Opinion: Christians Need to Raise Awareness on Importance of Family Education

A picture shows a family playing beside the sea.
A picture shows a family playing beside the sea. (photo: pixabay.com)
By Esther TianOctober 11th, 2022

Instead of entrusting their children to school or Sunday school, a family education instructor said parents should take on the family educational responsibility, as they are the first person responsible for their children’s education.

Mr. Pu (pseudonym) has been studying family education since 2009, and he has also researched many foreign cases. But after some exploration, Pu did not directly turn to Western school education or home education but returned to Jewish family traditions and the Bible to think about the implementation of home education in the current situation.

In East Asia, the problems of low marriage rates, low fertility rates, and an aging population are becoming obvious, especially in South Korea and Japan.

Pu said that the reasons why people did not have children were the high living pressure and the high cost of raising children. Therefore, he advocated simple, relaxed, and effective family education, which could reduce people's fear of having children to some degree. Family education focuses on helping children develop independent learning abilities, and parents only need to accompany and supervise their children, which does not so difficult.

"We are grateful to Western missionaries for introducing the gospel and operating many schools, but unfortunately they did not promote home education.”

He mentioned that British missionary Samuel Pollard who had served Hmong people in Guizhou Province attributed great importance to mission schools which had nurtured many outstanding talents. But when these schools disappeared, the ministry wasn’t handed down. Mr. Pu believed that this was caused by the lack of family education. Giving great importance to home education, Puritans passed down their culture even when the church school was struggling.

He concluded that family education was the reason for the different results of these two cases.

He said that it didn’t mean that schools were not important, but people should remember that family education was the foundation. He stated, "The better the Christian school is, the more parents rely on the school, and the less they educate their children at home. It's not right for parents to be content to send their children to church schools and have no concern for their education."

"It doesn't mean that Christian schools or schools should be abandoned, but that the Chinese church should promote family education. Parents should train their children in the way they should go, and when they are old they will not turn from it," he added. 

He believed that higher education needed to be conducted in universities or colleges and that parents had a more active role in children’s learning during basic education. "Schools cannot replace the role of parents in primary education, but being just a supplement and help."

In Pu's view, one of the most important goals of family education was to inherit--not only the character of life and beliefs, but also the views of family, education, parenting, and marriage. With many correct views built by their parents, children couldn’t easily be influenced by society.

Parents needed to help children tap their talents and train their autonomous learning ability, which was another important goal of family education, he added. Parents were also required to be friends and role models for their children.

Mr. Pu also reminded parents that family education was not just following the school model, or advocating tiger parenting and shared learning. In implementing family education, parents need to step out of the school education model, teach their children by words and deeds in daily life, cultivate children's interests, especially focus on cultivating children's language ability, reading comprehension ability, and logical thinking ability, so that children can have a strong self-learning ability. Recognizing the uniqueness of each child and raising them according to the nature God created, parents could save much manpower and money.

- Translated by Abigail Wu

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