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Hausvater: /HAUS-fah-ter/
noun (German)
1. Housefather.
2. Spiritually responsible head of household, including the housefather as assisted by the housemother.
>> Example: "As the Hausvater should teach it [Christian doctrine] to the entire family ..."
(Martin Luther, Small Catechism, 1529)

Christian homes, Christian congregations, and Christian schools are all places in which the Holy Spirit, through God’s Word, gives and strengthens the faith of His children. Yet, it’s easy to see ourselves in vastly contrasting “boxes” which emphasize our differences and weaknesses, rather than our similarities and strengths. All too often, suspicion and misunderstanding exists between school leadership and homeschool families. Instead, what we all need is proactive, constructive curiosity and mutual respect. How can we build bridges between churches, schools, and homeschools, working together for the Christian education of all of the congregation’s children?

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How Can a Church/Church School Support Homeschooling Families in the Church?

  1. Shared Goals/Recognition
  2. Open Communication/Invitation
  3. Shared Resources

How Can a Church/Church School Use “Community Homeschooling Support” as Outreach

  1. Mission and Vision
  2. Regional Homeschool Resource Center
  3. Educational Opportunities Beyond the CDS

How Can Homeschool Families and the Congregation/School Mutually Assist Each Other?

Homeschooling parents can direct choir, plan field trips, organize the Christmas program, and assist the congregation or school in many other ways. Similarly, the school can invite homeschool children to compete in the spelling bee, participate in sports and music programs, and lend a hand for community service projects. Because Christian homeschool families and Christian Day Schools share a common aim—the Christ-centered education of children—they have great potential for collaboration.

For a more detailed report concerning these possibilities, see “Building Bridges: Fostering Cooperation between Christian Day Schools and Homeschool Families.” This free resource includes talking points plus handouts (a long version and also a concise version) designed to facilitate further discussion between homeschool parents and school administrators/teachers. May God bless all who contribute, according to their unique vocations, to the training of our youth!


Mrs. Marie K. MacPherson lives in Mankato, Minnesota, with her husband Ryan and their children, whom she homeschools. She is a certified Classical Lutheran Educator (Consortium for Classical Lutheran Educators), author of Meditations on the Vocation of Motherhood (2018), and editor of Mothering Many: Sanity-Saving Strategies from Moms of Four or More (2016).

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