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If you can pass my grammar errors and typos , then , you could enjoy my blog. I am not very good at writing, yet I write from my heart. You will know a little bit of me and the things that I treasure most in my life.
Thank you so much for visiting and for your grace and patience with me.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

So You Are Considering Home Schooling?

You are considering all the options: public system. Christian school, private secular, anything! And when there is no more options, you get to the next dreadful option: HOME SCHOOLING! You hear more people are doing it, people you trust and are not weird looking! You want to do it some days and other days are the scariest thing you have ever considered. Either you will do the best for your children or you will ruin them (either way you go), so which is the best? Which way should you go? Ahhh!!!… you can struggle with this question for years and never change what you are doing. Do not worry, you are not alone. I was there and there are millions out there in your shoes. Here are some points to consider, I hope this will help you make the best choice for your children, whatever it is.

1.        If you home school, you will have great days, very rewarding days, with very fun with projects and laughs, you will see your kids grow and learn from a very close view… but it will also bring the worst out of you. You will see parts of your character challenged constantly, your testimony will be very important all the time. Your kids will see your faults very clearly and you will have to learn to mould your character very often.

2.        You will need to find new friends, friends that love to be with their children, that do not wait desperately for the hour when they drop them off to school so the can have a nice clean house or go for a nice quiet coffee with their friends. Your house will be used. Your floors will get dirty, you will have to sit on the floor and make a project with them, you will have to clean glitter of your nails (not because of your nail polish). Yet, your lunch time will be with very important people,  your time to have deep conversations with your children will increase, you can deal with issues the moment they happen, you can pray for them and with them at any time that is needed.

3.        You will face the danger of pride… thinking you are better than those families who do not like/want/can home school; you will be face with coveting (their “free” time that you do not have), you will be faced with self pity and making sure the world KNOWS what you have sacrificed for your children, so that make you a darn good mother!, you will be faced with other sins you never thought could be possible! You will want to make sure others know ALL the great things YOUR children are learning and the operas they went to and the leadership they are showing… and the list goes on and on and on…. You will feel the need to boast about your work, your children,… be careful! You will try to convince the home school world that your way of home schooling is the best

4.        Your style of homeschooling will be your style. What works for me, may not work for you. Yet it is, if you home school, your responsibility to educate your children. Having a day off because of whatever reason, is OK, but waking up at 12 every day, do not take a shower and eat in bed every day, you are failing at them and the Lord and you would be better off not home schooling them. Education is a responsibility, and it may take you time to learn discipline to actually do school.

5.        The amount of books, links, free links, subjects, curriculum, it is overwhelming! Be prepared to do some research before you buy, buy, buy, download, print, download, print, print, print… you will end up with many books, or material that will not be used. A waste of time and money. Peer pressure even in this will hit you: “You should teach them this, that, and that, my child at your child’s age, already know how to write in Latin, Greek and Chinese! Why don’t you see how important this is?”  Buy only what you will use.

6.        If your kids go to school and you want to pull them out, expect the first year to be an adjustment (yours and theirs) use this year to know each other, to learn to love your child, to adjust to having him or her around, to get used to the new noise around the house. Do not stress academically too much, but use this year to bond again, to learn the Word of God together, study it all.

7.        You think, well, my child goes to a Christian school, he has Bible class every day, do you know what they are studying? Do you agree with the doctrine? Are they teaching them Bible stories or Bible doctrine? Is it their job to train your children in that area? How much time do they hear you teaching them about the Lord, His love, His wrath, His judgement, His mercy, His patience, His hate, sin, forgiveness, repentance, predestination, justification, sanctification,… Do you know these doctrines well? Do they teach them at school? Does your kid know what it means to mortify the sin? If they are teaching these at school and you are not at home, and then you have made a good choice in sending them to school but if they are not learning these at church and not at home either, then you will have to give account to the Lord for the soul of your children.

8.        If you ever think homeschooling is something you cannot do, something that is for certain families, or you are worried that your kids will be alone, antisocial kids, weird looking, and living in a bubble… you have believed the view of the world.  They do not live in a bubble, we talk about the Greek mythology, read it, compare the gods with the God of the Bible; we talk about homosexuality, abortion, drugs, bullying, sex, all in light of the Bible. When studying history, we study it as His-story. We see His sovereignty, His supremacy… we do not separate Bible History with history... But study it parallel from each other. We study evolution very through… and we see the lack of evidence… God will provide friends for your children. God will provide, He has to others, He will not stop now. You can study subjects together, do projects with them, organize a group, it will involve your time and energy. But they are your children and God entrusted them to you. Not to the system. To you and your husband to train them in the knowledge and admonition of the Lord.

9.        Is it hard? Yes! But that is why you learn to depend EVERY day on the Lord. You cannot get out of bed without asking the Lord for His help. You will learn to trust Him in areas you never knew before. You will be humbled and realize that you are no better than any other mother! But instead, you are very weak and lack so much that if the Lord does not go before you, you cannot move. Your husband will see it, your kids will see it, you will confess sins to your children that they know already, but you can pray for each other.

