Homeschooling in the Nineties, Part 1 — God’s Plan for Families

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As I continue to work toward completion of my update of America the Beautiful (I’m getting close! Do you hear my loud sigh of joy and relief all the way at your house?), I spent some time this weekend on the daily life lesson called “Homeschooling in the Nineties” and decided I would like to share it with you over the next few days.

Homeschooling in the nineties is an especially special part of American history for Ray and me because our family began our own homeschooling journey in 1990 and started Notgrass Company in 1999. Here are Ray and I at a curriculum fair in Knoxville, Tennessee, around 2000 or 2001 when we had written very little and sold lots of other hand-picked items for homeschooling families. How about that handmade sign I made on my sewing machine and ironing board in our den?

The lesson has five segments. Here is segment one.

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Babies come into the world completely dependent. They need parents to care for their hearts, souls, minds, and bodies. When God sent His Son to earth, He sent Him into a family who loved Him, cared for Him, and taught Him. For families to work as God intended, parents must lead their children well and children must follow well. Wise King Solomon wrote, “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching” (Proverbs 1:8). When Jesus was twelve years old, He went with Mary and Joseph to the temple in Jerusalem (see Luke 2:41-50). Afterwards, He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and He continued in subjection to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart.

And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. Luke 2:51-52

Though modern public schools may seem to be the normal way to educate a child, it really isn’t the only way. Parents teaching their own children has been the normal way for most people for most of world history. The purpose of the wise parent’s teaching is to provide their children with the knowledge and skills they need in childhood, in adulthood, and in eternity. While Moses was reminding the Israelites of God’s laws, he told them:

These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.
You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house
and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Look again at Luke 2:51-52 above. Jesus grew in wisdom, in stature, and in favor with God and man. While growing up, He got wiser and taller. He learned and practiced what pleased God. He learned how to relate to people.

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So, there you have it: Section 1 of Homeschooling in the Nineties.

The plan of the Lord stands forever,
The plans of His heart from generation to generation.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
The people He has chosen for His own inheritance.
Psalm 33:11-12


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One comment

  1. Mrs. Notgrass!!!! I am so excited that you are doing this series. I need some old homeschool nostalgia. I started homeschooling in 1998 :-). And I am still homeschooling four of my children. My youngest is in first grade so I am like a Todd Wilson cartoon character lol. My daughter just asked me how old I am in “homeschooling years”.

    I love your posts and cannot begin to tell you how much they have meant to me over the years. I am grateful every morning when I check my email and there’s another one! Many times I read them out loud to my family.

    You have actually been in the trenches with me, encouraging me through some very difficult days and I have often wanted to sit down and write you a long letter. I hope that someday I do but in the meantime here’s a short but heartfelt THANK YOU. You are a treasure in my life. <3

    In Christ Alone – Lisa

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