And the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach.
Doctrine and Covenants 42:14
I do not live in a predominantly LDS community. Before I began homeschooling and associating regularly with families outside of my local church circle, I did not realize the great number of religious people all around me. I know better now.
A number of the homeschoolers I’ve met have chosen to homeschool for religious reasons. Either they are concerned about the non-religious teaching or the environment of public school, or they, like me, have felt called by God to bring their children home so they’ve responded by doing so. Many of them adopt a formal devotional “curriculum” to begin their homeschool days.
I believe the scriptures are the best learning tool. However, as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I’ve also been delighted to find that many of the resources from the Church, for free, are well adapted to daily homeschool devotionals. Some of my favorite homeschool moments have been those first ones in the day when my son and I discuss gospel principles together.
Here are some ideas for how you too may want to incorporate gospel learning in to your homeschooling day.
Read the scriptures. As I mentioned, the scriptures are the best tool. Joseph Smith taught that reading the Book of Mormon will bring us closer to God than any other book. (See the Introduction to the Book of Mormon.) What a great start to any homeschooling day! We have a family scripture reading time each night. One could also read and study as a homeschool before you dive in to your other subjects as well. This is a great opportunity to help their children, old and young how to study.
Scripture Stories. The scripture stories are the books I loved as a child, now with updated artwork and more of the stories added. The stories are child-appropriate and obviously contain accurate doctrine, since they are created by the Church. Each volume is available in book and DVD format, downloadable text format, downloadable audio, and downloadable video. The videos are stop animation, not full animation, so my son is not crazy about those. But the books are a fine resource in our gospel library! I plan on beginning reading these with my toddler daughter each day starting this fall.
Bible Videos. These newest creations from the Church are life-action scenes from the Savior’s life. Watch one short video each morning and talk about the message. Also note that these are non-denomination Christian, since the words are taken directly from the King James Version of the Bible.
Gospel Principles. Begin each day with a few paragraphs of the basic principles of the gospel. There are numerous scriptures to tie in with each topic. This is the study we did each day of the past school year. My son loved to read on my tablet and follow the scripture links on a “journey” through the scriptures each morning. Footnotes on a tablet are fun in a way that footnotes never were when I was young, thumbing through scriptures.
Preach My Gospel. The latter-day prophets have taught that our home is to be the first Missionary Training Center for our children: Start your homeschool day off right with gospel learning, just as full-time missionaries do. (See Elder Richard G. Scott, April 2005, and Elder Erich Kopische, October 2007.) Preach My Gospel can be approached in two ways. One was is to treat it as a gospel principles manual. The section titled “What do I Study and Teach?” begins with a history of Christianity, the Restoration, and the significant doctrines that are important. Read a little each day as if you were teaching your child: you are your child’s “missionary” that will help them learn the gospel. The other way to approach Preach My Gospel is to use it as a guide to teach your older child how to learn and study. Read it with them as if your child were your missionary companion and learn together.
I know that the scripture I included at the top of this post is true: As we incorporate Gospel learning in to our homeschool, in addition to those family times we already have, that the spirit will help us teach the other subjects as well!
How do you begin your homeschooling day?