Sunday, July 23, 2006

Random Thoughts on Homeschooling

Dear Blog,

I've really enjoyed reading the blog over at the Homeschool Cafe. So much good stuff there. If you scroll down to the "Announcements" post on July 20th there are links to articles on anti-homeschool sentiment and why people have it. The one reason that I came away with about why more Christians don't homeschool is: FEAR. I *loved* the quote, "Better the devil you know than the devil you don't." In other words, most Christians probably would agree that public school is not the best source of education/character development that they could offer, but it is the one that they know and are familiar with and is widely accepted. This "evil" is much better than fearing the unknown entity called homeschooling. I would also have to agree that fear of failure plays into a Christian's mind as why NOT to homeschool. Fail how? You've already taught your child SO much. I would rather fail according to the world's standards and be right in the eyes of God than succeed according to the world, but fail God with the children He has entrusted to me. If you're reading some judgmentalism here, you're probably correct. I am trying to overcome my anti-"Christians who send their kids to public school" sentiment, but it is proving difficult. Another reason why I think Christians don't choose homeschooling is just down-right selfishness. They've been looking forward to some alone time for years. Their child turning 5 means they (the parent) are right around the corner from "sending them off". But who taught us to think that way? Why would we have children if we weren't planning on raising them ourselves? I'm sure there are some other reasons, but I think these are the main few. Others are just extensions of fear & selfishness. And honestly, I still experience a lot of these feelings and we haven't even "officially" begun homeschooling yet. I AM afraid of failing. I AM afraid of what other people will think. I AM afraid that some of my friends will think I'm weird. I AM feeling selfish, like "will I ever have a clean house with kids always at home?" But God keeps reminding me that there are more important things at stake here than a clean house and what other people will say. God has not called us, Christians, to a life of ease, but of holiness. He has not called us to be like the world (public school), which means that we will have to be different. It will be a mark of our faith when we make choices that others raise their eyebrows at. I am praying for those moms that are dear to my heart to choose their children over their fear. And I will continue to pray. Ok, I'll get off my soapbox now.............



Anonymous said...

Jesus went to the temple to learn. I don't feel that all parents who send their children to public school look at it as an escape, however I do think that those who can't respect and honor the decisions that other families make are the selfish ones. I think families that homeschool deserve the same respect as those who don't. Public schools may have flaws but what in this world doesn't. An education, public or private is what the parent and the student make of it, a good or bad experience. It does not make you anti- anything to choose one or the other. It makes you an individual that lives in a country where you can exercise your right to home school. I pray that God softens your heart and you can love people if they do choose to use the public school system or not.

Anonymous said...

As a mother still seeking out what God wants me to do as far as my childrens education I was sickened by your blog entry and embarrassed for you as well. I just kept thinking, she has totally missed it! As Christians, it is our calling to be IN the world. Did Jesus isolate himself from the world because it was evil?? No, He went out and hung out with the tax collectors and the prostitutes. This is exactly why Christians have a bad name. It's because people like you take on a holier than thou attitude. The Bible doesn't say, "Thou shalt homeschool your kids or you will be called a selfish mother." It all comes down to how involved do you want to be as a parent and what is your home life like. Character building starts at home and I pray that your daughters don't turn out as judgemental as you.

Anonymous said...

I read this and struggled with the fact that I am a christian who is going to be sending my children to public school. Not because I was wanting to “get rid” of them for a few hours a day but because I know that this is the best option for my family. I agree with the other two people who have commented on your blog. Jesus told us to go into all the world (even public school)! I would like to think that if you call yourself a christian you would be praying and asking God what His will would be for your children, not putting others down because they feel that this is what they should do. It is not FEAR that keeps Christians from home schooling, it is FEAR that keeps Christians hidden from the outside world and all of it’s “evils”. The Bible says, “Greater is He who is in you then he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) I have hidden God’s word in my heart and in the heart of my children, and although they are young I pray that it will stay with them for the rest of their lives! You say that God has not called us to a life of ease, but of holiness. Do you really think that it is going to be easy for my children to be Christians in public school? Were you a christian in a public school? If you were was it easy always making decisions that honored God? It is not the easy path that I have chosen for my children it is the path that I feel God has brought our family to. I am not selfish for sending my children to public school, instead I pray that God’s light would show through them and that He would use them for His glory! I am glad that you know what the best option is for your children, but don’t put me down because I have chosen a different path.

Anonymous said...

