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Posts Tagged ‘home school’

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The three “R’s” used to be readin’, ‘wrightin, and ‘rithmetic, right?  In home school, at least at my house, we have a different set of “R’s.” They are respect, reasoning, righteousness, and responsibility.  If I succeed at teaching them those things, I have zero doubt that my kids will succeed in whatever it is they choose to do in life.  Even if their paths and choices lead to failure, they will succeed in character, integrity, and wisdom if just these four things are instilled in them.

“Then Jesus said to him, ‘Be gone, Satan!’ For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'” ~Matthew 4:10

“What?!  Why would he say that?!” exclaims my indignant nine year-old.

“What?”

“Why would Jesus tell the devil to worship God?!  He will never do it!!”

“Just because we know someone is not going to listen does not mean God does not want us to tell them the truth.  Truth has two purposes.  One is grace for those who will listen and change by it.  The other is condemnation for those who will refuse it.

In other words, Jesus’ faithfulness in telling the truth of the scriptures to those who do not listen is actually what he will point to when he judges them.  It is not just sin that will condemn people, it will be also the saving grace God gave that was refused.

 The only sin listed in the Bible as unforgivable is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.  What that means is that when God shows up to teach us and offers His truth to us by grace and we disbelieve, dismiss, and ignore it, we cannot be forgiven because we have pulled the rug out from under the means by which he saves.  If we refuse the Spirit of God when it speaks plain truth to us, we stiff arm God’s grace and we remain in stubborn, willful darkness.

We must learn to love the truth, girls.  No matter how uncomfortable, difficult, or painful it may be for us to accept, we must always embrace truth.  Never refuse or put off the truth of God when you learn it.  The Bible says, “Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.  For he says, ‘In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.  Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now its the day of salvation.” ~2 Corinthians 6:1-2

There is a particular urgency to the truth.  Today is the day.  Don’t put it off.  Don’t wait one more second.  Take the truth to heart, now!  Today!  Do what is right, right away!  That is how we are to react when met with the truth.  Jesus is the Truth and he is the Way.  If we are following him, we must obey the truth, and obey it quickly.

The next day Bible class resumes.  We read Revelation chapter 16.

“Then I heard the angel of the waters say to God: ‘Holy One, you are the One who is and who was.  You are right to decide to punish these evil people.  They have spilled the blood of your holy people and your prophets.  Now you have given them blood to drink as they deserve.’  And I heard the altar say: ‘Yes, Lord God All-Powerful, the way you punish evil people is right and fair.'” ~Revelation 16:5-7

This time my seven year-old protests.

“Doesn’t God say ‘Don’t do bad things back to people when they do bad to you?!’ Why is he doing bad to the bad people?  He is disobeying himself!!!”

“God tells us not to take revenge.  The reason we are not allowed to take revenge is because he is going to.  He tells us not to repay evil with evil because if we do, we will be judged, too.  God has to punish evil and he will punish evil because he is just and fair.  He punished Jesus for our sins but those who do not love and obey Jesus will get their own punishment.”

“Education was, in fact, so important to the Puritans that it was required.  By 1642, parents were required to teach their young children to read so they could know the Scriptures…The purpose of teaching was to learn the Word of God and defeat Satan, who was the deluder.  So the law to teach was called the ‘Old Deluder Satan Act.'” ~Linda Lacour Hobar, Mystery of History, Vol. III

My lessons for the week are very clear.

1. Tell the truth even when your hearers refuse to listen.

2.Trust God to judge evil.

3.Remember that it is parents who are responsible for their children’s education.

4. The ultimate goal of educating children is knowing and understanding the Scriptures.

AMEN.

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purpose

Did I condition my hair ?  Where’s the vanilla extract?  I’m late.  Do my children have socks on?  Did I even eat anything today?  There’s no way my blood pressure is as high as the doctor said.  *Take blood pressure myself*  Really?!  Why is my blood pressure so high?  Do I have the address?  “Take the dogs out and get in the truck, girls!”  Where am I going?  Do I have my list?  Oh, yeah, the address.  Did I remember the baby?  *Count children inside truck*  Why do I feel so stressed?  *Pray*  My life is so, so blessed.  Thank you for so many gifts, God.  No, we cannot shop for your birthday yet, Mia.  I cannot believe I am not tired.  Why is my blood pressure so high?!  Daddy’s was, too.  Wow.  I miss him.  I guess long distance running every day of my life for the past 10 years wasn’t enough.  Oh well, it was fun.

