What is Messianic Homeschooling?

Messianic Homeschooling 101: What is Messianic homeschooling?


 

To answer this question thoroughly, let’s first examine what Messianic homeschooling is NOT.

Messianic homeschooling is not like mainstream Christian or secular homeschooling because the focus is different. In a Messianic homeschool, the focus and center of our life and learning is the Torah.

lapbook
Completing the Parsha Lapbook for the week.

 

Messianic homeschooling is not a substitute for public school or private school. The goal of schools (both public and private) is to train up students with good grades who will one day secure good jobs and teach their children to do the same. The schools which produce students who have completed a college degree program are ranked and receive recognition for producing students who go on to become successful in the world’s eyes. The primary goal of Messianic home schooling is to instill wisdom in the hearts and minds of our children. We want our children to be successful in the Lord’s eyes.

mkw
Studying the Messianic Kids’ Weekly newsletter and enjoying the fresh air.

 

Our primary goal is not to achieve high scores on tests of knowledge in science, history, math, or spelling. Those subjects are wonderful but they are not the focus of Messianic homeschooling. Our focus is to teach our children the commands, decrees, and laws that the Lord our God gave us. We want our children to live a long life and fear the Lord our God as long as they live. We want to equip our children to teach their children and their children’s children because it is God’s will that we do so.

Deuteronomy 4:6-8 Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him? And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?

Deuteronomy 6:1-2, 4-9 These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Building a Sukkah at our synagogue.
Building a Sukkah at our synagogue.

Many people ask me about Messianic homeschooling. There are two main questions people ask me. The first is: “How are your children going to get into college or get a job to make money?” The answer is a bit more complex and I will address the subject of college in its own blog post but the money part is something we don’t worry about. Why, you ask? The Lord promises us that when we are dispersed into the nations (which we are) and return to the Torah with our whole heart (which we are challenged to do daily) then He will restore our fortunes, have compassion on us, and gather us to Himself.

Deuteronomy 30:1-3 When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come on you and you take them to heart wherever the Lord your God disperses you among the nations, 2 and when you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, 3 then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you.

Learning about zoology at the zoo!
Learning about zoology at the zoo!

Who does worry about clothes, shelter, jobs, etc.? The Bible says the pagans worry about these things but we are commanded not to worry about these things. We are commanded to seek God’s kingdom first and foremost and all of the things we need will be added unto us and provided for us.

Matthew 6:25-34 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Hebrew lessons!
Hebrew lessons!

The second question many people ask me is: “How will your children have friends or a social life?” We are so blessed to live in an area where there are many homeschooling families. Our congregation is full of youth, children, and babies who are all Messianic and are all homeschooled. But our focus is not to have dozens of friends for our kids. We focus on QUALITY rather than QUANTITY when it comes to our children’s friends. First and foremost, God is their best friend. Yeshua is their friend.

James 4:8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

John 15:13-15 You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

Their siblings are their friends.  These are the people that the Father decided to put in my children’s lives. We have four children and we have taught them how to be each other’s friends first. If they are not faithful with being friends to each other, they are not ready to add to their circle of friends. We have taught them how to love each other.

John 15:12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

Finally, they are ready for adding friends to their circle. Once they can guide their friends and help them to continue in the Torah they are ready for friendships. We train our children to be kind to all people but to keep company and be close friends with those who are good company for them.

Proverbs 12:26 One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.

Proverbs 13:20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

Making solar system mobiles.
Making solar system mobiles.

Messianic homeschooling is an amazing method of learning and teaching. I learn every day and because the focus is the Torah/Bible, I study constantly. This has greatly improved my walk with the Father and led me closer to Yeshua my Messiah. I am so encouraged to see my children learning His ways and studying His word every day.

Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the Torah is our schoolmaster to bring us unto Messiah, that we might be justified by faith.

I say all of these things not to downplay the importance of learning the sciences or gaining an understanding of mathematics or to be a good writer but to encourage you as a Messianic homeschooling family to seek to follow the Torah, teach the Torah, and instill a love for the Torah in your children’s hearts first. Let that be your focus. Then, all of the other subjects will be added unto you. I have tried to interweave the teachings of the Torah and the rest of scripture into our Messianic homeschool. When we learn about a science topic whether it is a study of physics or biology, we talk about our creator’s laws. We talk about His consistent wisdom and faithfulness. We talk about the principles of reaping and sewing. He is in all subjects. When we see that 1+1=2 every time, we feel comfort in knowing that will never change. It never changes and neither does our God.

