We were homeschooling our daughter last year when, at Thanksgiving, unforeseen and tragic circumstances interfered, and homeschooling had to come to an end in that season. We miss it, my daughter and I.
One thing grew out of the end of complete homeschooling though, and it made a remarkable difference in how we viewed this season in which she's in first grade in public school. She viewed her classroom, even at six years old, as a mission field. She had heard us speak so often about being the Light of Christ in the world, that she wanted to be His Light in her classroom.
So now, I get to do more than help her with homework and talking about field trips and packing her lunchbox together. My husband gets to do more than helping her read at night. We get the awesome privilege of teaching her how to be the Light of Christ in public school.
Every morning in the car line, I reach back and hold her hand, and we pray for her day. We pray for her teacher and her classmates. She prays, mainly for her Daddy (who's paraplegic). She hops out of the car, skips to the schoolhouse door, and into her mission field.
Her witness even at six years old is powerful. We have taught her that she is the only Bible some people, some kids, will ever read -- so she needs to be caring, and considerate, and cooperative in the classroom.
She was very concerned one day when she told me she had a talk with a little girl her age. She said, "Mommy, she said she doesn't believe in God."
"What did you say, Laura?" I asked.
"I told her that how can she not believe? I told her Jesus is real, even though we can't see Him. I told her He died for her sins but He rose from the grave for her life," she said in the matter-of-fact tone she has when she's serious about something.
Public school, you see, even for first grade, can be a hard, hard place. There are children there who come from abusive homes, who are foster kids, who have more on their minds than learning sight words and Base-10 number facts. There are children in schools that need the hope of Christ. There are children in schools that know about Santa Claus but have no idea Who Jesus is -- who have never heard the Christmas story.
With our daughter, we have consciously made the effort to pray with her and for her. We get out her Beginning Reader Bible and the Creation Science book, The World God Made, for her nightly reading. Hey, it's required that she read at night; the teacher never specified what she had to read. So we incorporate faith-filled books into her public school education.
She was learning about the sun, moon and stars this week in her classroom. So we read the Creation story about the sun, moon, and stars. It gave her the basis for not only learning that the sun was hot and huge, but Who created it.
Teaching kids to be the Light of Christ in public school is only doable if you're being the Light of Christ where you are, whether that's at work, running errands, helping a neighbor, or interacting with family. It's really counter-productive to tell a kid to be the Light of Christ when you have a basket on your lampstand.
So how do we do this?
Allow your child to Shine! for Jesus. There is no better missionary than one who is in the culture in which they are serving, and by all means, a Christian child is definitely in a mission field in a public school. It can be an incredible opportunity to share Christ with children, from a child.
(c) 2016 Terrie McKee
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