August 20, 2013

Why We Homeschool

The past couple of weeks or so, I've been under a lot of pressure. I am the kind of person that does not like to make mistakes, wants to please others and doesn't like to fail at anything. Ever.

Well, I had been having doubts about our decision for our children's education, just for various reasons, and it seemed like the more I thought about it, the more confused I became. What it all boils down to is fear- fear of making the wrong decision. I have never been one to go with the flow in my life, but I don't really like to stand out and draw attention to myself either. I like to do what I am led to do, because that is the place where I am at peace and joy. When I look back over my life, I am so amazed and so thankful at how God directed me, and that I was able to hear Him and obey it. My heart is to be where He wants me to be, and He knows I'll do what He wants even if I don't like it all that much at first, and even if it is different from everyone else.

The town that we live in is small but growing. We live in what is known as the "Bible Belt". I am literally surrounded by worldwide missions ministries, ministries to teens and pregnant teens, churches by the dozen- you name it. I live in a town that when one person, who is an athiest, tried to prevent the school from doing a program about America and it's Biblical foundations, the ENTIRE town and surrounding towns took a stand and funded the program to happen outside of school hours. It was on the news, as in national news. People move here for the school. It is the most sought after school district, the teachers are allowed to pray and talk about the Lord in class, kids are allowed to meet and pray at school as well. Like I said, people move here for the school.

So when the Lord started moving on me to homeschool, I didn't really understand, and I resisted it. The school has been so awesome for my oldest daughter, who has some special needs. They literally love her and spoil her, and everybody knows her. When I made the choice to obey His leading, I still didn't fully understand why we were doing homeschool, but I did it. And when I did, it automatically took me out of that group. No one in my church homeschools, no one in my family, no friends. There are no homeschooling groups or co-ops that I know of, because again, people move here for the public school. I did ok last year, I had some rough days, but overall, considering I was pretty much alone in it, things went really well.

And so, here I am again, feeling rather estranged from the rest of my local world as I get stuff in the mail about school starting, go to walmart with all the local school supply lists staring at me, everyone asking the girls about school starting and who their teachers are. I've been going over it around and around in my mind, back and forth. I realize that my local 'arms' so the speak are quite short-I don't really know anyone in my community that I see very often at all. I don't even have any friends who have children, much less homeschool. Hey, I don't even have any friends that are married and stay at home. Things can feel a bit lonely at times.

So I had to figure out why it was so important to keep our children home, and teach them myself. I had to go deep, but I realize that the reason is because I want them to have a Christian education. As good as the local school is, it is still funded by the state, and there are still state tests that apparently mean everything. My children will not get a quality Christian education in a public school. They may not even get a quality one in general. The reason a Christian education is so important, is that it all boils down to being about Him, and things make more sense. I know that the reason the dark ages were so dark, is not because people couldn't read or were not educated, it was because the Word of God was taken from them and not written in their own language. I know that Squanto was a Christian, and his life had been directed by God, so that at the appointed time, he would be there for the Pilgrims, so that our nation could begin. I didn't learn any of those things when I was in public school.

Our children are bright, and because of homeschool their reading levels are well above average. If they were to go back to public school, they wouldn't be allowed to move up or be challenged. They would probably get somewhat bored and wonder why they were there when they could be at home doing something interesting. Our school is not bad, but it ultimately falls short of our purpose for our children. I have tasted real learning, real knowledge, and it was like I had been starved the whole time I was in public school, and now I was finally getting something with meat and nutrients to it! I had to digest it slowly in the beginning, but soon I was keeping up with the rest of the kids who had been in that environment all their lives. I want that for my own babies. It is my desire and my goal, to make our school this year to be as interesting as possible. I am making myself include the study of artists, composers, dance, music lessons, field trips, more crafts and really digging into our history material. I chose things that interest me, so that they could see Mom excited about learning this stuff, and encourage them that learning is enjoyable. I love to learn new things, and I want that for them too.

I am writing this for myself. I needed to get these thoughts out, and show myself why I am doing what I am doing. I put it here in the hope that it could be an encouragement to anyone else faltering on the homeschool decision. I am not one of those people that talks much about it to anyone, and keep my answers short when asked, simply because it is a personal decision and I am very aware that I am not perfect. Just the other day a lady found out I homeschool and she just kept going on and on about what a saint I was! Well, if we are saved then we're all saints! People assume incorrectly that I am perfect and patient all the time and that's why I homeschool.
No way, I do it because Jesus asked me to, and because I love my children so much. I want them to learn directly from the Holy Spirit, and I want them to have freedom. I want them to have the Truth and do what God has called them to do. And right now it's learning with their mom, while she learns from the Him.

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