I have to say that I was even thinking "does this mean that she doesn't like me?" when I read this section of your blog. While I know you and I know that you are a kind hearted person, this was kinda surprising but very REAL. I am thankful that you felt confident to speak your mind and think you may be regreting it now.
I am not going to try to sway you to put your kids in public school. I believe that as parents some are called to homeschool. I have not been one of them. I don't think that is because I am not listening as I have prayed for guidance in this area. I believe that it will be more of a challenge for Sean and I to teach our kids to be good examples in the "real" world. But I want to do this. My kids aren't going to be living in my home for the rest of their lives. They will be in a world with others whether righteous or not and I want them to be a light. I think of public school as a practice run and an opportunity for us to show them right an wrong through others examples. I actually really think my kids have benefited from the social aspects of public pre-school. And I am continuing their learning every day of the summer.

I think that as parents if we do what we think is best for our kids then we are being good parents. Your no better or worse than I for homeschooling.


alicia ;0) said...

OK, so on Tuesday I wrote a comment on this particular post, but I think in the end God was not happy with what I wrote and made the whole computer turn off exactly when I was about to press publish!! Now that I have had some time to think about everything that was said and chill a little (which is probably what I should have done in the first place no doubt :0)) I'm not going to banter about any of the points that were made, because in the end I think it all comes down to what you feel God is leading you to do. YES!!! I think it would be extremely selfish if God told you to do one or the other and then you went against it. I guess I'm just really saddned by the fact the so far I have read quite a few blogs by moms that homeschool and most if not all of them have something to say against moms/parents who chose to public school. And while yes some of there points are good and make you think about things differently, they are making a judgement based on what???? They do not know the facts, prayers, circumstances that all public school parents based their decisions on. I think it's sad that they can not be more accepting of what other people choose. I do agree with a couple of the comments in that I hope that they are not choosing to teach their children the same judgemental attitudes that I have seen displayed. Although every year we plan to reevaluate and pray about the situation and decide if we will be public schooling or homeschooling I am hoping that all of my friends will give me the support through out no matter what I choose. I know Bec that you will do a great job with your girls. Your are very smart and in talking with you about this many times you have a good hand on whats ahead for you!! I hope that you can feel the same way about how I'm involved with school too, not just if I choose to homeschool someday. We can be there for each other as friends and moms! :0)

Anonymous said...

The Bible says that God will judge the hearts of men. I think if you want to homeschool your kids, becky, than by all means do it. I would offer one piece of advice: don't shelter them. I have known kids whose parents sheltered them from the "evils" of the world, and when push came to shove, they were the first to fall. I did find your blog very judgemental. I know you were sharing what you found interesting on another site, but remember jsut because something is in type, doesn't make it fact. I grew up in the church my whole life, and went all the way trhough public school. That was my parents' choice. The people who have commented though harshly they were right. No one can judge my heart but God. Homeschooling is great if done right, but spiritually fatal if done wrong. Public schooling is great if parents are involved corroectly , and spiritually fatal if done wrong. I would urge that you just look at something as your opinion, and not others' sin and issues.

agodlyhomemaker said...

i LOVED your post! those who didn't like it are afraid of the truth! don't let them get you down- they are just embarrassed at being "found out". :)

Anonymous said...

WWWWHHHHOOOOOAAAAAA!!!! This has gotten out of hand. Found out? Ummmmm....I guess you found me. Embarassed. Ummmm....ok.... I guess you caught me with red cheeks. NOT!!! I am so proud of the way that my husband and I have CHOSEN to STEP up and be the type of parents that GOD can be proud of. I AM NOT HIDING!!! I am out of the "closet" of my house! Bring it...and get a real opinion. Not just a "what she said" attitude.

Anonymous said...

I am a homeschooling mom, however, I don't necessarily say it's for everyone.

I would like to make a couple of points.

1. The point of anonymous #2: " As Christians, it is our calling to be IN the world. Did Jesus isolate himself from the world because it was evil?? " Let us remember Jesus was an ADULT. We do not send our unequipped CHILDREN out to do adult's work. There are more instances of nonChrisitian kids dragging the Christian down than the Christian lifting up the non Christian.

That said, I DO know a family where their 15 year old son is a beacon at public school. He's definately salt and light for Christ, so it CAN happen.

2. Someone said since "they" made it through ps fine it should be okay. Well I am 37 years old and I can definately tell you school is a WHOLE heckuva lot different now. (My son attended ps for three years prior to being homeschooled).

