In God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn, Julie Polanco offers faith-based Christian reasons for pursuing an unschooling approach to homeschooling. While there is certainly no one “right way” to approach education, Polanco shows how listening to God’s will for her family brought her peace as a homeschooling mom. The Scripture passage she uses as a guide is Galatians 5:1: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”
Polanco and her family were struggling with formal homeschooling. She shares, “I wanted so badly to do everything right and I was so afraid that I was doing everything wrong. It was such an incredible burden that it finally sent me into depression. It was then that God gave me a vision of what it could be like.” Suffering under the weight of paralyzing fear, she chose to bring her worries and fears to Jesus.
As Christian parents, our primary role is to raise children in the faith. Character development is more important than early academic achievement. It is also important to nurture our relationship with our children. If we have a positive relationship, they will be more open to our instruction.
We also need to focus on what God’s will is for our children. We are called to cooperate with God and how He is working in each child’s life. In addition to listening to God through our own prayers, this means listening to what our children have to say. “We need to treat our children with the same respect as we treat adults. Their opinions and thoughts matter just as much as ours, and, by listening to them, we may be encouraging them to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit stirring within them.”
Polanco discusses the difference between internal and external motivation and why internal motivation works better for cultivating natural learning. She also offers concrete ideas of how to unschool children under the age of eight, those aged eight to twelve, and teens. She includes ways to help your child plan for his or her future, whether or not that includes college. She also encourages homeschooling moms to have fun with their children and to find like-minded Christian friends to support them on their journey.
While the title is a bit presumptuous, God Schooling is a well-written introduction and exploration of the Christian unschooling lifestyle. It is useful for any Christian considering homeschooling as well as for those who are currently struggling in their homeschooling experience.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.