Darrow Miller and Friends

HOME SCHOOLING: Why It Makes Sense Today

  1. Not Every Story is Based in Reality
  2. How Homosexuality Became Normal in the West
  3. How Evolutionists Explain Poverty
  4. Lies Enslave, Truth Transforms
  5. Human Evil, Cosmic Consequences
  6. NURTURING: The Wonder of Being There
  7. Personal God, Personal Creation
  8. The Implications of Moral Freedom
  9. Work, Save, Give: The Protestant Ethic
  10. Three Ways God’s Universe Makes Sense
  11. HOME SCHOOLING: Why It Makes Sense Today
  12. Christianity is True Even If You Don’t Believe It!
  13. Moral God, Moral Universe
  14. What Do Singapore and Apple Have in Common?
  15. God’s Laws, the “Secret” to Life
  16. Time Matters: Present, Past, Future
  17. The Doctrine of the Trinity Matters in Real Life?
  18. Two Fronts in the War of the Century

Home schooling is a movement whose time has come. Our state-run educational system indoctrinates without educating. As a result, a growing number of families, globally, are opting out of state schools for home schooling, or better put, home education.

Noah Webster, the father of modern education and the compiler of the Websters 1828 Dictionary defined education as:

The bringing up, as of a child, instruction; formation of manners. Education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties.

Dr. Elizabeth Youmans, my good friend and contributor to this blog, summarizes Webster’s definition of education. Here’s my paraphrase of her summary: “The purpose of education is to bring up, give instruction and help form manners in a child. This involves instruction and discipline, the end of which is fourfold: to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, form the manners and habits, so that people are useful in their station or calling.”

Home schooling is a biblical concept

home schooling depictedWhere is this education primarily to take place? In the home. By the mother and father. The book of Proverbs makes abundantly clear that the responsibility for education rests with the father and mother. (See Proverbs: 1:8; 6:20; 10:1; 15:20; 17:25; 23:22.) As an example, Proverbs 1:8: “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.” Sounds like home schooling!

This responsibility does NOT rest on the government, nor primarily on the church. The parents may delegate the process of education to others, like the church or the government, but they can never delegate the responsibility. The scriptures lay this responsibility at the feet of parents

The home is the primary place where a child is brought up, instructed, and education. It is the place of formation of character and human virtue as much as the place where knowledge and understanding are conveyed. The home is the nursery of the nation. As the home goes, so goes the nation. The paideia principle is most instructive in this process.

Nurturing and Nation Building

Education is rooted in the mother’s twin functions of nursing and nurturing. The words for nurse and nurture speak of “promoting growth,” “educating,” “instructing,” and “building virtue.” (See NURTURING The wonder and beauty of Being There). The mother plays perhaps the most critical role in the development of her children and thus the future shaping of the nation.

God brought Israel out of bondage in Egypt to transform an impoverished nation with a slave mentality into a great nation nurtured in the mentality of freedom. How was this to be done? Deut. 4:5-9 speaks of the people of God governing their lives within the framework of God’s laws and ordinances. Freedom is found within the bounds of God’s ordinances. Moses adds that this experiment in freedom is to be passed on to Hebrew children and their children’s children.

See, I have taught you statutes and rules, as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon him? And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today?

Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children.

God’s version of home schooling

We see a clear parallel between God’s instructions to Israel in Deuteronomy and Jesus’ Great Commission to the church. In Matt 28:18-20 Christ establishes His authority as king of heaven and earth and, on the basis of that authority, He commissions His people to disciple the nations.

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

What are the parallels in these two passages?

  1. The building of a great nation is related directly to the people’s obedience to God’s laws and ordinances.
  2. God is their instructor, He has taught them His decrees and law.
  3. His intention is to transform nations by calling them to live with His life-giving ordinances which bring freedom and human flourishing.
  4. God’s intention is to create a model nation, a godly nation that will inspire other nations and will be a pattern for those nations to follow.

God used education as a major tool to build this nation.

Home schooling can be seen in Proverbs

In Proverbs, the book of governance, we hear lady Wisdom’s instruction.home schooling depicted

Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not ignore it.

Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.

For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the LORD.

But whoever fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love death. Proverbs 8:33-36

Note, wisdom instructs us in being wise. When we pursue wisdom, we are blessed. And here are the compelling words: whoever finds wisdom finds life, while those who despise wisdom, love death. Wisdom nurtures us in a culture that leads to life. Those who pursue folly, love death!

–          Darrow Miller

… to be continued           

This DM&F Classic post is a supplement to the book Nurturing the Nations. You can purchase the original work here.


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Darrow is co-founder of the Disciple Nations Alliance and a featured author and teacher. For over 30 years, Darrow has been a popular conference speaker on topics that include Christianity and culture, apologetics, worldview, poverty, and the dignity of women. From 1981 to 2007 Darrow served with Food for the Hungry International (now FH association), and from 1994 as Vice President. Before joining FH, Darrow spent three years on staff at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where he was discipled by Francis Schaeffer. He also served as a student pastor at Northern Arizona University and two years as a pastor of Sherman Street Fellowship in urban Denver, CO. In addition to earning his Master’s degree in Adult Education from Arizona State University, Darrow pursued graduate studies in philosophy, theology, Christian apologetics, biblical studies, and missions in the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Darrow has authored numerous studies, articles, Bible studies and books, including Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Culture (YWAM Publishing, 1998), Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for Building Healthy Cultures (InterVarsity Press, 2008), LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day (YWAM, 2009), Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion (YWAM, 2015), and more. These resources along with links to free e-books, podcasts, online training programs and more can be found at Disciple Nations Alliance (https://disciplenations.org).


  1. Elizabeth Youmans

    December 2, 2019 - 9:25 am

    Great article Darrow and Gary! Our AMO curriculum has been used successfully by many homeschooling parents both in English and also Spanish and Portuguese. Our Bible Reading for Reasoning and our Classic Children’s Literature components have been very popular with mothers and fathers because of the richness of the lesson plans and the fact that everything is provided for the instructor. It is a wonderful first step into homeschooling that takes away the “I don’t know if I can do it” concerns. Parents tell me they learn as much as the children! It is not a complete curriculum, but nurtures the child’s heart for God with biblical principles and a reflective method that restores the child’s love of learning. For more information: https://www.amoprogram.com/en/online-store

    • admin

      December 2, 2019 - 11:31 am

      Hi, Elizabeth. Thanks for this comment.

      We urge any readers interested in homeschooling curriculum to check out the AMO program. Elizabeth is our good friend whose work has benefited many, many people and we enthusiastically endorse her.

      Go here to see Darrow Miller and Friends posts authored by Dr. Youmans.