Numbers 23:19 God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

Malachi 3:6a “I the LORD do not change.”

braille
Learning braille and thanking the Father for His continuing healing and mercy!

 

So, be encouraged as you begin to homeschool or continue homeschooling. Remember not to lose your focus on what is important; the source of our wisdom and our children’s wisdom is the Torah.

Proverbs Chapter 2: My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding—indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, who have left the straight paths to walk in dark ways, who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways. Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman, from the wayward woman with her seductive words, who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God. Surely her house leads down to death and her paths to the spirits of the dead. None who go to her return or attain the paths of life. Thus you will walk in the ways of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous. For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it; but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it.

Parsha Ki Tisa

gold-dustParsha Ki Tisa כִּי תִשָּׂא “When you lift up”

Torah portion: Shemot/Exodus 30:11-34:35
Haphtarah (concluding portion): 1 Kings 18:1-39
Brit Chadasha (New Testament): 2 Corinthians 3:1-18

Did you know: Ki Tisa is the 9th parsha [portion] of sefer [scroll of/book of] Shemot?

Art: In Exodus/Shemot 31:1-5, we read about Oholiab and Bezalel. They were filled with the Ruach Elohim (Spirit of God) and were able to make lots of neat things! This week, the sky’s the limit for art projects but in my family, we are going to focus on wood burning. We picked up a wood burning tool at JoAnn Fabrics for $12.99 (and it was even cheaper after our 40% off coupon). At a local dollar store they sell plain, unfinished wall plaques so each of my children will receive one. Next, they will lightly sketch out a scripture verse in English (or Hebrew) on the plaque and use the wood burning tool to carefully burn the phrase into the wood. We’ll finish ours off with some dark wood stain before displaying them over doorways throughout the house.

Quick Science: What is bronze? It is a copper alloy. An alloy is a metal made up of a combination of metals. Bronze is copper with up to 1/3 tin mixed in. Why was the basin made of bronze? (Exodus/Shemot 30:17-21) And why were the priests commanded to wash their hands and feet in it? You may be surprised to know that bronze has naturally antibacterial and antibiotic properties! The priests were working with blood, disease, and dead animals quite a bit. How awesome is יְהֹוָה to, in all His merciful wisdom, command us in such a thoughtful and loving way? Read more here

Health Minute: After the golden calf incident, יְהֹוָה commanded the people to grind it and drink it. This seems to almost represent the very first “prescription” given. Colloidal gold (a colloid is a suspension of fine particles in a fluid substance) is prescribed today to treat symptoms such as pain, anxiety, impatience, and depression. Research the uses of gold dust, colloidal gold, and similar preparations. Give a presentation based on your findings. Make sure you reference at least two reliable sources as well as making reference to the scriptures. (Exodus/Shemot 32:19-20) Read more here.

Fun Craft: Since Moses’ face was shining this week (Exodus/Shemot 29:30-33), we have decided to make sparkly candles. They will remind us of the shine and sparkle of יְהֹוָה’s word and of Moses’ face. We will surely be using them as our Shabbat candles this week. Here’s the tutorial.

Don’t forget to visit our friends & ministry partners:
Petah Tikvah
Heart of Wisdom
Hebraic Roots Network
Holy Language Institute

Parsha Tetzaveh

Parsha Tetzaveh תְּצַוֶּה “You Shall Command” 

Torah portion: Shemot/Exodus 27:20-30:10
Haphtarah (concluding portion): 1 Samuel 15:1-34
Brit Chadasha (New Testament): Hebrews 13:10-16

Did you know: Tetzaveh is the 8th parsha [portion] of sefer [scroll of/book of] Shemot?

Bible: This week we will continue our Torah study by completing this week’s Messianic Weekly Series of parsha studies. The preschoolers will complete Parsha for Preschool for this week’s parsha. You can find these affordable and wonderful resources in our storefront. We will also continue working through our parsha lapbook MessiShul program with the older elementary kids and junior high school students. This fulfills a portion of our Hebrew language study as well. We have a student preparing for a Bat Mitzvah in our homeschool so she will continue learning through her Bar/Bat Mitzvah workbook as well.

Teen Time: Have you checked out Liv’s Teen Devos lately? We will listen to Pastor Joel of Messianic Family Fellowship teach on this week’s parsha via his free Messianic podcasts.

