By Peggy Ployhar, SPED Homeschool Founder & CEO
As we are moving from a knowledge-hungry world to one that is saturated with information, I tell parents, now, more than ever before that it is less important to teach our children lots of memorized facts and more important to teach them how to discern information with wisdom. For this reason, our educational approaches at home need to change so our children are equipped with the ability to discern right from wrong and truth from lies.
“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ…”
Yes, this truth from Philippians 1 has been my prayer for my own children and for you and your children as well. How do we make this shift and how do we teach discernment?
Here are 5 simple tips for adjusting your homeschooling approach to teach discernment in an information saturated world:
Talk it Out
Talking with our children and teaching them that there is a foundational and God-established form of truth, in God’s word, lived out through examples of faithful Christian, and within historical documents based on a biblical foundation is something that we should talk about in our homes all the time and reminding our children of when we do our daily lesson. Just taking the time to talk about truth helps children to be aware of its existence and its importance as a basis for knowledge and discernment.
Live it Out
Our children learn more through how we live verses from what we say. It is extremely important that they see us seeking truth and basing our decisions on truth if we want them to do the same. Therefore, as parents we need to value discernment in our own lives if we want our children to value it enough to pursue it, use it, and live by it.
Point it Out
Everywhere we turn, there are examples we can pull from to point out discernment, or lack thereof, to our children. In family relationships, movies, books, social media posts, world events, and so many other things. We need to take advantage of these opportunities and point out how others are using, or not using, discernment, so our children can gain a greater understanding of this concept and how it is experienced in everyday life.
Call it Out
As your children make daily decisions based on the information they are processing, they will practice discernment. When they use good discernment, call it out and commend them for using it to make a wise decision. When they fail to use discernment, call it out and help them to see how their lack of discernment led to a less desirable outcome than if they had used discernment in that situation. Instructing your child based on their own life circumstances helps them to internalize the need to apply this discipline to work against their natural tendencies to believe and follow faulty thinking.
Pray it Out
Praying for our children to use discernment, to live by discernment, and seek the help of the Holy Spirit to see truth and “the way they should go” in every situation, is important at every stage of their education. Teaching our children and parenting them in truth have a limited range in our children’s lives, but God’s range to reach them, teach them, and guide them is boundless. Bring your request that your child live a discerning life before the Lord. This is a prayer He desires to answer.
I am praying with you and for you and your children in accordance with this truth from Isaiah 11 as you pursue to teach discernment and live by it in your homes empowered by God’s Spirit:
“The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him,
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel and might,
The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.
His delight is in the fear of the Lord,
And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes,
Nor decide by the hearing of His ears;”
Peggy Ployhar is the Founder & CEO of SPED Homeschool as well as the host of the weekly live broadcast, Empowering homeschool Conversations that you can watch on the SPED Homeschool YouTube channel or download from your favorite podcasting platform.