It’s an understatement to say that becoming a parent changes everything. Our priorities change. The way we spent our time changes. Our friend circles change. Parenting even changes how we think about and defend the idea of calling.
Up to the moment of the birth of your child, your calling has been mostly your own. Your parents poured into you, your professors and coaches helped you achieve your goals in the classroom and on the sports field, and your career centered on your personal and professional development.
Parenthood changes all of this.
Suddenly, your concern for your child’s future eclipses your concern for your own, and the idea of calling now encompasses your child’s future.
For the homeschooling parent, the onus is greater. You must also help train your child to care for their future. You go to great lengths to ensure that their education prepares them for what God has in store for them.
This is a balancing act that more and more parents are choosing to undertake.
Citing a 2013 study conducted by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the Homeschool Legal Defense Association reports that 1,770,000 students are homeschooled—3.4 percent of the student-age population.
This number has increased rapidly and is projected to continue to rise. On an anecdotal level, IFWE has experienced an increased demand for our high school homeschool curriculum on economics and calling.
Choosing to homeschool is a big decision, and it’s one with weighty ramifications.
Homeschooling and Calling
Each person’s calling, and their story, is different and precious, including your child’s. My children are still young, but I can’t wait to see their journey of learning who God has called them to be and how they will live out that vocation.
Uniqueness and creativity are part of our design. It is up to us to learn and live into what God has called each of us to be. It is up to us, through our unique callings, to cultivate God’s creation, to bring about flourishing, and to leave the world better than it was when we were born into it.
A large part of our calling manifests itself in our work. As described in the book of Genesis, we were called in the Garden of Eden to subdue and fill the earth, tending to God’s creation (Gen. 1:28).
Even after the Fall, we are still called to worship God and do our best to serve him through our work. God created and blessed all kinds of work, and no work is inherently better or more holy than another.
We have each been given creativity and gifts, and we are responsible to use these to the best of our abilities and as opportunities permit. It is just as important that we have administrative assistants and CEOs, teachers and dishwashers, baristas and carpenters. Just because a job doesn’t create monetary value defined in terms of GDP doesn’t mean that the job is not important.
The value of teaching as a calling, particularly in the home, is multifaceted.
Though teaching is not inherently superior to other occupations, it is not always reflected in GDP terms and is therefore more difficult to measure. Teaching incorporates a fulfillment of your own calling, and it includes raising your child to fulfill his or her calling as well. It is essential to understand the importance of your own calling as you teach others to fulfill theirs. Because each of us is unique, both the parent and the student have a job to do on this earth that only they can do.
Homeschooling and Freedom
We are finite and live in a broken world. We must make decisions between scarce resources on a daily basis. As stewards of God’s resources, it’s important that we understand the consequences of one choice over another in the long term. We also need to be able to make these decisions for ourselves, without pressure from outside sources dictating an outcome. This freedom is precious and is only available to us at a cost.
With a growing number of families choosing to homeschool their children, it’s even more important that we cherish and protect the freedom that allows this flexibility.
Embracing economic and civic freedom and understanding the implications of economics and stewardship will enable you and your child to fully live out your callings. Let’s endeavor to make our world friendlier to those who are called to steward these particular callings.
Editor’s note: Teach young people about their calling and how to make wise decisions with IFWE’s high school homeschool curriculum. Get 25% off during our back-to-school sale. Use code: BACK2SCHOOL25. Offer ends 8/31/18.