As we sat at the kitchen table talking with T. J. Slayman, he expressed his views on home-schooling and rearing strong young men.
Debi Pearl, Mike’s wife, recorded them, and Mike edited them for publication. So this is a corporate endeavor, the opinion of three.
T. J. said, “Most homeschoolers seem to have the same limited vision as do public school children. All of their present life is focused on finishing high school. It is as if a curtain is pulled over their future, and they see themselves as just students until they finish that last workbook.” It is assumed they are not yet qualified to have a vision for their purpose in life. They are given little responsibility, other than that which chickens have, keeping the nest clean.
I say, give your children a vision from their youth. Encourage them to consider their life’s ministry in the Kingdom of God. Cause their schooling to be training for that ministry.
Children study certain subjects to prepare for a medical career; why not teach your little ones to think of the day when God can use them to go to a field that is white unto the harvest. Their geography class may entail following the work and needs of the missionaries on a world map. Their math class can be collecting cast off items from other families, having a garage sale, counting the money, learning how to get a money order, and sending it to a missionary. Their language class could be writing missionaries to tell them you have marked their place on the map and are praying for them. Give your children a vision—God’s vision of reaching every tongue, kindred and nation.
Kids simply need to be asked regularly, “So what are you going to do with this life God has given you?” Whether the answer is towards ministry or some other occupation, it will at least break the trance that seems to grip youngsters.)
On making strong young men.
T. J. says, “If you allow your children to live in the home as dependents, full time students, you will have weak, discontent children.” You can’t raise strong young men who love and appreciate their families in an environment where they exist as dependents. Debi says, “A man is to be strong, a protector and provider of his Family. Mutual dependence is such a necessary ingredient in a loving family. True need is a must for building responsibility, which in turn builds strength of character.
If a boy believes his family can do just fine without him, he will not be concerned with their welfare, and will not be appreciative. However, if a young man knows that his family’s very existence depends upon him, he will know his role, and his heart will be where his treasure is. This need must be genuine, it cannot be faked.”
If your life style is geared to a single provider with a house full of dependents, you have a weak family. For the sake of your children, arrange your life style so that your children are needed for something more than filling out workbooks.
Debi says, "Don’t expect a strong man to come out of a weak son. A boy needs to practice being a strong man just like he practices math. If he has no one to depend on him, no one to protect, and no one asking his advice, he will grow up feeling and acting like a wimp. Muscles are made by being used. A boy is caused to become a strong man by assuming a part of the role as protector and provider—just like dad.