It was Bible time, a part of every homeschool day and scheduled in our Instructor's Guide. Bible was one of the subjects that our whole family did together before going separate ways to tackle our own subjects.
Mom would read the assigned passage from Scripture and any additional book that was assigned for the Bible portion of the schedule. She'd ask questions about the passage and point out key concepts about God's character. We'd recite our Bible memory work as a family.
Obviously, this was a good thing. I had nothing against studying the Bible. The Bible is great!
But I was a teenager in high school, and I had geometric proofs to write, theater scripts to memorize, research papers to outline...
Getting Bible Out of the Way
Mom loved teaching the Bible so much that she tended to go overboard, in my opinion. She would speak with great passion and at length during the teaching and commentary portion of the Bible lesson.
One day, she caught me tapping my foot, just a little, antsy to have this part of the day over and done with. Maybe I was even glancing at the clock, calculating the time I could be finished with the rest of my work for the day if Mom finished talking within the next five minutes.
She stopped her lesson immediately and said,
"This. This right here—the Bible—is the most important thing you're going to learn about all day. If we end up spending the entire day discussing this passage of Scripture, and don't get a single other thing done, but by the end, we truly understand this passage, that will be perfectly okay. This is what you need to know. The rest of school is good to know, but knowing your own faith is non-negotiable. This is the most important.”
The Bible is The Most Practical Subject of Them All
It's been more than ten years since my mother's calm rebuke and her reminder about what my priorities should be. In the time since, I've earned my college degree, worked a couple jobs, and had a son of my own.
And I've learned that she was absolutely right. I use my knowledge of English grammar regularly, and on rare occasion I've found being able to calculate geometric formulas for area and volume comes in handy. But I haven't used calculus since senior year of high school, and I'm no chemist, either. I enjoyed what I learned in those subjects and when my own children reach high school age, I'll enjoy teaching those subjects.
But what do I really need to know for my everyday life?
- I need to know that I can trust my Savior with every aspect of my life, both when life looks better than my wildest dreams and when I’m facing tragedies that I don’t understand.
- I need to live in the freedom of forgiveness.
- As a wife, as a mother, and as a friend, I need to love the people in my life like the One who loved me first did.
- I need to be able, when I face a loss I hoped I'd never have to face, to say in the midst of the storm, "It is well with my soul."
- In moments of fear and frustration, when I realize that I don't even have control of my own future, I need to rest in the knowledge that I know the One who holds all of our futures.
My Mom Was Right About the Bible
I shouldn't have tried to rush through those Bible lessons as much as I did. Scripture was the most important part of our day. More than anything else she did, teaching me the Scriptures has irrevocably shaped my life and set me on the path that I now walk daily.
So, no, Bible may not be the most impressive class on a transcript. It may not increase SAT scores, be a key factor in being awarded lucrative academic scholarships, or help me get hired at an impressive job. But knowing your Creator—knowing exactly what you believe and the reasons why you believe—is going to matter in every aspect of your life for every day of your life.
Consider Your Goals for Homeschooling
Homeschool moms and homeschool students:
- When you’re tempted to rush through those hard passages...
- When you wonder whether Bible memory work is really worth the time...
- When you don’t really want to devote the time to a discussion of a Biblical worldview on historical events...
- When the days are too long and there’s too much to do and you’re tempted to skip Bible in favor of STEM subjects that are much more impressive to the wider world…
Consider whether impressing the wider world is the mission of your homeschool, or whether you are aiming for something different, something more like transformed hearts and minds and lives that have been surrendered to the lordship of Jesus Christ.
Perhaps, instead of seeing Bible time as a box that we check off in our schedules each day and get over with as quickly as possible, we ought to take a more holistic view, and more actively look for ways to integrate faith into every aspect of home education.
When we are intentional about integrating faith with learning, we realize that we can see our Creator revealed as we study Creation, we can consider our own characters as we read of the men and women of faith who have gone before us, and we can allow the Word of God permeate every aspect of our homeschool schedules. Sonlight provides this kind of education.