. . . It all begins with
helping children develop
a sense of adventure.
For many years, our organization (www
. archersforthelord.org) ran a resource
center in the Atlanta area. All of the social
studies classes we taught were also thinly
disguised speech classes. In seventh grade,
we began by having students do group
projects. As we studied an area in our
“World Geography and Missions” class, we
would also study the indigenous religions
and culture and the lives of any missionaries who worked in that part of the world.
For example, as we learned about India, we
studied Hinduism and also learned about
the work of Amy Carmichael. We studied
the basic beliefs of both the Hebrew faith
and the Islamic religion when we learned
about the Middle East and tried to understand the roots of the con;ict there, which
can be traced all the way back to the story
of Sarah and Hagar.
We studied Shintoism as we learned
about Japan, and we discovered how the
belief systems of the young Japanese Kamikaze pilots in World War II were rooted
in their views of the a;erlife. We studied
Buddhism when learning about Southeast
Asia and tied it into a study of the architecture of their beautiful temples.
As the students reached ninth grade,
they began giving individual talks. We
let them choose their own topics so that
they would be interested in the material,
which helped ease their initial fear of
public speaking. We told those who were
still scared, “Do the thing you fear, and
the death of fear is certain!” By the time
they were seniors, these students were
teaching an entire sixty-minute class
twice a year.
Our center closed its doors about
five years ago, and most of those young
people have finished college. Many of
them have contacted me to tell me that
these classes helped prepare them for
college and life . . . classes that stimulated their thinking, encouraged the
development of a desire to reach the
world for Jesus, and also taught them
valuable speaking skills.
But be careful! My kids have now
been to China, ;ailand, Greece, Korea,
England, Italy, and other countries whose
names I can’t even pronounce! I miss
them desperately, but at least they are
forcing me to become a world traveler
too! ;is year my schedule includes a trip
to England for my daughter’s wedding
and a trip to Germany with my son. So
hop in the car and start your own jour-
neys! ;at’s the beauty of homeschool-
ing—you can take your studies with you
wherever you go!
Mary Hood, Ph.D., and her husband, Roy,
homeschooled their ;ve children since the
early 1980s. All have successfully made the
transition to adulthood. Mary has a Ph.D. in
education and is the director of ARCHERS
for the Lord, Inc. (;e Association of Relaxed Christian Home Educators). She is the
author of ;e Relaxed Home School, ;e
Joyful Home Schooler, and other books,
and is available for speaking engagements.
Contact her via her website,
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