That’s five minutes in Loriland.  How are you doing?  I bet your internal dialogue is just as busy.  I call them trains.  The tracks are like oodles and noodles all crossed and overlapping.  I ask the mechanic, “Are the trains running?” when he accidentally forgets to listen to the words he hears me speaking.  I know they are.  Maybe I should ask myself, though.

What is life?  A bunch of random events joined together by the day to day urgencies meant to distract us from said events?  What’s the point?  Where’s the break?  What really matters and why am I moving at such a high rate of don’t stop, get it, get it… All.  The. Time?

My t-shirt says #1 Mom.  I bought it at Walmart for five dollars and fifty cents.  My oldest daughter chided me complete with eye roll and smart mouth tween tone disbelief.  “I can’t believe you bought that for yourself.”

“Daddy wears t-shirts with his business name on them doesn’t he?  This is my business.”

My business.  My busyness.  My babies.  My best blessings.

Our small group Bible study talked about what is unique about how we interact personally with the world.  How do you present different than those who do not believe the gospel?

 I’ve thought on it.  I’ve thought and thought.  I believe I have it.

Answer: I go to the grocery store.

 I go to the grocery store, mid-day, with four kids – three in tow and one strapped to my chest.

“No school today?”

 Cue sweet smile.

“Yes.  We are done already.  We home school.”

“I could never do that.  I don’t have the patience!”

Child 1 runs away while child 2 cries for candy.  I send child 3 to retrieve child 1 as child 4 is awakened by child 2’s crying.  I now have exactly three minutes to finish shopping, get through the checkout line, and feed her before she follows suit.

“Neither do I.”

“What made you decide to do that?”

“When I was young and people asked me what I wanted to be, I would say, ‘Not a school teacher.’  This was God’s idea – not mine.  It’s a calling.  I think I would miss them too much if I sent them to school anyway.”

“How long will you do it?  Until they graduate or just a few years?”

Shrug shoulders.  “Until the Lord releases me from doing it.”

“You’re crazy.”

“Some days.”

Smile sweetly.  Finish shopping.  Resume internal dialogue.

God!  How is that at all building your kingdom?  How am I?  Am I?  I am.  You are I AM.  I am because you are- the God who “is.”  You are the living, the life, the now, the necessary,  the needed.  You are what is happening.  You are in the moment, the market, the mundane, the mom who is musing at the mom who is an ecclesiastical mess – that is, me.

You are in me.  I am surrendered to you.  My shirt reminds me.  That is why I bought it.  #1 Mom.  That is my business.  My calling is in the cradle and my purpose is to be a blessing to my family in such a way that God’s glory is seen in the grocery store.

I do not feel like #1 anything.  I do not understand how what you have called me to do amounts to much of anything on a day to day basis.  I do not see fruit…yet.  I do not “feel” accomplished, acknowledged, adequate, or amused.  I do not know why this is what I am to do.  But I do know that it is because I know your voice.  And I am content.

I think of these things as I sit on the couch feeling (and looking) more than momish in my mom shirt on the eve of a women’s retreat where a friend I greatly love and admire will speak on a book I greatly love and admire.  She is living the dream I always thought I was made for – the calling I wanted.  Wasn’t I made for…more?  I was.  And this is it.  Yep.  The mom gig.  The “more” is what I hadn’t imagined and the less is what I had.  Ironic.  That is the title of her book: “Made for More.”

  Who knew I would want what I did not want?  Who knew I was made for a lot more than what I did?  I still have to remind myself to stop pressing my face to the window and turn around sometimes.  Inside the home is where the wisdom of God has called my gaze to rest.  I do not know why I did not get to be that teacher.  I am just thankful that I get to be this one.  Herein lies my purpose and all that God has for me to do.  I will rejoice and be glad in it.

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Home school moms, it is worth the sacrifice.  Some days it is difficult to keep that in mind.  I know the weird looks you get when a brood of children are in tow mid-day.  I know the rude and ridiculous remarks people make to you.  I know how you smile and answer kindly.  I know the forfeited picture of how you were going to spend your K-12 days.  I know the fear of the imaginary spelling monster coming to the door with a citation.  I know how frustrating it is that the house isn’t spotless, the textbooks are not completed, and the yard is not mowed.  Yes, I know how easy it is to lose sight of the grace given us to do this amazing work.  But if I may, allow me to encourage you…and me.

I also know some other things.  I know, that at least right now, for you and for me, that this is our call.  I know that this is our ministry.  I know that this is our greatest opportunity.  John 12:7-8 preached yesterday reminded me what I know most certainly.

Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”

How strange it is to find within a group of people all professing to follow Christ alike, some who would criticize others for how they choose to do so.  In John 12 we find Judas Iscariot criticizing Mary for her devotion and sacrifice to Christ.  When we look closer at Judas, we find that he was much less willing to serve and honor Christ than Mary was.  Therefore, he sought to steal her honor, steal her praiseworthiness, and, ultimately, steal her money.

Jesus would not let it happen.  Neither will Jesus allow these things we know all too well to rob us.  John 12:8 reminds us.

It occurred to me in the listening that this contrast of attitude still goes on within the church today.  I guess that was the pastor’s point.  When I consider the call to home school and the sordid reactions people give, I cannot help but think of this passage.   So I want to encourage you, home school friends.

This opportunity will not always be available to us.  This ministry has a definite expiration date.  I know that you know this.  I know this.  But we do tend to forget, don’t we?  Instead, let’s remember.  And let’s remember too, that those girls I want to counsel at the pregnancy care center will always be around.  Those inmates will still need Bible studies when my kids are grown.  The business will still need a secretary/janitor when they are old enough to help.  But my little girls will not always be little girls.  They will not always need me the way they do today.  I will not always have the chance to serve Christ in this very special and particular way.   I have wisdom and knowledge to impart and I know that if I do not, the world will impart something else.

Whatever your call, there will be some in the church who are less willing to serve Christ criticizing your sacrifice.  They will send you on a guilt trip and  try to tell you what, when, how, and why you should be doing something – anything – else for Jesus.  Keep on.  If you take care of your call, Christ will take care of their gall.

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“I don’t see ANY work being done in these pictures!  Where are your books?  You need to send your kids to school so they can actually learn something!”

“Lol.  We approach learning as all-inclusive…we learn from every aspect of life including many things other than book work.  Here (in these pictures) you find nature (science), parades (civics/community), and historical monuments (history/geography.)  The (stuffed) owl is Mia’s own art project for the week.  We believe learning takes place in the kitchen, the backyard, the community, and the world in general in addition to the desk.  But, yes, we do traditional “schoolwork” everyday, too.  We read and act out bible passages, discuss them, and then we do math, phonics, spelling, and reading.  Personally, I observe them learning a lot more by living than they do by being made to sit still and be quiet…then again…don’t we all?  Come up and visit us!”

Yes, this is a real conversation I actually had with a keyboard warrior out to discredit the educational choices my family has made for our children.  I suppose facebook gives people a kind of boldness wherein they feel that they not only can, but should, tell other people exactly how they ought to live their lives.

 After reading a handful of similar sounding responses following Monday’s article in the Herald-Standard on homeschooling, I remember this bizarre personal attack I endured several years ago.  It went on with many more insulting, capital letter comments from a lady I was barely even acquainted with, who, by all evidence, felt she had ample right and reason to pass judgement upon my life choices after viewing a photo album of my children playing outside.

I try to be reasonable, folks.  Really, I do.  I’m not interested in arguing or stirring up strife and I certainly do not know all things.  But when I see adults acting like children because they’ve been misinformed by misguided people, I need to at least try and set the record straight.  Therefore, if you are at all interested and willing to be better informed on the truth about homeschooling, please, at the very least, stop talking long enough to listen for just a moment.

The unrest coming to the surface is a result of new, less invasive laws concerning what homeschoolers must turn in to their designated school districts.

I understand the concern.  Really, I do.  What if parents don’t actually teach their children?  What do they do all day anyway?  What if they have a disadvantage because of a lack of diligence on their parents’ part?  What if these unsocialized weirdos never make a friend and become agoraphobic before age six?  What if these kids play video games all day and can’t spell the word C-A-T?  What if parents hand out 4.0’s and diplomas like candy at the circus?  What if they can’t function in “real life?”

