Guest post by Debbie Entsminger
I was determined not to do it! Trying to teach a strong-willed middle schooler pushed me to my limit, and I was resolved not to homeschool for high school.
When the Lord kept closing door after door, my son said, “Mom, I really think God wants me to be homeschooled for high school.” So we pressed on … but you better believe I was crying out to the Lord for help and ideas and the grace to make it! And did He ever deliver!
At the start of my son Andrew’s junior year, I happened to hear of a college course entitled “The Bible as Literature” and I thought, “If it’s good enough for college, we can do it for high school!” So I bought copies of Howard Hendricks’ Living By The Book, and we started working our way through this during fall semester, doing the assignments at the end of each chapter.
Learning to inductively study the Bible is literature analysis at its finest!
In the spring we began tackling whole books (starting with an epistle), applying all we’d learned through this course. I can’t even begin to tell you what a blessing that was in our lives. We were learning together, seeking to apply God’s Word, sharing the journey together. It not only brought us closer to the Lord but also drew us closer as a family as my husband joined in too. What a gift from God!
It helped Andrew learn how to go directly to the Scriptures and study them for himself. What a blessing this was when he was in college. No longer did he need to go to a Christian bookstore hoping to find a Bible study when a topic interested or perplexed him; now he had the tools to search the Scriptures himself! And that firsthand discovery is far more impacting than being told something.
Even more importantly, we learned how critical it is to apply what you’re learning! Both the wise and foolish builders “heard” the Word (Matthew 7:24 – 27). The difference was what they did with it! As we sought to be more intentional applying God’s Word to our daily lives, the difference was profound — for us and others around us.
That year Andrew decided to try out for the soccer team at a nearby school. The first day of practice was nearly 100 degrees with high humidity, and the coach told them to run five miles. It was brutal. After throwing up twice, Andrew was so relieved when he crossed the finish line. But then he saw one guy who was really struggling. This guy was overweight and barely able to put one foot in front of the other. Andrew jumped up and exclaimed, “Come on guys, let’s go help him!” And they raced across the field to run the rest of his miles with him.
For me, that moment highlights how homeschooling for high school isn’t primarily about academics or preparing your kids to get into college. Though let me say, even though we were rather non-traditional in our homeschooling, Andrew had no problem getting into college or graduating with honors and landing a job with one of the top companies in the country.
But in the end, homeschooling is about building character and laying a foundation for living well and loving well.
Today there is so much thankfulness in my heart that God made me do it!