How to mobilize Homeschoolers to Mission Involvement
QUESTION: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Richard H. 23 May 96 What are we mobilizers doing to influence the ever increasing number of Christian homeschoolers? At the recent Arlington (TX) Homeschool Book Fair there was a small booth with mission education supplies. My perception is that this is an area in which we need to find a way to give parents some motivation: If we can mobilize homeschooling parents, we challenge their kids as well.
ANSWER From: SBMCAL1@aol.com
..There is a substantial component of the Christian homeschool community that wonders how to mobilize the leadership of various agencies...These parents you talk of motivating are a highly motivated group of people who are laying down their lives sacrificially in order to meet their first priority ministry. They, as a group, are far ahead of most in their concern for, knowledge of, and support of missions.
ANSWER From: <WScottW@aol.com>
I received recently some material from an organization called Family Mission/Vision Enterprises who is sponsoring a conference at Fullerton EV Free Church June 7 and 8 and also Aug. 9 and 10 in Vancouver, Wa. Speakers include Bob Sjogren among others The first half of conference appears to focus on history and vision. The second half on teaching, prayer and the family and missions. The conference is cosponsored by AIMS, The Esther Network, Frontier's "Destination 2000" Int'l Family Missions, YWAM and USCWM. They are located in Bend, Oregon and the phone is 800-201-1668.
ANSWER From: NateWilson@XC.org
I agree that there need to be more bridges between the missions community and the emerging homeschool community. I think agencies will find candidates of exceptional quality from this direction. Homeschool support groups may be the way to reach these families. There's a BIG conference for Colorado homeschoolers this Summer (CHEC) at which mission agencies ought to set up booths next year. There are also lots of smaller local groups; ask around and see if you can make a presentation at one of these--I've gotten good response from this personally. There are also a FEW homeschool curriculums that emphasize missions--Sonlight and Christian Cottage Schools--to name a couple. Somebody ought to find out how to get into Bill Gothard's ATIA groups too!
ANSWER From: "Karl H. Mueller" <email@example.com>
Here in Canada it has been difficult to find answers about how to mobilize homeschoolers. I don't know if it is different in the USA, but up here, there doesn't seem to be an effective overall network for Christian homeschoolers. There are several smaller networks that don't communicate with each other much. In addition, those networks often include people from Muslim, Hindu, etc., backgrounds, and there is a reluctance to promote missions materials geared towards reaching adherents of other religions with the Christian Gospel. However, home schoolers are potentially an important group of people to mobilize for world evangelization. I wonder if there are any effective methods out there aside from having display booths at conferences.
ANSWER From: Susan Patterson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
We have homeschooled our three children for the past 10+ years. When we were getting started, we were also coming out of a church that was not very missions minded and we felt it would be a good idea to use homeschooling to educate all of us on what God was doing thru missions. Then I happened to come across the Aug./Sept. '88 issue of Teaching Home Magazine. The cover story was Teaching Geography with World Missions. Our life-changing adventure into world missions had begun.
Ten years later, two family members have been on short-term missions trips, we support several missionaries, have a bookshelf of missions books, are on the missions board of a very large church and are considering the prospect of becoming career missionaries. (Etc. etc.)
To answer Brother Richard's question, I have taught other home- schooling parents about the importance of incorporating missions into their curriculum compiled some ideas that I pass along to them. From time to time I insert notices in our local homeschooling newsletter about opportunities such as using the Internet/Missions forums, overseas opportunities for homeschooled teens, etc. I think it will be about time for another session this fall with our local home- schoolers, since there are so many new ones. Many communities have homeschool support networks that usually meet on a monthly basis and welcome someone sharing teaching ideas with them. Many of these same groups have monthly newsletters, too.
A few of the specific teaching ideas have included: Using Operation World with reproducible blank maps on a daily basis to gradually build your child's geographical knowledge. (We interspersed frequent "review days".) When we were done, our kids could fill in a complete world map with all the countries. Not to mention the daily prayer that went up for all those countries! Also, corresponding with missionaries, or MK's, or new converts in another land. Studying carreers in missions. Making a meal from a foreign land. Math, using figures of unreached peoples, or percentages, etc. Read missionary biographies. Visit an ethnic church (we have made wonderful friends this way, and now know a couple of good churches to send people to when we are doing cross cultural evangelism.) We also required our teens to take Evangelism Explosion as part of their homeschooling experience.
I do have a fairly simple outline I have used to do a one hour talk on this, if anyone wants it. Mail a sase to Sue Patterson, 2605 W. Yakima Ave., Yakima, WA 98902
MOBILIZING HOMESCHOOLERS ARTICLES
The following are great articles on incorporating missions into Homeschooling, and all contain lists of practical resources. None of these articles were originally written for email, so you may need to allow for the mailing of the printed version: