Educating Zion

Is the homeschool movement failing? Yes, I think so, for the most part. I have been homeschooling for over 17 years. I am saddened to see so many homeschooled youth floundering after they get to their late teens and 20s. I envisioned more youth becoming great scholars, servants, and entrepreneurs. I am not seeing that. Why is this not happening? It’s because our vision as homeschoolers isn’t high enough. I encourage you to watch this video presentation featured above by my friends the Stoddard family to raise your vision to be God’s vision for your family. 

I really love that Hannah Stoddard and her father James, in this video,  address the issue of inspiring a love of learning in homeschooled children. They say that instead of inspiring a love of learning, the better goal is to inspire a love of God. What a grand idea! An education fit for building Zion has to start with a love of God. I can see how much more powerful that would be. If we inspire a love of God, then our children will want to learn whatever God asks them to learn to further His purposes, not our selfish ones. God wants us to turn outwards and feed His sheep, to liberate the captive, clothe the naked, and serve them. He is asking us to be less selfish.

They point out the difference between a Roman and Hebrew model of education. The Roman model is about learning for learning’s sake, the Hebrew model is about learning in order to do. To build, to serve, to help.  A quote by Joseph Smith from the Lectures on Faith appears at the 12:50 minute mark that I absolutely love, which says that:

“For a man to lay down his all, his character and reputation, his honor, and applause, his good name among men, his houses, his lands, his brothers and sisters, his wife and children, and even his own life also … requires more than mere belief … that he is doing the will of God; but actual knowledge, realizing that, when these sufferings are ended, he will enter into eternal rest, and be a partaker of the glory of God” 

I also loved at the end of the video when the Stoddards say that if your children know that you are doing this for them, that you are laying down your life for them everyday by serving them, they will feel your love for them. This inspired me. I hope as my children feel my love for them they will feel the love of God and feel inspired to love God in return by serving others in building Zion.

Here is what the Stoddards say about an education for Zion:

What does a “Zion education” look like? Today, there are many battlelines where the adversary is assaulting the kingdom of God. What if the hours spent “homeschooling” could be used to make a difference, not only in our families, but in the world? What if the home is the most undervalued, underestimated and forgotten weapon against the adversary in our age?

How can we revolutionize our homes into productive environments that impact the world for good? How can we successfully reach our apathetic youth? How do we prepare our children for the “real world” without being conformed to the world?

Presentation slides available on the Joseph Smith Foundation website: Focus OUT, Not In – “Feed My Sheep”

Mission Centered – “Here am I, Send Me”

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