To know God and to make Him known.

Teaching to Change Lives

Several months ago, while looking over the books found on my friend’s homeschooling shelves, I came across quite a few familiar titles. Some of the books I had given to her because I no longer needed them. Others were books that had intrigued me but I never bought them. Still others were books that I had heartily recommended to her and which I have on my own shelves.

One book in particular caught my eye because it had such an impact on me when I first read it years ago, but I realized I had not read it again in all my years of homeschooling. Teaching to Change Lives by Howard Hendricks (Multnomah Books, 2003), the renowned teacher from Dallas Theological Seminary, covers “seven strategic concepts in teaching” (p. 14) that “call for a passion to communicate” (p. 15). This calling likely is not at the top of your list of reasons to homeschool, but the principles Hendricks presents will certainly improve your homeschooling experience and make you a more effective teacher. The key areas targeted by the seven laws, or rules, include


  • helping the teacher grow;
  • stimulating, directing, and motivating the learner;
  • impacting your students’ hearts;
  • imparting information; and
  • ensuring that both teacher and student are properly prepared.

Books about education can be just as helpful as books about teaching. I purposely read For the Children’s Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School (Crossway Books, 1984) every few years to remind me just how simple homeschooling can be. Susan Schaeffer Macaulay’s book is often credited with awakening the modern homeschooling movement. As classical, Christian homeschoolers, we would not want to miss reading a book aimed at our particular approach to homeschooling. Classical Conversations MultiMedia’s new book, Classical Christian Education Made Approachable, presents the blueprint for an education that helps parents build “a House for Noble Purposes.”

Finally, books aimed at helping us grow as Christian women can often provide the best preparation for our days as homeschoolers. “Bathroom books,” which can be read in short segments and give us brief content on which to meditate, do not take much time to read and yet they make a big impact. Two of my favorites are Elisabeth Elliot’s Keep a Quiet Heart (Revell, 2004) and Ruth Bell Graham’s Legacy of a Pack Rat (Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1994), featuring her version of Psalm 119:32:

Enlarge my heart
to love You more,
when I am stumbling
on the way;
only the heart
enlarged by You,
runs to obey.

By far, my favorite mentor through her books has been Edith Schaeffer. When my children were very young, What is a Family? (Baker Books, 1997) and The Hidden Art of Homemaking (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1985) helped me capture a vision of a Christian household filled with caring and creativity.



CATEGORIES: Articles, Big Ideas: Truth, Beauty, Goodness and more!, Classical Christian Education, Homeschooling Life

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