“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
– II Tim. 2:15
As children get ready to go back to school, their spiritual growth needs to be considered above all else. It is this spiritual aspect that motivates a child to learn factual knowledge and develop behavior that is pleasing to God. Parents and churches would do well to set aside time to emphasize to children the importance of their education. They need to provide instruction and training in how a child can succeed in dealing with challenges that inevitably come as children work with others. Whether a child is home schooled or goes to public school, the same principles apply.
If we are to raise children to become adults who reflect Christ, they need to learn enough to relate well with people around them. I remember an incident when a pastor remarked in his sermon, “They say we don’t even use a fourth of our brain, why, I don’t even use a third of mine!” I saw children looking at each other and stifling giggles. He had lost his credibility. Children should understand that we can’t be effective for Christ if we are ignorant of basic information.
A sit-down conference with children before school should include plans for doing homework, a clear understanding of expected chores around the house, and a discussion of acceptable behavior at school. Goals need to be set by the children and discussed with the parents. At this time, children should be encouraged to discuss any fears or concerns they may have as far as getting along with the teacher and classmates.
The way a child does or does not do homework sets a trend for how that child will perform in a job as an adult. If the child is allowed to get by without doing homework, that child will probably not be diligent in a work situation later in life. It is good if the child has a certain time and place for studying. A scheduled time for chores and homework is important. In my opinion, deeper thoughts seem to come with a quiet environment.
The way a child relates to the teacher and classmates sets a trend for how a supervisor and co-workers will be treated by that student in later life on a job. Scripture that instructs children to obey those in authority could be used to emphasize the importance of obeying rules. I Pet. 2:13 is such a Scripture. It reads, “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake;”
It would be well for churches to give “back-to-school” parties. The devotionals at the end of parties provide an excellent opportunity to address specific areas of behavior such as bullying. Prayer at this time emphasizes the importance of doing one’s best.
If parents and churches would concentrate more on preparing children for school in the spiritual realm, we would possibly see much more accomplished in the education of our children.