Let me put some of these irrational fears to rest with the truth.  The truth is that the evaluators (who still must review and sign off on each home school student’s portfolio each year) cannot have “questionable credentials” as incorrectly stated by Mr. Serock in Monday’s article.  There is strict, specific criteria that an evaluator must possess in order to be deemed an evaluator.  This is what the law states that an evaluator must be:

  • a licensed clinical or school psychologist
  • a teacher certified by the Commonwealth”
    … “The certified teacher shall have experience at the elementary level to evaluate elementary students or at the secondary level to evaluate secondary students.”
  • a nonpublic school teacher or administrator.
    Any such nonpublic teacher or administrator shall have at least two years of teaching experience in a Pennsylvania public or nonpublic school within the last ten years. Such nonpublic teacher or administrator shall have the required experience at the elementary level to evaluate elementary students or at the secondary level to evaluate secondary students.”
  • “At the request of the supervisor, persons with other qualifications may conduct the evaluation with the prior consent of the district of residence superintendent.”
  • “In no event shall the evaluator be the supervisor or their spouse.”Teachers or administrators who evaluate must have the following experience.  Licensed clinical or school psychologists, or those who evaluate with the prior consent of the superintendent, need not have this experience.


    Anyway, I’m not here to explain the law to anyone who gets paid to know it.  I’m here to call attention to the gross inconsistency with which home school antagonists approach this subject.  

    Let’s forget for just a moment about whether or not our home schooled children are getting a “proper” education or not.  Let’s, for argument’s sake, even say they are not.  Let’s consider the logic of this conundrum from another angle.

    Let’s say these kids really do eat butter all day from isolated cells full of legos and toy guns.   Let’s say they are passed through school arbitrarily as illiterate, unmotivated zombies who cannot think for themselves and do not know how to interact or even hold a conversation with other human life forms.  Let’s say they are given a diploma without really earning one.  Let’s pretend all these vicious rumors really are true.

    The truth is, not only will those individuals not excel in life, get a decent job, or be able to actually use that piece of paper for anything beneficial, but *the truth is* that I’ve actually just described at least 50% of public school graduates in reality.

    I hear the arguments.  What if they’re undereducated?  What if they’re unsocial?  What if they’re indoctrinated with *your* values and beliefs?  What if you don’t really care about your kids and you just want to get them out of hard work?

    To that end I simply ask, do you really care?  Do. You. Really. Care?  Why do you care?  Does it matter who “scores higher” on written tests?  Do written tests envelope all facets of intelligence, aptitude, and ability?  Is that value the value of your child?  Does it matter if my child has one friend and yours has ten?  Does it matter that my beliefs and core educational focus is different than yours?  All people are different.  All children are different.  Frankly, I don’t care what you teach your children, how many friends they have, or what their test scores are.  God did not give them to me, he gave them to you.  I’m responsible for my own and you for yours.  Nothing the government can or cannot regulate upon me changes my urgency to do the very best I can for them.  I realize this is not the case for all home schoolers, however, it is not the case with all public schoolers either.  Kids with concerned, invested parents usually excel and kids without usually digress.  Laws cannot fix what family lacks.  I am not perfect.  I try my best and sometimes I definitely fail.  I fall flat on my face and I miss the mark more than most.  And so does every other parent regardless of how they choose to educate their children.  Can we just be that honest?  The sum total of my child’s education is not dependent on me, as the home school teacher, and it is not dependent solely upon public school teachers for those students either.  My job is to create interest and a love of learning, not fill a bucket with trivial knowledge so my child can win Jeopardy by the tenth grade.

    Are there any public school kids who come out undereducated?  Does that mean they all are?  Or do many factors contribute?  Are any unsociable?  Are they being indoctrinated by a system of values and beliefs?  Yes.  Yes, they are, folks.  But the truth, well, the truth is that it’s not my place to lecture their parents solely based on the fact that I choose to live my life differently.  I’m certainly not going to discredit their choices and deem those parents wrong and ridiculous because I chose something else for my kin.  Those aren’t my children and therefore, that’s not my call.  All I’m asking is for the same kind of tolerance and respect for my choices and the choices of my fellow home school friends.  I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

    If you are unsure about home school or the new laws and have questions, I’d be happy to answer concerns.  You can reach me at witnesschic@hotmail.com

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hnlr8ZpyDbo

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Roll with the punches.  As an obsessive runner/ home school facilitator/ family business bookkeeper/ mom of three/ caregiver of one, you’d think I would understand this concept by now.  I’m forever forced to improvise, make due, makeshift, and man up.  But, no.  Boxing has proven otherwise.

I love structure.  I love security.  I want to know the next ten moves, the revised itinerary, the game plans from A-Z, and the three alternate fire escape routes.  I often speculate on whether God placed me in my positions as a lab-rat gone bad experiment or just felt unusually comical the day he planned out my steps.

I cannot go one day without having numerous infringements upon my time, my schedule, my plans, and my chosen path.  But are any of those things even mine to begin with?  Not really.  They (and I) belong to a sovereign God who have given them to me only to manage, not to own.  I am not the deed holder on any of the above.

