By Dr. Peter Hammond, 8/29/22
A True School of Discipleship
Parenthood is an adventure. Protestant Reformer, Dr. Martin Luther observed that marriage is the true school of discipleship. He claimed that he learned more in one year of marriage than he had learned in 10 years in the monastery! Luther also observed that there is no love so sacrificial as that of a parent.
Three Decades in Education
For Lenora and I, our adventures in Home Education began 31 years ago with the birth of our first child. Now that we have four children and three grandchildren, we can look back on almost three decades of family adventures in education with awe and gratitude at all that the Lord has taught us and accomplished, in spite of our doubts, fears, frailties and failures.
The Duties of a Parent
The Bible tells us that God seeks “Godly offspring…” Malachi 2:15. As parents, our greatest desires and priorities were to bring up our children “in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4. We aimed to “train a child in the way he should go…” Proverbs 22:6. Our greatest concern was that our children would grow up to love the Lord with all their heart, with all their soul, with all their mind and with all their strength. It has been my constant prayer that my children will grow to love, trust, obey, worship and serve God more consistently and effectively than I have done.
Home Education was a Life Altering Lifestyle Decision
Lenora and I counted our decision to Home Educate our children as one of the most important and life altering commitments we ever made. We entered into Home Education with fear and trepidation. Despite Lenora completing a Bachelor of Science in Education and my Seminary training in Theology and Missiology, we were not sure that we would succeed as home educators.
Phenomenal Resources Available
As it happened, our fears proved to be unnecessary. The curriculum providers for home educators have done a phenomenal job in providing some of the finest textbooks, workbooks, assignments, projects and educational resources and support networks available anywhere. We really did not have any reason to worry at all. In fact, parents do not need a college education to succeed as home education parents. The curriculums and textbooks available make home education accessible to most families.
Enjoyable and Empowering Education
Our children took to home education with enthusiasm. We thoroughly enjoyed going through the textbooks and assignments together. I learned a lot as I went through History, Geography and English textbooks with my children. It even inspired me to write a number of History books myself!
What About Socialization, Sports and Accreditation
Many people are concerned about socialization. Others are concerned about sports. For many, accreditation and academic recognition to enable their children to go on to tertiary education is a primary concern.
Extramural Activities for Home Educators
Well, our children were fully involved in the Biblical Worldview Summit camps and Great Commission Courses every year, Girl Guides, Scouts, Ice Skating, Irish Dancing, Art classes, Soccer, Tennis, Music (including competing in the Royal Academy of Music Exams), Guitar and Piano Lessons, Ballet, Horse Riding, regular visits to Museums, Battle sites, national parks and volunteering to help out with the SPCA Horse Unit, Dog Kennels, Catteries, Animal Welfare Society, Animal Anti-Cruelty League, Beauty Without Cruelty, SANCCOB, visits to Eagle Encounter, Cheetah Outreach, neighborhood clean ups, tree planting campaigns, hikes in the forest and so much more. Physical education, sports and socialization were hardly a concern! Our children even participated in team sports at local independent schools who welcomed the involvement of home educated students.
Our eldest daughter, Andrea, started with CLASS (Christian Liberty Academy Satellite School) and completed her High School education with the BJU (Bob Jones University) Home curriculum. Andrea completed a SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) at the University of Cape Town and was awarded a full 5-year Scholarship at Arizona Christian University where she graduated with honors, with her majors in Communication with an emphasis in Journalism. Immediately upon graduating, she was offered a position in Western Journalism, where she pioneered a whole new department. Since then, Andrea married and is the mother of three energetic sons.
Our second daughter, Daniela, started with CLASS, then later in High School, she used BJU materials and matriculated using the ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) curriculum. She excelled in painting at Frank Joubert Art School which was a private Art School that she would attend several afternoons of each week. Daniela’s Matric results enabled her to enter Varsity College where she graduated with Honors in Graphic Design. Daniela also earned National Colors in Ice Skating and represented South Africa overseas in Synchronized Ice Skating in France, Italy and the United States. She was also part of the Cape Town Youth Choir for many years and sang in Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and at the Choir Olympics in Riga, Latvia. Daniela is a highly sought-after designer and earns more than her parents. She is also an Ice-Skating coach in her spare time.
Our third child, Christopher, achieved senior Black Belt in Karate, second Dan. He was awarded National Colors and represented South Africa overseas at Worlds in the United States of America, Switzerland and Germany. He brought back two Bronze medals for South Africa. He has graduated from AFDA in Motion Picture Medium, his chosen subjects include Editing, Data Management and Color Grading. Christopher has served in Frontline Fellowship’s Coms office. Numerous of our films were produced by Christopher. He then was granted an Internship with MovieGuide.
Our youngest son, Calvin, undertook multiple missions around South Africa, Namibia and Zambia with me, became accomplished in presenting Way of the Master and Evangelism Explosion Gospel presentations to school assemblies, on national TV in Zambia, at pastors’ conferences and in churches. From age 6, he was a confident presenter of EE Gospel presentations. Calvin excelled in Scouts, representing South Africa at the 2015 Jamboree in Japan. He earned Gold in Fencing in a National Tournament. Calvin excelled in Water Polo and Hockey and more recently in long distance running. He represented South Africa in Biathel in Egypt. He is studying Exercise Technology and, even before he completed his GED Matric, was already coaching at a number of schools, in Water Polo, Hockey and long-distance running.
Mission Camps, Courses and Outreaches
All of our children have been fully involved in all of the camps, courses and outreaches of our Mission. They have all been Group Leaders at our camps. Daniela has also led the Women’s P.T. and Calvin has led the Men’s P.T. and sports.
Strengthening Character and Families
While most South African families have the distressing situation of their children being scattered around the globe, we have been blessed with all of our children and grandchildren are living in South Africa, in Cape Town and involved in the Mission. There is no doubt in my mind that this would not be the case had we not chosen Home Education as a lifestyle choice. There is no doubt that Home Education brought our family closer together, deepened our Faith and strengthened the character of each one of us.
From the very beginning, it was a high priority for Lenora and I that our children learn to be brave, to be dependable, faithful, disciplined Christians of integrity; people of their word who can be depended upon to honor their commitments. They needed to learn to be unselfish, to put personal feelings and interests aside in order to do what is right, to care for the weak and needy and for the lonely, to rescue stray animals, to help those who are in greatest need and to serve the Lord sacrificially.
Investment by Example
To teach this to our children, we needed to model these principles by way of example. Our children needed to see these priorities and principles at work in our lives, consistently. Our time is limited. The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. Investing in our children, in their education and their future has been the very best investment we have ever made. Now we have 3 grandsons to help raise.
Home Education Video Available
In order to encourage those considering the adventure of Home Education, Christian Liberty Books produced a Home Education video. You can view Ndumiso’s 28-minute Home Education video here.
“Therefore, know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps Covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His Commandments.” Deuteronomy 7:9