As summer winds down and autumn approaches, millions of youngsters are getting ready to go back to school. Some have already started. Most of them, from elementary school age to high school students, are eagerly looking forward to the many activities of the school year. Of course, there are a sizeable number who dread it like the plague; at least that is what they tell their parents and friends.
Teachers are preparing their classes for a year of hard work. Coaches have their teams going through drills getting ready for the athletic season. Administrators are wrestling with budgets, transportation issues, security, meal programs and much more. It is a huge job. There is a lot of controversy about inadequate budgets, teachers’ salaries and the condition of the physical facilities in our nation’s schools—particularly in the large urban areas and in the inner city districts. Yet schools will open on time and do their best to carry on the mandated programs.
However, a look below the surface of all this activity reveals the sorry state of affairs of what is actually being taught in public schools. Many curricula include inadequate or slanted versions of history, presenting a very distorted view of what has actually happened over time. A secular bias dominates and instills the idea that there are no absolutes, even teaching forms of sex education that promote almost any behavior as normal and acceptable.
Is it any wonder that so many of our young people today have lost their way and do not have strong moral values to guide them through life? Certainly, there are exceptions, but the situation I have described is all too common. The fruits of our dereliction in education are all around us.
Under these circumstances, parents and grandparents have a special responsibility to teach their children the important truths that are not being taught in public schools today. Indeed, because of the deplorable conditions of so many schools, the homeschooling of children has become very popular—and in many cases does a far superior job of educating children.
Moral values instilled in the home are vitally important in preparing children for a successful life. This was also evident anciently. For example, as Moses led the children of Israel out of bondage, the Eternal God instructed him about what to teach Israel’s children and how to do it. We read: “Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the Lord your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess, that you may fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged… And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:1-7).
These instructions cover almost all human activity. Parents were to look for “teachable moments” in everyday life to instill true values in their children. Wise King Solomon put it this way: “Hear, my children, the instruction of a father, and give attention to know understanding” (Proverbs 4:1). The result? “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
So, parents and grandparents, as you prepare for the coming school year, realize the importance of your influence. Be mindful of the responsibility that our Heavenly Father has placed on you to be the primary source of your child’s moral underpinning, by diligently teaching them what they need to know about God’s way of life.
To aid you in this very important process, please read our informative free booklet, Successful Parenting: God’s Way. You may read it online, download it in PDF, ePub or MOBI format, or order your own printed copy absolutely free of charge or obligation.