Last week my daughter came across this question while doing some reading – “What is the father’s role in homeschooling?” I had been preparing for our upcoming Raising Entrepreneurs Conference (happening this Friday in Waxhaw NC), and this topic is a big focus for us. There are many things to say here, but to keep it short, here are just a few…
- The father is the head of the household (according to Ephesians 5:22ff). He is responsible for the discipleship, protection, and direction of his wife and children.
- He is responsible for daily Biblical instruction (according to Deuteronomy 6:7-8) – raising up Godly children. In this passage he is called to daily involvement, teaching his entire family (Note: this is not to be delegated).
- Extrapolating from these ideas, he is held accountable for the final outcome – even though both parents will contribute greatly to the discipleship of their children.
With these two passages in mind, it is the father who is responsible for how the family will spend their time learning. When you homeschool, you are accepting your God-given responsibility for raising your children. In order to do this effectively, you have to start asking, “What do I want my children to be like?” Start by asking some of these questions…
- How will my children view God? Public school programs work to reduce God to a religious concept…how will my school (and family) view God? Is He the almighty, sovereign creator of the universe? Is Christ Lord of all and my personal savior? If so, He must be the center of our learning. It is the father’s job to make sure God is at the center of the home, and therefore, at the center of all learning. With this focus, we study who God is, and what He has created.
- How will my children view the family? Is family an institution defined by God? If so, His Word becomes the “Textbook” on this subject. Is there a husband and wife in this model and do they have specific roles? (I think you will find that they do.) What must my children learn in order to fulfill these roles when they marry and have children? This won’t be taught in the public school, but by leaving it out, that child’s view is affected. If the father leads the family, leadership will be defined by the father’s teaching (or lack of) in your homeschool.
- Who will oversee discipline in our family and school? Ephesians 6:4 makes it clear that the father is responsible for bringing up children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. So as mothers encounter difficulties with cooperation in fulfilling assignments, they should be handed over to the father at some point. This kind of instruction will likely be time-consuming. It may require significant one-on-one time, especially if you fail to address it early on. Rebellion is a father’s jurisdiction.
- How will I train my young men to be men? Will the wife be responsible for training our 14 year old son in the duties and responsibilities of manhood? One day our sons will hopefully lead their families, providing for their households, loving their wives as Christ loved the Church (Eph 5:25), etc., but who will teach them what this means? The father must do it. This kind of training requires time together, reading books, studying scripture, and talking about manhood. This is a significant investment for any father.
- Wives are provided for and protected by Godly husbands…young ladies should receive the same from their father. This too is a discipleship process.
While homeschooling mothers are generally the ones at home, overseeing the day-to-day schedule, the discipleship program (which is what your school really should be), is established by both parents, with the father taking full responsibility for the final outcome. As children reach those teen years, fathers will find themselves spending more time discipling teens, dealing with wrong attitudes and discipline issues, and keeping the family on track spiritually as well as academically.
© 2012, David Stelzl