Assisting Homeschoolers in South Korea
As homeschooling continues to grow around the world, creative opportunities to encourage homeschooling families worldwide are also growing. South Korea is a wonderful example.
Following Korea’s first home education conference in 2002, the Korea Christian Homeschool Association (KCHA) was formed by a pioneering group of pastors and Christian leaders who began teaching their children at home and committed to sharing the homeschooling vision with other Koreans. Since then, attendance at the annual KCHA conference and the number of homeschoolers in Korea has nearly doubled every year since 2002!
“We were losing our kids!”
KCHA Director, Pastor Daniel Chang, describes his generation of believers as passionate, dedicated to the cause of Christ at home and abroad. In fact, in some circles in America, it has even been said, “The Koreans are going to single-handedly fulfill the Great Commission, whether we join in or not!”
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Write Bernie Beall
FMI North American Director
P.O. Box 92
Brunswick, MD 21716-0092
Somehow, however, the vision of the older generation was not being passed on at home. The breakdown of the family so familiar to America is not just a western phenomenon. It is worldwide. As a college pastor, when Pastor Chang looked at the Korean youth—the youth of the church, the promise of the next generation—he saw that already the fire which burned so strongly in the parents was flickering out.
A large part of the problem lay in the intense Korean public education system. If kids are spending 8 to 12 hours a day, five or six days a week in schools (including after-school tutoring programs) that exclude God and give no fuel to the fire of the gospel, what can one expect?
Prompted by many of the same issues that triggered the American home education movement 25 years ago, Pastor Chang and other Korean Christian leaders launched Korea's homeschooling movement.
Even a short man casts a long shadow at dawn. (Irish proverb)
A small mission agency with a big vision has been started in South Korea: Family Mission International (FMI) invites American homeschooling families to help “spread family discipleship worldwide.” This is a remarkable opportunity to bless the budding international homeschool movement. If you have homeschooled for even one year, you are a veteran homeschool family who can have a large influence on one or more families overseas, and thereby cast a “long shadow” at the dawn of a movement.
Coach a family, host a family, or go as a family!
Having spent several of his growing-up years in an Asian country, FMI Founder Brad Voeller was eager to return to Asia as a missionary himself. After writing a book (Accelerated Distance Learning) and launching a ministry for American homeschoolers (Global Learning Strategies), Brad and his family moved to Korea to minister to families, and soon launched Family Mission International.
Through FMI, there are three ways that you can minister to homeschoolers in South Korea.
- Coach a family. New homeschool families in Korea (and eventually other countries) can be connected in a long-distance relationship with your family to receive practical encouragement in launching their own family adventure as homeschoolers.
- Host a family. New and potential homeschool leaders from Korea are eager to see firsthand how a variety of American families approach homeschooling. Perhaps your family could host one of these couples for two or more days in your home!
- Go as a family. For two weeks, two months, or even a year or two, your family could minister together by living your homeschool lifestyle among eager new homeschooling families in Korea. Typically, three Korean churches whose pastors are leading their congregations toward family discipleship (homeschooling) will cover about half or more of the living expenses of an experienced American homeschool family, who then lead weekly homeschool co-ops and seminars to share their homeschool experience.
A tremendous time
“This has been a tremendous growing and learning time for our family,” says Randy Sumrall.
Now beginning their second academic year in Korea, Randy and Julie Sumrall, along with their children Elizabeth (16) and Stephen (12), have had a unique homeschool ministry among families at Church of Joy and Spring Water Church. Working together as a family, the Sumralls plan, prepare, and lead weekly co-op unit studies. Randy and Julie also share the vision and practical aspects
of homeschooling in sessions with these new homeschooling fathers and mothers.
This fall, Timothy and Boni Pent are going with seven of their nine children to introduce homeschooling in a large, 10,000-member church in Korea, at the invitation of the church’s senior pastor. Perhaps your family could be one of the next families to go to Asia to minister together in this way.
“And in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” —Genesis 12:3
As the Lord leads and prospers FMI and the international homeschooling movement, this vision and strategy will grow into a beautiful tapestry of families blessing families worldwide.
|About the author
Bernie Beall serves as North American Missions Director for Family Mission International. Bernie’s family also recently launched a new ministry to families: Great Commission Families (GCF) Mobilizing Families for God’s Kingdom Worldwide. Prior to GCF, Bernie and his wife, Linda, were with Campus Crusade for Christ for 23 years. The Bealls have homeschooled their four children since 1989, and are new grandparents! Bernie grew up on a dairy farm not far from their current home in Brunswick, Maryland.
The views of guest columnists may not reflect the views of Home School Legal Defense Association.