Many who talk to me about home schooling say they do not “have the patience” to do such things.  My reply is always the same, “Neither do I!”  And neither do I have the patience for bookkeeping or parenting or cooking or cleaning or doing anything contrary to that which my insatiable flesh desires.  I want to live outside and write books and ride my motorcycle, my dirt bike, and swim and shadowbox and run and explore – preferably alone  every single day for goodness sake!  Help me!

Hello, my name is Lori and I am a selfaholic.

When I first starting living into these various I-did-not-sign-up-for-these callings, I was poindexter at the dance; Saint Susie at the saloon; a lineman trying to limbo.  I felt like a rigid, stiff, stick figure without any joints.  I simply could not move.  I was much more married to structure than I am now – more than a decade later.  I guess I am at least starting to roll.

Still, somewhere along the line I always seem to get into trouble in the ring.  The fight is fierce for that which I do not feel like fanning into.  When the punches start to fly at me with full-on fury and faster than a five foot female fighter’s hell-fire, I guard up, but I do not get out.  I duck, but I do not drive on.  Coach says I’m only half-committed to my damage control defense and my fight back formulas.  I get the first move and then I set my opponent up to blast me with my incorrect second, third, and fourth moves.  He says that when I am under attack, I have to fully commit – either to roll out or fire back.  Do both and I’m toast.  A knockout is certain to befall me if I fail to find my focus.  If I’m half committed – either offensively or defensively, I’m in trouble.

So, I either have to beat ’em to the punch or fix my feet to be quite fancy.  If my hit drives me back, it’s the wrong move altogether.  I have to learn to stop the rigidity and roll with the punches.

To learn that physically will doubtless help me improve it practically.  Whatever happens, I must learn to commit fully.  Half commitments, half-hearted hits, and hurried deviations will land me life-down on the canvas and my calling.

And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. ~Isaiah 30:21

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We had great fun acting out Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit as we began our journey through the book of Acts the day before.  Really, what kid doesn’t like making up a new language and pretending they’re on fire?  But today was different.  Today those unburned foreign language speakers had to defend themselves.  Today the disciples had been accused of drunkenness and were mocked as mentally disadvantaged.  

By the time I got through Peter’s defense and gospel presentation and on to David’s prophetic words, I was pretty sure I’d lost all three little minds to daydreams.  Nevertheless, the promise realized at Pentecost was doubtless repeating its performance – at least in me – despite my monotone.  Peter’s words were amplified without the need for a microphone the moment they left my mouth.  Finally, a not-fake smile appeared upon my rapidly line-filling face.  He said this:

“For David said this about him (Jesus): I keep the Lord before me always.  Because he is close by my side, I will not be hurt.  So I am glad, and I rejoice.  Even my body has hope.  This is because you will not leave me in the grave.  You will not let your Holy One rot.  You will teach me God’s way to live.  Being with you will fill me with joy.” (Acts 2:25-28)

Knowing I had about 4.2 seconds before sleep captured my subjects, I decided I’d better go with the flow.  Rather than going back through Pete’s entire sermon, I simply asked, “Do you girls remember who David was?”

My oldest comically “raised her hand” in our classroom of three and said, “I do!  Wasn’t he the one who got stones thrown at him?”

Now, if I hadn’t know my daughter’s level of Bible knowledge and I hadn’t always loved the story she was referring to, I may have corrected her.  But I did.  And I did.  So I replied with great enthusiasm, leaving my monotone behind, “Yes!  I love that story!  The one where he gets dirt kicked in his face and cussed out?!”

“Yeah!”

Most kids, (and adults!) when asked of David, would immediately envision his victory with Goliath.  They’d remember his dance, or, maybe even, his sin.  They’d remember that he was a king; a warrior; a winner.  They’d see him slinging a stone, not being stoned.  But not my Mia.  She is far too wise to forget the most important details of David’s life.  

David suffered greatly.  I wrote a four-hundred page book on the Psalms that assures me of it.  The king he shadowed, Jesus, suffered greatly, too.  

The story Mia was referring to is found in 2 Samuel 16.  It’s about a man, Shimei, who had the audacity to follow King David and his men, cursing him, throwing stones, and kicking dust in his face.

Most kings would never put up with that kind of disrespect and abuse. But this king did.  And my King Jesus did, too.  They really didn’ t have to because they had the power to stop it.   In fact, one of David’s men even offered to behead this fool for him.  David’s response?

