Parental Engagement, Homeschool, and Learning Centers
God's Design for Parental Engagement
God is relational. He is the Father of families. Therefore, our Heavenly Father redeems families from the skewed and destructive paradigms of fallen cultures and teaches them to live in His unmerited and faithful love. He asks parents to take on His nature in raising their children in the knowledge of the Lord, teaching them to love Him and walk in His ways.
Our Heavenly Father’s desire has always been for children to grow under the covering of parental love and care. This pattern seen throughout the Bible, where God’s people were “ideally a community of teaching and learning. Parents taught their children in the atmosphere of the home. Within the larger community, teachers instructed the adults regarding God’s commands and their shared heritage as His people.” The centrality of the home within the larger community of faith was God’s paradigm for the education and faith development of children.
Parental leadership is foundational for students to effectively learn, grow, and fulfill their God-designed purpose. Even within a formal school setting, studies show that parental engagement is the foundation for student success. Why? Because engagement is a relational expression of love, and children thrive academically as well as in other areas of development in an atmosphere of demonstrated love.
So, what is parental engagement in learning? Engagement is the direct support of a child’s learning in the home. Through engagement parents relationally participate in their child’s learning. This could be as simple as regularly asking about a child’s day, what was learned, or helping with homework. It could also be working directly with a child in a homeschool environment. The development of institutionalized public education systems has been a relatively recent development. While this ideal began with noble aspirations, there have been issues of questionable government promoted values and goals, and the lack of parental engagement. Even in antiquity, when the Jewish people and Christians began schools to include all children in a standard of educational excellence, the primary teachers of children were to remain their parents. The abdicating of the responsibility for teaching and learning to public and religions institutions is not a biblical pattern, and it leads to lower student outcomes. Why? Children need their parents’ nurturing attention and involvement in their learning. Parents are always responsible for shaping the faith, values, and attitudes of their children. These are not something left for others, especially public institutions, to form in a child. The Parent-Teacher: Love and Leading in Learning introduces ways for parents to support their children’s learning in the home. These principles can assist the parent whether children are homeschooled, in a private school, or in public school. [i] From The Parent-Teacher: Love and Leading in Learning by Christopher J. Reeves.