5 Reasons We’re Learning About Great Missionaries in our Homeschool
We have a two-fold goal in our homeschool:
First, to teach our children Godly character and second, to equip them with the academic skills they need for life.
Using studies of great missionaries is a great way to help meet both of those goals!
When we read missionary biographies and do more in-depth studies on those missionaries, there are 5 (at least) things that are happening with our children:
- They can more easily relate missions to their own world.
We have been reading about Hudson Taylor the past few days. Before we started, that was just some obscure name about some missionary in my children’s minds. But as we read through his life story, they now understand that he was a kid who grew up with many of the same thoughts and struggles as they do. He ate, slept, worked, and did all the normal things that everyone else does. Missionaries are just normal people!
2. Their imaginations are enriched as they listen to action packed adventures.
Well-chosen missionary biographies are some of the most exciting books a parent could use for read aloud time. The unique cultures encountered, the incredible obstacles faced, and the courageous acts of the missionaries will captivate your children’s minds as they listen.
3. They may desire to serve God like the missionaries have done.
As children begin to relate the experiences of missionaries to their own world, they begin to realize that they can serve God too. For instance, in the story of Hudson Taylor they learned that he kept clutter to a minimum – not for his own benefit, but so that his things could be given to others who needed them more than he did. My kids are learning that not only are missionaries normal people, serving God is done in very normal ways!
4. They are learning world history and geography.
As we study the lives of the missionaries, we also look at practical academic things. We’ll find where they lived on the map. We’ll find the country that they went to. We’ll learn what the geography of that country was like and what the culture was like. We’ll add them to our history timeline so we can see when they lived in relation to other world events.
5. They learn how to think for themselves.
We practice a Charlotte Mason type of atmosphere in our homeschool, and if you know anything about that, narration is very important. As we read missionary biographies together, my children are learning to narrate back to me things about that person’s life as well as applications they can make in their own lives.
6. They are learning Godly character
Not only did the missionaries serve God by reaching people with the gospel, they are also an example to succeeding generations of Godly character traits. For example, in the life of Hudson Taylor we learn about endurance as he kept persevering even in the midst of incredible hardships.
If you want to get started teaching about missionaries in your homeschool, a great place to start is with the study To Every Nation. It’s a 12 week study that includes stories of great missionaries along with worksheets and copywork to help your family dig deeper into the lives of the missionaries and the culture of the countries where they served. You’ll also be encouraged to learn from the example of the Godly character traits they exhibited, like perseverance, compassion, and forgiveness.