I have been thinking a lot lately about the idea of what I am calling, Mission-Minded Homeschooling. To me, this is the idea that while we are learning about the usual subjects, english, math, science, etc, there is another area that my children need to learn about, and that is the greater world we live in. We live here, in the suburbs so insulated from so much of the wide world around us. The reality is, I’m not much of a missionary. I have trouble sometimes just trying to be a witness at the grocery store, let alone crossing continents and being willing to suffer in the name of spreading the message of salvation in Christ. But as I am teaching my own children, I am hoping that we can all learn a little more about what and who we share the planet with. I’m praying that we can learn how to be a part of the great commission, in whatever form that takes for us.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…Matthew 28:19
Last year, we read a book called, Missionary Stories With the Millers, by Mildred A Martin. It was not something I sought out, it was just part of our curriculum . That book affected me deeply. I can’t count how many of the stories I read, choking back tears of sheer amazement at the various ways God provided for and protected these various missionaries, whose stories are re-told within the pages of this book. This was an eye-opening read for all of us, and I know it touched my oldest, as he would beg me to keep reading long after we had read our ‘scheduled’ pages for the day. We’d talk quietly about these stories of bravery in Christ, of the sacrifices made to help spread the message of salvation- the fact that these are real stories and not just made up allegory for the purpose of inspiration adds to the impact of these missionaries experiences. And it got us all thinking about spreading the message of Christ.
This year, in our curriculum, we received a book called Windows On The World, which has been amazing and beautiful so far. This book gives overviews of different cultures and places, such as Israel (the one we just read) and the ‘children of the street‘ which highlights the struggles of homeless children all over the world, and the Gypsies who travel from region to region. This book outlines many countries I have not even heard of, and people groups in regions that are remote and desolate. Places like, Lesotho (In Africa) and Garifuna (near Nicaragua) are shown on a map and then elaborated on with points about their cultural practices, beliefs, population, socio-econimic details, and so on. The photographs in this book are beautiful and startling. Each section includes a story told about someone in the culture, where the reader feels as if they are sitting with the native people, or witnessing interactions first-hand. What I love about this book is that it is exposing my children (and me!) to places and people we may not have heard of, or ever seen before. My children are learning to have compassion for people in other places who have so much less than we do. The book provides the information without the tainting of opinions. Cultures and people groups are not judged here for their beliefs, it is rather an informative peek into the lives of these amazing and often shocking other ‘worlds’. The best part is that at the end of each section, there are prayer points, which offer up suggestions on how to pray for these people and places, as well as things to thank God for.
This book is amazing, and cannot recommend it enough if you are looking for a way to expand your children’s views on the world we live in.
How are you teaching your kids about the world? DO you have any good book recomendations related to the idea of “mission-minded homeschooling“?