build relationships with the people that you have entrusted to educate your child. Many teachers at my daughter’s school know that I work at the Creation Museum (thanks to my efforts and hers) and want to talk about it and visit!

This is also the time of year when many extracurricular activities (regardless of the form of education you choose) will begin to vie for your child’s time. There are sports, music, drama, clubs and the list goes on and on. Does your child need a daily planner just to organize all their activities? If they do, then you might want to take a step back and assess how all the activities are affecting the amount of time you spend together as a family. If your children are spending most of their day outside the home in school, is it really healthy for your family life if they are spending most of their evenings and even weekends involved in extracurricular activities? In order to fulfill God’s commands to teach our children His Word,we need to spend quality time with them! I know it’s not always easy to do; I have a child who is interested in many things, and I want her to explore different areas to help find her God-given talents and abilities. However, I will not let her do so at the cost of what God has commanded of me as a parent.

In this somewhat crazy time of year, it is important to keep our focus on God and His Word. We need to remind our children and ourselves that everything we do—whether school, work, or play—is not for our glory but for His glory.

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