Default settings for education
By: Dorothy Karman

I sent the conference brochure to the printers the other day. As I prepared it for prepress, I depended on my graphics program's default settings to prepare the job. I'm not expert enough to know the best angle for each screen, the number of lines per inch preferred by the kind of machine that makes the negatives, or the way to handle halftones. I just gave it the name of the machine and the program determined most of the settings for me. Without even thinking about it, I use the default settings on my computer for many things every day.

If I need to, I can look up in the owner's manual and read about the default settings. I can even override the settings if I have good reason to. Most often, however, I find that the default settings are more than adequate. In fact, they produce a superior product to the one I would produce if I just tinkered with the settings.

I once heard Dr. Brian Ray describe homeschooling as the "default setting" for the education of our children. That's an apt analogy. The "owners manual" for our children is God's Word. In it He lets us know His plan for how children are to be raised. "And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; and 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." (Deut. 6:6 & 7). God is telling us that the normal or "default" method for children to learn is from their parents at all times of the day and in all kinds of situations.

If homeschooling is the default setting for children, then we should not have to ask the Lord if He is leading us to home school. We should assume that homeschooling is His plan for our children unless we receive clear direction from God to put our children in a different learning environment. Don't tinker with God's settings!

Unfortunately, our society has the whole thing upside down. Schooling outside of the home and away from parents is "normal" and Christian parents feel they must be "led of the Lord" before they homeschool.

Be encouraged. When you are homeschooling, you are doing the best thing for your children according to the "owners manual." You will reap what you sow. You are sowing the seed God has recommended for your children's lives. You can look forward to a good harvest.

Dorothy and Dick Karman live in Oregon and homeschooled their two children from birth through graduation. They founded the Oregon Christian Home Education Association Network in 1985. Dick currently serves as Chairman of the Board and Dorothy is publications director.

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