This past week my family traveled to Washington D.C. to attend my favorite homeschooling conference, Teach Them Diligently. However, Teach Them Diligently isn’t just about homeschooling: It’s about the heart of families centered on God’s Word and our calling as parents to disciple our children.
Last year was my first experience at a Teach Them Diligently conference, and it was a real wake-up call for me. As speaker after speaker addressed the most pressing family issues of our day, it was clear to me that we are in the midst of a real spiritual battle for the hearts and minds of the children in our generation. As Christian parents, we stand in the way of the enemy’s lies and lures, but we must be vigilant and alert to the fact that we’re on the front lines of this deliberate attack. (See my wrap-up post from last year, “The Battle’s On.”)
This year, the overwhelming message I received was one of optimism and hope in the Lord: Yes, we’re waging war against a deceptive enemy, but we know God wins! And what a privilege and joy for us to know that God is equipping us as parents to shape His arrows, our children, to precisely penetrate the enemy wherever God assigns them (Psalm 127:3-5). We shouldn’t bury our heads in the sand, but we also shouldn’t run to the bunkers and hide: Our “quivers” are full of arrows for a reason, and we can get excited about our role as parents in raising up our next generation to be courageous warriors for Christ.
Here are just a few nuggets of encouragement from the speakers that reinforced this message:
“We need to raise a generation that knows what they believe, why they believe it and who they believe. Teach your children how to defend the faith. Raise up warriors who aren’t afraid to challenge the status quo, who fear God and not man. The faith foundation is the most important thing you can do, then send them out to affect the culture. The arrows in your quiver, they need to be prepared and then sent out at the appointed time into the strategic places God can use them, where He calls them.”
— Tony Perkins, Family Research Council
“We need to prepare our children for those key positions in the future, all positions from being in power to being educated voters, are important to implement change. Our country is not going to be free until we have generations that believe in freedom. Simply by homeschooling, you’ve given your children a chance to learn and believe the true principles of liberty, and you’re giving them an example by choosing to homeschool.”
— Michael Farris, HSLDA
“I believe in being strategic and intentional. I believe God designed us to be individually educated and parented. We need the Holy Spirit, and every kid is different. You are not protecting, you are preparing! You are raising the Joshuas & Calebs of our time. My end goal is that my children would know God and serve God, period. Then to apply that relationship to all aspects of their lives, and that will look different for every child.”
— Debra Bell, Author
“Don’t put God in a box, limiting what He can do with your kids because of your fear of the environments out there. God says that we are to go into all the world and preach the gospel. God wants us to aim our arrows. Out of 24 years of homeschooling, the one thing I am so, so glad we did was memorize the Bible. You get God’s word into their hearts and it’s there forever. Train your children to go forward for God’s purposes, and do not be afraid.”
— Ann Dunagan, Harvest Ministry & Daring Daughters
One of the highlights of my Teach Them Diligently experience is the overall quality of content and passion of the speakers. Over the next two weeks, I’ll be writing some posts on specific topics covered by the speakers I heard, such as Voddie Baucham, Ken Ham, Rachael Carman and Zan Tyler — just to name a few. My husband, who attended for the first time this year, has also shared about his experience at Teach Them Diligently from a homeschooling dad’s point of view: See his post here.
Although our week in D.C. is behind us, YOU can still attend Teach Them Diligently this year in one of the current conference cities that still remain on the schedule. Many of the same speakers we heard in D.C. will be joined by other dynamic speakers to encourage and equip you and your family in your homeschooling journey.
There’s still time to register online for this year’s remaining conferences. See NextGen Homeschool on Facebook for current coupon codes that may be available for discounts on the family registration.
Have you ever attended a Teach Them Diligently Convention? If so, what stood out the most to you? Are you planning to attend any homeschool conventions this year? If so, what do you look forward to most?