|HOME SCHOOLING / INTERNATIONAL|
March 28, 2018
Can Homeschooling Bring a Grassroots Revival to Jersey Island?
Submitted by Anne-Laure Jackson
I loved going to school. From my early years at First Tower to Hautlieu (what Americans call a high school), I was in the top sets, on the school sports teams, taking lead roles in plays at school and the Opera House, winning Eisteddfods (annual arts festivals) and tennis tournaments, and getting a scholarship to Atlantic College.
I went to Sunday school and Christian youth groups, and yet it’s not the path I’m choosing for our family. Why not?
Well, I gave my life to Christ at age 13, but during my later teens and early adult years I was spiritually all over the place due to my education.
So above all else, the desire of my husband and myself is for our boys to have an education where everything that is taught, watched, read, and participated in, is done through the lens of God’s word and what His perspective is on life.
That doesn’t mean we only do “Christian” activities—at some points it’s rather the opposite because our children need to be prepared for the world. But it does mean we are there any moment of the day to discuss God’s perspective on what our children or the world is doing. We need to show our boys what it means to be in the world but not of it.
Success, meaningfulness, purpose, relationships, etc., in the world’s education system is very different to how God sees things, and the Christian curriculum we use has powerfully shown us the difference.
So who are we? We are not a model family! We are a working mum, a dad who has multiple sclerosis, and three boys ages 16, 14, and 10 who are still works in progress. However, we have always wanted to seek first the kingdom of God and know that He will add all the rest.
When I came down the stairs one morning to find my then-15-year-old had pinned a note to the fridge saying, “When you become a Christian you become a walking declaration of war against the powers of darkness,” I thought—he gets it!
We have home educated since our first son's birth, and when he was 3, we were introduced to Accelerated Christian Education (ACE). This curriculum removed all the stress and time involved in preparation, exams, marking, pressure to perform, from both ourselves and the boys.
We embraced it, and now the boys go at their own pace, set their own work goals and know what's expected of them before they graduate. This enables them to plan ahead in terms of years as well as their daily goals. It's a set curriculum from nursery to university that is tried, tested, transparent and sound, but flexible enough to be adapted for every child and ability! It is the only recognised Christian alternative to GCSE's and A levels, and is a worldwide qualification.
While covering all necessary academic subjects from a biblical perspective, there are biographies and stories of missionaries and great men and women of faith, cartoons, Scripture memory, and biblical character development woven through it. There are currently four other ACE families on the island, and we meet monthly, twice a year with European families in the United Kingdom, and are greatly encouraged by the ACE Global Network in 135 different countries. We are so thankful for it!
Our teenage boys spend an hour a day doing New and Old Testament studies and they appreciate the word because they know it! Although they have much yet to mature into, our boys never cease to amaze us with the dreams they tell us about in the mornings, the precious use of a Bible verse to speak into a situation, their daily devotions on top of their Christian studies, their consideration and care for us as parents, their willingness to help around the house with chores, their openness to share their faith with neighbours and in activities, and the fact that they choose to be in church on a Sunday.
I'm always aware however, that Cain didn't kill Abel because of his school environment, computer games or peer pressure, but because of his own heart. Sin abounds whether a child spends the day at home or school! It keeps our knees well-worn as we daily commit the boys to the Lord and ask for help, courage, wisdom, perseverance and patience in training up our children in the way they should go.
To sum it up, I am passionate about a few R's—the Restoration of family worship, the Reformation of children's spiritual discipleship, the Revolution in mindsets that Christian parents can and are able to do this, and to see a lasting revival that is based on the authority of Scripture and in the power of the Holy Spirit on the island!
The numbers of home educating children have more than quadrupled in Jersey over the last four years and, thankfully, it's a concept that is growing and uniting Christians, too—whether they are using this curriculum or not. It's exciting to see what God is doing at a grassroots level on the island.
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