What Homeschoolers Need Most is What We All Need Most

There are so many excellent resources for homeschooling parents, but how to choose?  So many opportunities, but which ones to forgo?  This is a big deal, and it must be done right!  Right?

Know your child via time with your child’s Maker.  You MUST pray for and receive the wisdom of God for each child.  Individually.  You have birthed an individual, unique in all the world, indeed, in all the history of the world.  One of your many excellent reasons for homeschooling is to train this child up into the fullness and wonder of that uniqueness.

So, get to know your child.  This, dear parent, is a lifelong process, and you are called to it.  As a parent, we partner with God to create and give and nurture life.  It is a lovely process of discovery, and today is the day to begin!

Seek God’s face and His grace.  Ask Him and He will answer.  My experience homeschooling taught me that He really likes to get involved in this marvelous escapade!  He wants you to know Him, and He wants to reveal the heart of your child unto you.  Blessed, so blessed are you.

What do we all need?  To know and to be known.  Give yourself and your child a gift so far beyond curriculum, field trips, and co-op activities.  Give yourself up to the wonderful journey of getting to know God, who will reveal to you yourself, and the heart of your child as well.

OK!  Yay!

Home School Help for Me!

I’m enjoying a book called  The Rhythm of Family by Amanda and Stephen Soule.  As I was reading Amanda’s writings about canning and crafting and all sort of creative and beautiful activities, I was comparing my efforts of past years, when my kids were young.

And I found myself weighed in the balance and found wanting – can you relate? Could we all just stop doing that?  I stopped myself with a positive “yeah, but . . .”

Yeah, but my kids made a hammock in the top of a tall oak tree, forts in the woods, ships on the creek, trains in the garage. They made up and wrote stories about the local rabbit family and buried and hunted treasure, caught and lost crawdads and lizards, and slew as well as drew great dragons.

They loved and were loved by an oddity of a dog. He seemed odd to us, that is, but to him his behavior was absolutely normal.  I’ll share more about this dog in a moment, but back to my kids’ having a childhood – maybe they didn’t live on the ocean in Maine and maybe their mom wasn’t the craft queen of the universe.  But she made them homemade fingerpaints when it was raining, and turned grape juice into popsicles when it was hot, and they know how to make artisan breads, and what a snake smells like when you get too close while you’re picking blackberries.

They still remember reading Timothy Tattercoat on a quilt in the shade with a thermos of iced tea and peanut butter on saltines. And through Timothy, a desire was instilled in their hearts to live where he lived, in the mountains of Colorado.

I mentioned our old dog, Buster, who died by the way, chasing a car, and as we told the kids – he died instantly as his head connected with a fast-moving fender, and it was probably painless.

Buster was better at chasing cows – they and he knew who and what he was.

We were walking in the country a long way from home one day and we came upon a pasture full of cows, in the corner farthest fro m the road. Buster went across the pasture, herded those cows to the opposite end of the field and they did exactly as he bade them. He was the boss of these big and theretofore unknown cows.

Not so Chihuahuas. There was a lady who walked her three chihuahuas past our house every day.  Benjamin, age 7 then, called her Mrs. Chawalla.  I guess Buster thought her dogs were giant rabies-infested rats – he was terrified and hid under the back porch and cried every day when they went by.

As for snakes, he would step on or over them and not even see them. Amazing.  But when it came to doing what he was created to do, he meant business.  He knew who he was.  He was a cowdog.  An Australian Shepherd.

We come to know who we are when we grasp that great truth that we are created in the image of God, who is Love, and we are therefore, when being our true selves, LOVE.

Which means – aha! – that I can rejoice in and admire the strengths and successes of other moms, and perhaps even emulate them in some areas; I can look back with appreciation for what I did right and ABSOLUTELY forget about what I might have done differently; and I can do a great service to my kids now, whatever their ages, by modeling the rest and contentment that comes from knowing who and Whose I am.

What a way to live!

From Fear to Fear or from Faith to Faith?

hobbit house

I got into a discussion yesterday about home schooling.  It began with the statement (as best I recall), “People home school from a position of fear.”  Being just about finished with defending my position to people who are coming at me from a position of judgment (never having homeschooled themselves, and perhaps wanting to justify putting their kids in the cesspool or should I say “government indoctrination camps” which are also known, unbelievably, as schools), I was perhaps a little more direct than usual.

I agreed that yes, many people do homeschool from a position of fear, from a defensive posture.  But, as I pointed out, they are still, more often than not, quite successful at turning out hard-working, independent-thinking, quality citizens.  I wish I’d said what my husband John said this morning when I talked it over with him.  “They may begin from a position of fear, their feet may tremble as they step out in faith, but they begin.  They step out.”

I am sorry for the myriad of Christians who will someday have to defend that “Let them be salt and light in the public schools” nonsense.  As John said, “You think a five-year-old (or 15-year-old) is going to stand against an institution controlled by an entity who was once God’s right hand man, an entity with thousands of years of experience to perfect his craft of stealing, killing, and destroying (John 10:10)?”

prison wire

And anyway, I ask, how is that working for you?  As John said when I discussed the mental cruelty my granddaughter is receiving in public school (supposedly one of the “best” school systems in her state) John reminded me, “Oh, but she’s being properly socialized.”  I forcibly turned my thoughts away from all the other negatives she’s experiencing in the name of “education.”

The reasons to get your children out of the public school system are numerous, and I won’t go into them right now.  But I do want to come back to that fear assertion.  Perhaps it was fear on this man’s part that prevented him from home schooling –  fear of being ridiculed, criticized, outright persecuted.  Fear of not going along with the crowd, perhaps even fear of his own pastor’s opinion, or whoever it was that first fed him that “salt and light” malarky.

 

Fear.  Maybe it first gained a stronghold in his mind via his childhood training in following the crowd, in trying to fit in, in wanting to be accepted, popular, “cool” like everyone else.  Indeed, perhaps he is just another victim of the public school system, where we all (most of us at least) learned: not to rock the boat, to color inside the lines, and to judge.  To fear.

II Timothy 1:7 – “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Don’t take my word for it, don’t take anyone else’s word against it:  Get God’s opinion, and remember He said “Train up your child,” NOT, “Send them out for someone else to indoctrinate.”

Twice in the last week I have heard how women who don’t have college degrees aren’t “qualified” to home school.  Faith and Love, not pieces of paper given to 22-year-olds with no children and in many cases, even less than no wisdom, is what qualifies and equips us to train our children.

Faith in the One who made your child, and who chose you as the parent, faith working through love – that’s your ticket.  YOU’RE IT!  YOU CAN DO IT, AND DO IT BRILLIANTLY!  I like to turn the long-ago spoken words of a school board member around. When my dad asked why we (my brother and I) weren’t learning anything, he was told, “We don’t need no smartass city dude tellin’ us how to run our school.”  Newsflash:  WE DON’T NEED NO SMARTASS SCHOOL TELLIN’ US HOW TO RAISE OUR KIDS.

Does the very thought of even thinking about homeschooling make you sweat and gulp?  That probably means it’s time for you to get off the fear merry-go-round and get on the faith train.  What a journey it’s going to be!

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