Math: Just in time for reviewing our basic math facts, Restoring the Way has a math drill sheet workbook collection. Noach’s Math will help us review addition facts, subtraction facts, multiplication facts, and division facts. These drill sheets are an invaluable tool for increasing speed and accuracy in math calculations. You can find these Noach’s Math workbooks at our online storefront.

Reading/Phonics: We will be using MessiKids Reading for the younger elementary students to continue our reading practice and Super MessiKids Preschool Adventure program for the preschool students to continue our studies in reading, phonics, spelling, and handwriting.

Hebrew: To polish up our Hebrew skills, we will continue using the Hebrew readers and handwriting sheets available from Restoring the Way.

Culinary: Infused oil. This week we learned about the command to always have pure olive oil in the tabernacle so that the lamps might always be burning. This week, we will also be working with olive oil and make infused oil (herb or floral). Click here for instructions.

Craft: This week we will experiment with making olive oil candles. Click here for instructions for making the candle part. We will be decorating baby food jars that we had given to us by my brother (he has a 9 month old cutie) with dollar store glass rocks. I am simply going to have the kids hot glue the clear-ish rocks to the jar all the way around to give it a nice look when the candle is lit. As I mentioned in the opening sentence of this section, we are “experimenting” because as with any candle, we should never leave baby food jar candles unattended. Because glass heats from the temperature of the candle flame, there is always a possibility of the glass breaking. Tea-lights work best for baby food jar crafts because they produce the least heat and pose the least danger of glass breakage. Since we are using olive oil and wicks, we’ll have to see how it goes. I also wonder if the glass will heat so far as to melt the hot glue and skew our decorations. We shall see…

Science (Geology): I am going to ask my older kids to read THIS ARTICLE about gemstones and respond to it in a discussion with each other about Biblical gems.

Sewing: Perhaps we will finish a project we purchased the material for long ago: APRONS. Although the priestly garments did not include an “apron,” I am going to kind of adapt the idea of the breastplate here (and use a little creative license). We will be using either THIS pattern or THIS ONE. I suppose we could embellish the chest area with some felt applique or iron on circles in the same colors as the stones described for the ephod. Here’s a picture of what the ephod looked like.

Don’t forget to visit our friends & ministry partners:
Petah Tikvah
Heart of Wisdom
Hebraic Roots Network
Holy Language Institute

Parshiot Acharei-Mot/Kedoshim

Parshiot Acharei Mot/Kedoshim אחרי מות/קדושים “After the death/Holy”

  • Torah portion: Vayikra/Leviticus 16:1-20:27
  • Haphtarah: Amos 9:7-15; Ezekiel 20:2-20; Ezekiel 22:1-16
  • Brit Chadasha: Matthew 5:43-48; 1 Corinthians 6:9-20

Did you know: Acharei Mot/Kedoshim is a double portion. They are the 6th and 7th parshiot [portions] of sefer [scroll of/book of] Vayikra [Leviticus]?

Bible: This week we will continue our Torah study by completing this week’s Messianic Weekly Series of parsha studies. The preschoolers will complete Parsha for Preschool for this week’s parsha. You can find these affordable and wonderful resources in our storefront. We will also continue working through our parsha lapbook MessiShul program with the older elementary kids and junior high school students. This fulfills a portion of our Hebrew language study as well. We have a student preparing for a Bat Mitzvah in our homeschool so she will continue learning through her Bar/Bat Mitzvah workbook as well.

Teen Time: Have you checked out Liv’s Teen Devos lately? We will listen to Pastor Joel of Messianic Family Fellowship teach on this week’s parsha via his free Messianic podcasts.

Math: Just in time for reviewing our basic math facts, Restoring the Way has a math drill sheet workbook collection. Noach’s Math will help us review addition facts, subtraction facts, multiplication facts, and division facts. These drill sheets are an invaluable tool for increasing speed and accuracy in math calculations. You can find these Noach’s Math workbooks at our online storefront.

Reading/Phonics: We will be using MessiKids Reading for the younger elementary students to continue our reading practice and Super MessiKids Preschool Adventure program for the preschool students to continue our studies in reading, phonics, spelling, and handwriting.

Hebrew: To polish up our Hebrew skills, we will continue using the Hebrew readers and handwriting sheets available from Restoring the Way.

