The School Vision
In the mid and late '80s, as the overall membership of The Family International matured and became more child and family centered, much of the focus of the movement shifted to childcare and education. Much effort was made to ensure that each TFI community was truly a home and to educate members regarding the proper care, training, and education of their children. A vast array of educational materials for adults, teens, and children was produced, including books, magazines, booklets, newsletters, book summaries, and reprints, as well as a series of educational videos for use in each community. New education programs for all ages of children were introduced to expand homeschooling programs. Parents were encouraged to spend quality time daily with their children and to set aside one day each week from missionary activities for parents and children to have fellowship and recreation together. Overall, higher childcare and home standards were established for all Family communities.
Throughout the Family's history, the majority of Family members have opted to homeschool their children, and much effort has been made to help provide the necessary materials to do so. In 1988, to further address the needs of The Family International children and teenagers, David presented what he called "The School Vision," in which he encouraged Family members to place a greater emphasis on the schooling of the children. Members were encouraged to establish small local boarding schools or day schools as centers to more effectively educate their children and provide them the opportunity to have more interaction with others their own age.
This trend continued until 1995 with the advent of The Love Charter, as the Family moved away from larger, institutional-style communities toward smaller co-op Homes, due to management difficulties and the need to provide the more personal environment that smaller Homes afford. During the next decade the Family devoted much time and resources to ensuring that children residing within its communities received a high standard of care, protection, education, and recreation. The objective was to foster a profound respect for the children and to be sure the children are properly educated, cared for, socialized, and prepared for life.
The Family's Love Charter
In 1995 the Family adopted a governing charter, which codified the beliefs, rights, and responsibilities of full-time Family members Membership. The primary purpose of the Charter is to provide a well-defined and easy-to-understand broad governing structure. Within this structure, ample opportunity is provided for Family members to follow what they believe is God's will for them personally and to freely operate according to their own initiative.
Shortly before his death in late 1994, David studied and approved a draft of the document. Each aspect of the Charter is based on his writings and teachings, and references to his nearly 3,000 published Letters written over the previous three decades accompany most sections of the document. Although the Charter itself was new, the doctrines and principles upon which it was based were not. Existing beliefs and practices regarded as essential were drawn from the tens of thousands of pages of Family literature and formalized into one document. The Love Charter provides easy reference to the most important principles and rules of the Family that were previously scattered throughout the movement's literature.