10.     Home schooling will try to be your life; it will want to take over, to define you. You need to keep in mind you are a servant of the Lord, a wife a mother and after that…. you teach your children at home. It is part of you, NOT who you are. Not every vacation has to be educational, if you make cookies, you do not bring math into it unless the lesson calls to make cookies… if you talk about you with someone, do not talk about how great your HS is going or how great your children are. Have other conversation subjects, be a well rounded person, do not boast but learn of others, if you make cookies, enjoy the time! If you want to make them alone, you are allowed! Have friends over and simply enjoy their company. Read, have a cup of tea/coffee…relax! Enjoy your family and learn together. You are bad at math?... no worries, ask your husband to rescue you (I do!).

11.     If you think home schooling will save your children, you need to study the Word a bit more… You can dedicate all your life and energy into teaching your children to love the Lord, and yet is only the Lord who will give them love for Him. Home schooling is NOT the way of salvation. Jesus Christ is! Only Jesus can save them, only the Spirit can open their eyes. But you are required to teach them His Word. If you think they will be lost if they go to a school, no again. Neither one is a guarantee for their salvation. Will it be harder for one who goes to school? Yes. Because at such a young age, so vulnerable, not mature enough it will be very hard to persevere in the faith they are learning at home when they are being exposed most of their time to influences that will not encourage their walk but discourage it. Can they persevere? yes...with God's grace of course the can, but it will be harder. Than for one who is exposed to the Word  of the Lord most of the time during their life, and when they are mature enough to stand firm in what they believe. But in both cases is only by God's grace and mercy that they will persevere.

I hope this thoughts help you with your home schooling struggle. I do not write often about this, because God knows I need to guard my heart and God knows also my weaknesses in this, so I do not mean to boast or to put you down if you do not home school. This has been an important decision in our lives and if you are struggling with this, my only intention is to help you, and encourage you. Not to debate or to exalt home schooling at any rate. It is a method, not a law.


Diana Lovegrove said...

Very very timely article for me, Norma, God bless you! I admit, my heart is pumping a bit faster reading this, and my hands are a bit raise some very good points, especially this one "it will also bring the worst out of you", my fear exactly :) Thanks for the wisdom you have shared here. God bless you.

Sara said...

I didn't know I would lose friends when I stopped homeschooling. I confess being out there working and teaching my own children at the same time has been so fulfilling. If any of you are living in Ottawa and just aren't sure about homeschooling...I know a Christian school that is teaching all the things of the Lord and I can leave and know they are being blessed and I get to teach them every day too. So, some can move to Ottawa too if they want to be part of a community that loves homeschoolers and wants to serve the Lord.

Twinklemoose said...

Thanks Pilgrim, you have written something very meaningful and helpful. I have friends who are considering HS. I will give them this link. Love Stranger

Norma said...

Diana, I am glad it blesses you. thanks for commenting.

Sara, what a blessing to have a scool like yours! you are right, it has great teaching you are blessed dear friend... if I had a school like yours for highschool it would be great! and you can teach there?!! wow! how exiting... I am very happy for you... you are right.. your school is very nice, what a blessing! yet, I am sorry you lost friends when you stop HS!... I am glad we still are close.. love you much!

Stranger!!! what a joy to hear from you!! blessings. e mail me some time...

Stephanie Rue said...

I cannot explain in few words how beautifully timed your post came for a LIST of things I have been pondering, considering, re-thinking, and struggling with in regards to our homeschooling. Thank you for speaking your experience as well as truth about the challenges of homeschooling. One area in which I have been feeling societal pressures, you have given me right perspective again:

#8... "God will provide, He has to others, He will not stop now. You can study subjects together, do projects with them, organize a group, it will involve your time and energy. But they are your children and God entrusted them to you. Not to the system. To you and your husband to train them in the knowledge and admonition of the Lord."

Recently I have wrestled with this. Friends, family, and even our pediatrician have asked (with good intention, I'm sure!) about my children's lack of "social interaction", involvement in extra-curricular activities, and "exposure" in life. I have skirted directly answering by talking about things that we are hoping to do in the future (things that would most likely satisfy their concern). But all the while, I feel a pressure to have my kids in two sports each, and make sure our calendar is full of "play dates", just like theirs.

The reality is that our days are filled with talking, playing, planning, academics, reading, cooking, cleaning, projects around our new home, etc. It has been difficult to not feel very pressured by all this "good parenting" advice. But when we have thought on it all, we cannot deny the all too typical outcomes of popular parenting styles. And this is *not* what I desire for my children. It's difficult to go against the grain; to be set apart--in the world but not of it. And not to say that homeschooling is the answer to this command. Most certainly not! In any schooling choice, we must make every effort to do all we do as unto the Lord. To be reminded that our children were entrusted to us and not a system that tends to pressure us so... thank you, Norma, for that timely reminder.