Home Discipleship: Much More Than ABC's and 123's by Kimberly Williams. What a profound, eye opening read it was for me as a homeschooling mom.
Before I go on, I believe that home discipleship can happen (and must happen) whether you homeschool or not. It is not limited to those who homeschool. Teaching our children about God's Word and how to live according to His Word is vital for our children to grow a relationship with the Lord and not fall away when they get older.
The purpose of this book, however, is to give homeschooling moms a reminder that our ultimate goal in homeschooling our children is not to raise scholars (although that is important). Our goal in homeschooling is to disciple our children while educating them so they will grow to be men and women of God who have personal relationships with Christ and will continue on in that relationship once they have left our home.
As a pastor's wife, Kimberly Williams has seen far too often teens "come of age" and fall away from the Lord. She goes on to share how our American mindset has caused this to happen far more in recent years than ever before in our nation's history. As she explains, many (not all) parents have been conditioned to turn over the responsibility of teaching and training their children. We have done this with the formal education of our children. It then becomes natural for us to turn over the spiritual training of our children to the church: Sunday school, youth group, children's ministers and youth pastors. God never sets forth a mandate for someone else to give our children spiritual training.
We have all heard the phrase from frustrated parents, "But I took them to church!" Kimberly Williams reminds us of the Biblical mandate to disciple our own children. Deuteronomy 6:1-7 continually references the family relationship as being the direct teachers for a child's spiritual upbringing.
"...to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life..."
"...and thou shalt teach them dilligently to thy children..."
"...and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house..."
Deuteronomy 6:1-7 was my mother's scripture for raising her daughters, and it has become my passage for raising our children.
Sometimes as homeschooling moms we become bogged down with the academics, making sure our children show progress in their end of the year test, and keeping them socialized that we forget the real reason we chose to keep our children home. Kimberly Williams' book is a great reminder that although academics are important, the discipleship our children must be our ultimate goal. As Matthew 6:33 states, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."