Although in the car business, my husband is not a mechanic. Thus, we've had to "outsource" the regular maintenance on our vehicles. He has a hard, fast rule: If something goes wrong with one of our cars, he gets it fixed right away. Not only do we have well-tuned reliable cars, we have cars that have retained their value; this is very beneficial when we decide to trade in a car to purchase another one.
This "fix it when it breaks" policy was recently applied elsewhere when we discovered that our two dogs, having gone bonkers over all the fireworks and firecrackers during this 4th of July, had demolished our screen door (once again), having feverishly tried to get into the house while we were elsewhere. Hundreds of dollars later, we still have skittish canines, but we have an operational screen door.
Too often in the homeschool environment, when parents see malfunctions in their children’s lives they assume an "it will take care of itself in time" point of view, instead of applying a "fix it when it breaks" mentality. The problem with such a philosophy is that it doesn't work. Rather than improve over time, the situation (whether behavioral, academic, or medical) often becomes intertwined with other factors and variables making it difficult to discern what exactly is causing what.
Maybe the problem or situation is not one that a parent feels capable or competent to diagnose or rectify. That is where the greater Body of Christ enters the picture. By being in a healthy, God-honoring church that embraces and magnifies God's Law, there will be people around to offer advice, lend a hand, or make a referral to a competent resource.
The homeschool is crippled if there is not an absolute standard (for both parents and children) to establish what is right and what is not. If the Law of God is not the standard, then some other law will be. It is very sad that many Christians will tell you they are no longer under the Law of God, but they can't tell you exactly what law they are under the jurisdiction of. Simply put, if you don’t know what it should look like, how can you effectively identify it when it is broken?
I can attest that sometimes the hardest part of fixing something when it breaks is admitting that it is broken. However, there are definite promises in Scripture that tell us that wisdom, grace, and a straight path are available to those who trust in the Lord with all their heart.
- Andrea G. Schwartz
Andrea Schwartz is Chalcedon’s family and Christian education advocate, and the author of eight books including: A House for God: Building a Kingdom-Driven Family, The Biblical Trustee Family: Understanding God’s Purpose for Your Household, Empowered: Developing Strong Women for Kingdom Service, Woman of the House: A Mother’s Role in Building a Christian Culture, and The Homeschool Life: Discovering God’s Way to Family-Based Education. She’s also the co-host of the Out of the Question podcast, and Homeschooling Helps (weekly live Facebook event). She can be reached at [email protected].