“…If he is cursing because the Lord has said to him, ‘Curse David,’ who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’” 11 And David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “Behold, my own son seeks my life; how much more now may this Benjaminite! Leave him alone, and let him curse, for the Lord has told him to. 12 It may be that the Lord will look on the wrong done to me, and that the Lord will repay me with good for his cursing today.” ~2 Samuel 16:10b-12

What?!  Who says that when they are cursed?!  The Lord told him to?  The Lord may bless me because of it?  

David did – and he had more than enough reason and might to remove this miserable mocker.  But, no.  On they marched with the abuse marching right alongside.  Stones flying.  Dirt flying.  Choice words flying.  And the story ends with the king and his people arriving at their destination, weary.  

I’m so thankful for my eight-year-old’s intuitive, prophetic nature.  God uses small voices far more often than big ones – at least in monotone mommy’s lives.  

Thanks to Mia, I doubt I’ll ever think of David again without thinking of Shimei and his affliction, too.  I guess the lesson was for me yesterday.  Let me never remember David, the disciples, or my King, Jesus, apart from remembering the abuse, the mockery, the disrespect, the injury, and the suffering that goes along with the victory.  We cannot have one without the other.  We get to share in both.  

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ,provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. ~Romans 8:16-17

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19l1SNcUGmE

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After spending our last official day of summer vacation rock climbing and waterfall chasing, I can’t help but begin to catalog the past few months.

As one more chapter in this book I call my life comes to a close, I find myself struggling to contrive a way to cradle children who no longer need one and coddle contentment – contentment that comes from being confident in knowing it doesn’t matter if your best dress gets wet as long as Daddy stands under the cold, windy current with you; contentment that follows a father over rough rocks with reckless abandon and frigid fords with complete freedom to fall and to fail.  Because contentment and confidence can’t continue if they need crutches to carry them.

Crutches?  Yes.  Call them whatever you will – summer, Sunday, still water, silence, security, satisfaction – ultimately everything I spend my days searching for ways to save and to stock like Gollum did with his pretty ring. If we get real honest, we’ll call them idols – sinister gods void of salvation.

So with structure and school teaching standing on my starting line tomorrow, I want to come to a steady stop.  I want to remember, reconstruct, and realize for a moment just why I am embarking on year number five of home school education with my children.

And, after all my post-summer thoughts are contentiously placed neatly back where they belong, I find that my answer is, surprisingly, today.  I home school, firstly because God called me – a being-a-teacher-is-the-last-job-I’d-ever-choose-and-I-like-to-work-alone-I-can-do-it-but-I-can’t-explain-it kind of girl – but secondly, because I want my children to know it doesn’t matter if their best dress gets wet.  Reason number two is merely a reflection of reason number one – especially considering who I am.

I want them to learn to follow their Father over rough rocks they’d never choose to climb.  I want them to be recklessly willing to wade through frigid fords with confidence, contentment, and full freedom to fall and to fail – even to their very foundation.  I home school because I want my children to know that chasing the waterfall is worth the risk of damp underpants.  I want them to know that they do not need the crutches of security – summer, Sunday, still water, silence, security, or satisfaction – to save them.  I want them to know they need only Christ to save them.

How will they know?  How will they learn these things?  Have I even learned them?

Perhaps not – certainly not fully.  But one thing is certain: they will see their teacher who is not a teacher teaching because Daddy said climb these rocks if you want to see the waterfall.  They will learn how little the cold matters when you’re crossing with freedom because they’ll have a bird’s eye view of the real life falls and failures of their still-learning-patience-and-kindness-101 mother day in and day out.  They’ll watch as she crawls confidently back to her forgiving Father in unmistakable frequency.  And they’ll watch as, year by year, her crutches become less and less imperative for her own contentment.

For me, home school is not nearly as much about academics as it is about real life.  Children can become literate in almost any setting if given the proper materials.  They cannot, however, become disciples without Christ and a broken vessel to point them to Him daily.  There is no age-appropriate classroom for discipleship and real life rarely happens in a vacuum like we see in most public schools.  God is more creative than that.

Lord, help me remember how little control I have over the influencing factors in my life and give me grace to follow you ever forward.  Help me put away my idolatrous crutches and run with contentment and confidence to every place you wait to show me.  Thank you for another year of opportunity to share the gospel with my three small disciples.  May they follow you all the days of their lives and both learn from as well as avoid their teacher’s foolish mistakes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64Dr98X2I3s

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