Teaching Tip 8—The Spiritual Focus

I love seeing whales and birds in the wild, even though it requires a lot of patience. . .and a good pair of binoculars. But, just being in the right place at the right time with a good pair of binoculars does not necessarily ensure success. Why? Because binoculars have to be in focus.

In Focus

Have you ever tried to use binoculars that are out of focus? It’s utterly frustrating. . .until you move the central focusing wheel to change what is blurry to crystal clear. Whew! What a relief!! 

In the same way that the binocular’s central wheel brings nature into focus, prayer and Bible-reading bring our lives—our thoughts, our attitudes, our actions—into focused clarity.

Asking God

I remember speaking at a support group in Chicago one year, talking about the incredible way that praying and asking God for insight can breathe life into what we are learning. In the Q & A that followed, a somewhat skeptical mom asked, “My 8th grade daughter hates learning grammar. Are you telling me that if we PRAY, God will help her start to like it?”

What do you suppose might happen if we invited our kids to pray with us, daily asking God to help us understand why grammar (or any other subject) is important, helping us grasp how we might enjoy studying it? My experience is that, when you bring your questions to God, the sky’s the limit when it comes to His answers!!

The scenario that I shared that day went something like this: 

“Okay, so you and your daughter begin to pray and ask God what the big deal is about grammar. . . You tell Him the truth, that it seems pointless to both of you. But, you also ask for wisdom and insight into why it might be worthwhile and how to enjoy learning it.

“A few weeks after you’ve begun to pray about this, your daughter stumbles across the book, Bruchko, by Bruce Olson. She is captivated by Bruce’s story, discovering that he loved languages, that he actually studied linguistics at university before heading to South America. . . And, suddenly she puts two and two together.

Mom!!!!  I just read this book, and I figured out that grammar is like the structure of a language, and that knowing it helps missionaries figure out what the structure of an unwritten language is. . .And, Mom, I get it now!!  I want to learn this and become a missionary with Wycliffe Bible Translators!!!”

Wow. Though that is just my little sketch of what might happen when they prayed, God’s answer would be even better—since it would be personally suited to that woman and her daughter. Prayer is powerful. Reading the Scriptures is life-changing. And, it can dramatically affect your homeschool and your kids.

Integrating the Spiritual into the Academic

Because it is so pertinent, so relevant, and so life-changing—and because homeschooling allows you to take the time you need—we help you bring the spiritual focus to your children’s everyday academics. World history offers wonderful opportunities for studying scripture, so we include appropriate Bible readings in the History Revealed curriculum. We also encourage you to pray with and for your students. To help with that, we offer many “Spiritual Emphasis” icons in each Teacher’s Guide. Each one will provide specific suggestions for prayer and spiritual discussions with your students.

The Icon Key at the beginning of each Teacher’s Guide says this about the “Spiritual Emphasis:”

Since this curriculum seeks to understand history in light of what God has done—tracing the history of redemption—and, since the object of the curriculum is to not only gain knowledge of the content but also an understanding of God’s character and nature, there are opportunities in each Unit to engage your students on a spiritual level. This icon can include areas for prayer and discussion, as well as suggestions for activities with a spiritual purpose.

The undergirding spiritual focus of this curriculum transforms your history studies from a mere learning experience to a life-changing adventure!