This Wednesday, November 8th, the United States celebrates National Parents as Teachers Day.
According to NationalToday.com, it’s a holiday dedicated to celebrating the organizations that offer educational support to parents across the country and the world so they can better educate their own children.
This doesn’t only refer to homeschooling, however…
As Christian parents, we know we are our children’s first and most influential teachers and role models. And this is true whether we homeschool our children or send them to public or private school to receive an education.
That’s why, in this article, we’re sharing some helpful tips and resources to help you teach your children the faith well no matter which schooling option you choose for your family.
Should Christian Parents Homeschool Their Kids?
While homeschooling can be a wonderful option for some families, the Bible never commands or suggests that EVERY family must homeschool their children or that homeschooling is a “better, more Christian” option.
There are plenty of reasons why you might weigh the pros and cons of homeschool, private school, and public school in order to make the best decision for your individual family — including the needs of both the children and the parents.
I discuss these more in-depth in my article, “Homeschool vs Public School vs Private School (Pros and Cons).”
Personally, we decided to send our children to a private Catholic school for their traditional education — BUT I also supplement their education with very informal homeschooling at home during the summer. This works really well for us!
How to Raise Your Children in the Faith (Even if You Don’t Homeschool)
Whether you have hours a day to devote to teaching and training your children well, or you can only squeeze in 15 minutes here and there, there are several things you can do to help raise your kids in the faith.
Here are a few of my favorite suggestions.
1. Read the Bible with Your Kids
Children LOVE storytime — whether that’s at bedtime or during the day.
This summer, we got in the habit of reading the Bible every day over lunch. Then, I’d quiz them on what we’d just read to make sure they were paying attention, to make sure they understood the main idea, and to make it more fun and competitive.
We made it all the way through Genesis, Exodus, (we skipped Leviticus), and into Numbers, only skipping a few “boring” parts and reading just a little bit every day.
The kids LOVED it (even the neighbor girl who was over one day), and it was a great opportunity to make sure my kids have a strong foundation that would serve them well as they learn how to read and study the Bible for themselves.
2. Memorize Bible Verses With Your Kids
To be completely transparent, this is something we don’t do nearly often enough, but when we do, the kids love it.
I know I personally memorized several verses as a child in Awana, and I’m SO grateful that I did. I can still call those verses to mind today to help me make wise decisions, and I want that for my kids as well.
We memorized verses by writing them on a whiteboard and taking turns reading them out loud, removing one word each time.
The kids thought it was great fun and they learned them quickly!
3. Talk About Real Life Scenarios and How to Handle Them
My husband and I have made the decision not to shelter our kids as much as possible.
Yes, there are some things we have decided they aren’t old enough to see or know about yet, BUT we’d much rather them learn about life and the real world in the context of our family, rather than sheltering them until they grow up and are thrown into the world on their own without a good way to process it.
This isn’t something we intentionally schedule, but we do look for opportunities to discuss difficult “grown up” issues and how to address them from a Biblical worldview whenever the opportunity arises.
4. Watch Quality Christian Programming and Discuss it
Sometimes, we simply don’t have time or energy to do all. the. things.
That’s where quality Christian YouTube channels, TV shows, and movies can come in.
My kids LOVE the “What’s in the Bible” series by Phil Vischer, the creator of VeggieTales. And we’ve really been enjoying watching and discussing The Chosen together as a family as well.
See Also: 5 Reasons I Want my Kids to be “Weird”
5. Take the Kids to Church Regularly
This probably goes without saying, but it’s so important to get into the habit of taking your children to church regularly, if at all possible.
Because my husband and I grew up with different faith traditions, we’ve found a way to blend both of them into raising our kids.
Our kids go to Catholic school and Catholic mass each week, but they’ve also attended Protestant preschool and Sunday school over the years as well.
It’s really important to me that my children are surrounded by lots of positive Christian role models who all serve and worship Jesus in a variety of real and authentic ways.
6. Pray with Your Children Often
This is another obvious one, but one that we could probably all stand to do more of.
Nearly every night before bed, my husband and I both pray with our children. My husband teaches them the traditional Catholic prayers, while I pray in the more conversational style I was raised with as a Protestant.
We’ll also pray, either separately or as a family, any time we receive bad news, we pass a crash, or we have something we’re worried about.
I love that my children are growing up around different styles of prayer so they are equipped to be prayer warriors themselves as they grow!
7. Look for Ways to Give Back
While we typically think of “raising kids in the faith” as teaching them facts about the faith, a big part of the Christian faith is service to others. We teach and model this through our own interactions in our homes, as well as by intentionally looking for ways to serve others outside the home.
Our family sponsors multiple children through Compassion International. In fact, our children each have a sponsored child who shares the EXACT same birthday as them, but who was born somewhere else around the world.
We tithe regularly, and we also look for ways to help our neighbors, whether that’s by raking leaves, shoveling snow, bringing a meal, babysitting, or donating canned goods, coats, or dollars.
Of course, this article is not written to toot my own horn. I don’t do or share these things to impress anyone else.
Rather, it’s to hopefully inspire and encourage you to start thinking of small ways YOUR family can make your faith a greater focus in your home, no matter how busy you are or which schooling option you choose.
What Does the Bible Say About Teaching Your Children?
Because National Parents as Teachers Day was first declared a holiday in St. Louis, Missouri in 2001, the Bible never mentions National Parents as Teachers Day specifically.
However, the Bible has many verses that relate to teaching your children well.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
“Start children off on the way they should go,
and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
“Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.
Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'”
“Whoever spares the rod hates their children,
but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them”