Science: There is a school of thought in the world about the frequencies of linen and wool. The researchers of electromagnetic frequencies believe there are specific healing properties of linen. There is a written teaching about this from New2Torah that is interesting. I couldn’t find an actual scientific, peer-reviewed University article about it that was easy enough for my kids to understand but if you like this topic, I am sure you can find lots about it in Google Scholar. Another interesting science topic that I found in this week’s parshiot is the drinking of blood. Life is in the blood. But also, consuming blood can overload the body with too much iron. The body has a hard time shedding excess iron and consuming too much iron can lead to a plethora of dangerous physical ailments and even death. This article from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute is a good explanation of excess iron in the body (called hemochromatosis).

History: In keeping with our linen study, we will read the “historical use” section of this website and talk about historical health beliefs.

Art: Because we are learning about linen’s healing qualities, we are going to make linen pillows this week. If you want to sew your own from recycled linen (perhaps a thrift-store dress can be re-purposed), you are more than welcome to! You may prefer go ahead and purchase a pre-made linen pillow or pillowcase for this project. We are going to choose our favorite verse from scripture and stencil our pillow in any font we desire. You can also free-hand if you are confident. This tutorial is the one on which we are basing this week’s artsy project.

Don’t forget to visit our friends & ministry partners:
Petah Tikvah
Heart of Wisdom
Hebraic Roots Network
Holy Language Institute

 

Parsha Vayishlach

Parsha Vayishlach וישלח “He sent”

  • Torah portion: B’reisheet 32:3-36:43
  • Haphtarah: Obadiah 1:1-21
  • Brit Chadasha: Hebrews 11:11-20

Did you know: Vayishlach is the 8th parsha [portion] of sefer [scroll of/book of] B’reisheet [Genesis]?

Bible: This week we will continue our Torah study by completing this week’s Messianic Weekly Series of parsha studies. The preschoolers will complete Parsha for Preschool for this week’s parsha. You can find these affordable and wonderful resources in our storefront. We will also continue working through our parsha lapbook MessiShul program with the older elementary kids and junior high school students. This fulfills a portion of our Hebrew language study as well. We have a student preparing for a Bat Mitzvah in our homeschool so she will continue learning through her Bar/Bat Mitzvah workbook as well.

Teen Time: Have you checked out Liv’s Teen Devos lately? We will listen to Pastor Joel of Messianic Family Fellowship teach on this week’s parsha via his free Messianic podcasts.

Math: Just in time for reviewing our basic math facts, Restoring the Way has a NEW math drill sheet workbook collection. Noach’s Math will help us review addition facts, subtraction facts, multiplication facts, and division facts. These drill sheets are an invaluable tool for increasing speed and accuracy in math calculations. You can find these Noach’s Math in our storefront.

Reading/Phonics: We will be using MessiKids Reading for the younger elementary students to continue our reading practice and Super MessiKids Preschool Adventure program for the preschool students to continue our studies in reading, phonics, spelling, and handwriting.

Hebrew: To polish up our Hebrew skills, we will continue using the Hebrew readers and handwriting sheets available from Restoring the Way.

Science: This week we read about how Jacob and Esau make up. There is a health benefit to forgiveness. The Bible says that bitterness dries the bones (Proverbs 14:30) and might contribute to osteoporosis or arthritis. Unforgiveness affects your relationships too. This article from Natural News summarizes nicely how unforgiveness affects your cardiovascular system as well.

Health: In Genesis 35:1-8 the reading reiterates how Jacob had to flee his brother. Part of what we commit to do each year here in New York State for our homeschooling is to teach our children about safety. This week we will review our emergency escape plan in case of a fire or other disaster. We will map out a drawing of our house complete with a few different methods of escape. We will discuss different scenarios. We will check and replace the batteries in our smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. We will have our fire extinguisher inspected as well.

Physical Education: Genesis 32:22-32 tells us about Jacob wrestling with God. Now, without getting too rowdy, we are going to practice the basics of self-defense. This video we selected is specific to kids. This next video includes some Krav Maga (Israeli martial arts) instruction. It is a LOT rougher than the first video so I think we’ll just watch it and not practice it. My older sons have a punching bag in the barn and some MMA experience so they will like to watch this video.

Don’t forget to visit our friends & ministry partners:
Petah Tikvah
Heart of Wisdom
Hebraic Roots Network
Holy Language Institute