Books, Children, Faith, Family, Growth, Homeschooling, Mission-Minded Homeschooling

Mission-Minded Homeschooling

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 ofmission-minded homeschooling“?

***Neither Sonlight nor the authors of either of these books know who I am. I’m just sharing my opinions on two books that I love, in hopes that perhaps it will be useful to someone else.***


  1. “Missions-Minded Homeschooling” …I really like that [smile]. May God continue to use homeschooling as a way for you and your family to discover His goodness and love for people all over the world. May you continue to follow as He leads!

    Thanks for writing this up. I was very encouraged by it. ~Luke

    1. Anonymous

      Luke~ I really appreciate you stopping by, and taking the time to comment. I am blessed that you were encouraged here today. That is such a gift to me. Thanks for what you do, and for the encouragement! Blessings, brother.

  2. I still have to get those books- I would love to add them to our readings!  I was just posting about the difference between stepping out and being uncomfortable vs living only within your spiritual giftings.  I love how you’re stepping outside your comfort zone to teach your kids.  I try to do the same!

    1. Anonymous

      Homeschooling in general is stepping out of my comfort zone a bit, I am not a teacher by nature, and the whole adventure challenges me in ways I never knew it would. God is gracious though, isn’t he?! Always providing just what we need to get through the day…. he teaches me much through this journey.

  3. Chris Sumpter

    We’re reading Window on the World this year, too. Even though we are living in Mongolia, my little seven-year-old’s heart has been moved by the plight of those in other countries, and time and again has given all his money to help those in other places.

  4. Anonymous

    we have loved the miller series, too.  excellent books!  my kids have also really enjoyed the biographies written by janet & geoff benge, put out by YWAM publishing.  i can’t remember if Sonlight uses any of these in any of their cores or not.  my kids love hearing about a particular person, as well as the particular part of the world they are ministering to.  it has really sparked their interest in finding out about other people/people groups and places.  i agree that it can be so easily to feel isolated in suburbia, and difficult to explain there’s a whole ‘nother world out there that is nothing like ours.  i still laugh about a conversation i had one day with my kids about the difference between suburban living (what we experience) and the vehicle (which was their only reference to the word “suburban”).  i figured we had to start there before we could expand and look beyond our own little borders here 🙂
    great ideas.

    1. Chris Sumpter

      Sonlight does us some of the Benges’ books. We enjoyed George Muller’s biography in 1st grade and are looking forward to Gladys Aylward’s this year.

    2. Anonymous

      That’s great, Steph. it is hard to teach them about this stuff but we are trying to discuss this stuff daily with them. Thankfully Sonlight helps us do this with so many great books.


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