All of us want a good, successful life. How often do we take the time to define what that means to us? Many in the modern, secular world have no basis for defining the good life. Without a reason to be here, they fall into defining it as material prosperity or a hazy idea of "being good." But for Christians the good life is objectively defined. We have a purpose for being: to glorify God and to enjoy Him in everything we do—to work to build His kingdom.
Education is only one part of the good life, but modern man tends to idolize it. For many, that is because education is seen as the answer to what they consider the world's main problem: ignorance. You can hear that rhetoric all the time: "If they just knew more, they wouldn't have done that…" Christians should know better. The world's problem isn't ignorance: its problem is sin.
We also tend to compartmentalize, breaking education away from other, more important elements of life, such as family and faith. Thinking that "school" subjects can be taught more effectively by someone who is an "expert," and more efficiently in a group of students "at the same level," we pass the job of education off to schools. More often than not, we send our children to the "free" but secular government schools. Thus we ignore the clear teaching of Scripture to teach your children diligently (Deut. 6:1-9) and to bring your children up in the training and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4). The Bible is clear that your children are your responsibility, not the State's.
Home schooling is an opportunity to reverse the trends of idolatry and compartmentalization. First, it takes education out of the control of a system that hates our God and is bent on teaching your children that He does not exist. You parents have a chance to regain control of what your children learn, and you can use that education to point to truth. You can focus on training up your children in the way they should go (Prov. 22:6), remembering that a student fully trained will be like his teacher (Luke 6:40). Second, home schooling by definition puts education back into the context of family. True home schooling stresses the importance of the relationships you build with your children as you instruct them. It offers a chance for fathers' hearts to be turned to their children, and children to their fathers (Mal. 4:6). Discipleship is really what home education is about: having your children with you so you can use every opportunity to teach them—not just reading, writing, and arithmetic, but more importantly, how to live a Godly life in service to King Jesus.
Granted, home schooling is not what most parents have grown up with. It's a different world than the world of classrooms, carpools, and report cards. Home schooling requires a proactive shift of vision and an establishment of family goals. It requires thinking about what you want your children to learn, and then finding the means of teaching them. This is an intimidating responsibility, but it is probably the most important and rewarding job you'll ever do. We are here to tell you that YOU CAN DO IT, and we want to help you get started.
Exodus Books offers over 10,000 titles that are specifically education related—that means textbooks, answer keys, tests, reference books, CD materials, home school planners, coloring books and so much more. We carry products from over 150 publishers, and stock many of the major curriculum lines. But we don't carry everything—we only stock items we believe in, evaluating materials before giving them our stamp of approval. Anything we offer will have value to someone, though nothing will work for everyone. We're here to encourage you, assist you in establishing goals, guide you through a variety of options, and then give you the chance to evaluate for yourself what will work best for your family.
Important Home School Links for Oregonians:
A basic description of the home school laws in Oregon and Washington, with links to important Oregon organizations and the ESDs (Educational Service Districts).
Statewide, non-sectarian home school support organization. Its Christian counterpart is OCEANetwork.
Home School Legal Defense Association. This organization defends home schooling families in the courts. We encourage all home school families to join as members and read their newsletter!
National Home Education Research Institute, Brian Ray's research firm focused on home schooling results.
An online resource center for Christian Homeschoolers in the Portland metro area.
Salem Area Christian Homeschool Network
An extremely helpful website cram-packed with free , or subscription-based, stuff!
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