How Will You Get There?

Part of the series Questions For Home Education
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2014-09-08.

Is there a difference between training and teaching? Must be, since they are spelled differently becoming different words with different meanings.

Our world view is shaped by everything we have experienced, whether true or false. We tend to trust what we have come to believe as true and may even defend ourselves when presented with opposing thoughts. This series is meant to challenge your world view.

Bible Reference: Proverbs 22:6

Many home educators have determined to do so in obedience to the directives given us through the Bible, with Proverbs 22:6 and Deut. 6:4-6 being the most quoted passages. Although these verses are instructive, it is the entire Bible that directs us to teach our children at home. However, let’s focus on these verses for the time being.

There are some things that people read into the scripture that are simply not there. We tend to use words interchangeably, thinking that they have and convey the same meaning, when they don’t. Proverbs 22:6 for instance directs us to TRAIN our child, not school them, or educate them or teach them for that matter. Deuteronomy 6:6 is often quoted without the preceding two verses that gives us what we should be TEACHING our children. Training is not the same as teaching. Training is more of a process while teaching is more of an event, something that is delivered while the training is the way it is enforced.

Training a child in the way that he should go is a process that directs children to the truth while honoring the unique attributes of the child and it is mostly accomplished before the child reaches puberty. The way that he should go has everything to do with what God has already created within them as well as the direction in which you are to lead them. Training requires consistent repetition, reinforcement and discipline to children who have not yet reached the age of accountability and therefore require parents to make decisions for them.

Teaching on the other hand is the direct or indirect input of knowledge within children at any age. It is important to note that Proverbs 22:6 refers to the individual child, which highlights their uniqueness while Deut 6:4-6 directs us to teach our children, which I take to mean our entire family. So what is the difference? Simple, really! The training will vary with each child while the teaching will be more of a family affair. It is true that different children learn different things at different times and in different ways, but Deuteronomy 6 addresses what they all need to learn.

Believers should see their children as special creations, a gift from God that must be trained and taught with the objective of leading them to be disciples of Jesus Christ. This should be the primary purpose of Christian home education. “Schooling” or “educating” to be productive members of society then becomes a product of the training and teaching as a secondary objective and not a goal in and of itself. Only then will the post secondary fall into place as the child begins his or her own walk with The Creator who will guide them to fulfill their life’s calling.