3. And this is the most important. Let's remember as Christian women we are told to raise each other up. Why do we find it so easy to snap at one another? Opinion is opinion and this blog belongs to Rebecca and she is allowed to say whatever she wants. I don't think she means any ill will to any of you.

These are all jmho of course. =)


Jennifer said...

I, too, just don't understand how christians place their precious children in public schools. I understand that not everyone feels they could homeschool, although I truly feel that you should only say that after honestly trying, but then I feel the other option would be christian education. I struggle to understand why you would want your children somewhere that fights to tell your children that everything you learn Sunday at church is all wrong five days a week. I wonder, what will have a greater impact, 1 1/2 of Sunday school or 30 hrs. a week of school. They are working feverishly to remove any hint of Christiantiy that might still exsist within the system and instead replace it with a pro-homosexual, pro-choice, evolution, and be a free thinker (that translate to you not being the most influencial in the life of your child).
As for Jesus in the temple to learn, exactly the "TEMPLE", not the Roman senate. As for being in the world, don't forget "not of it". That is exactly what is becoming of students in public school, they are all feeding off one another doing just what the kid next to him is doing. And being salt and light, that belongs to adults not impressionable children. Jesus did not begin his public ministry until the age of 30! He was God and could have started at any age, including as a much younger man of 16 or 17, yet he was beside his father working as a carpenter until 30! The reality is that evil corrupts good. Proverbs warns us over and over about keeping company with fools and training up our children in righteousness. Deut. tells us to teach our children continually. This is pretty tough to accomplish with an hour or so left over at the end of the day.

It is not my intention to be judgemental, and if this is taken that way, I can't think for you. I am however responding to comments made. I do not feel as though the author sought to raise herself up or put others down, but instead to make sense of the huge problem public schools should be for bible believing christians. I would attend a church each week that contradicted my believes and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, why would I ever send my children into a place of education that would do that day in and day out.


Anonymous said...

I can see why some might call you judgemental. But I think they may be feeling a bit defensive? I sent my kids to public schools until this year. We are done with ps. My son doesn't want to have to deal with the smoking and drinking going on at his 7TH GRADE school events. He doesn't want to have to deal with kids who are mean to each other just to have something to do. He made the choice to come home to learn. As for being in the world. I think it's so easy for adult Christians to say that they are sending their kids in to ps to be the "salt and light" not realizing how much pressure is on a kid at school. My daughter was sexually harrassed in her kindergarten classroom. She was again sexually harrassed on the school bus. Not just "Hey you're pretty and let me sneak a kiss" A boy exposed himself to her! This is the kind of stuff our kids have to muddle through to get an education at the public school. I know, I know, kids will be kids, but I don't want my kids to think this behavior is normal. I hear way too many parents say that kids are that way. The principal at my son's school when he was in 5th grade told him not to worry about the bullying because next year he'll be used to it! I was not allowed to stop into his classroom during the day, nor would they call my son down to the office so I could discuss something with him until I insisted to be allowed to see him. When I complained to a family member who is a school principal herself I told her it's like the school is saying the kids don't need their parents. She looked me in the eye and told me, "they don't" This is what the ps school, in my experience, is for our family. They are working very hard at seperating my kids from my influence. We had one 3rd grade teacher when my son told her that his dad said the earth was not billions of years old say to my son, "your dad is wrong." How are we to be the Godly influence on our children if they are told by teachers that we are wrong? I will not shelter my kids. My kids know, from first hand experience, that there is bad in this world. They don't need to be in a public school to see that. School is for education. Choosing to educate my kids at home is our reaction to watching our kids trying to be the "salt and light" in public school and ending up lonely outcasts who were fodder for bullies and sex crazed 5 year olds. We tried to give them the tools they needed to make it there. We left them in for 7 years!

Anonymous said...

If you really feel the need to pray for my kids perhaps I feel the need to pray for your kids too. The story of the child who was homeschooled "busting" out when they turned 18 is way too familiar. Sin is sin and it will be in the home as well as in the world. We all have a sinful nature and WILL sin at some point. I am scared that you will be shattered when this sterile environment that you will create is tainted by the world. And I know you are thinking...nope that won't be me...but I think that there are some homeschool moms who are done and silently thinking...if I had only done this differently maybe my child wouldn't feel like they were attached to the desire to sin.

Anonymous said...

QUOTED FROM LAURIE BETH: "And this is the most important. Let's remember as Christian women we are told to raise each other up. Why do we find it so easy to snap at one another? Opinion is opinion and this blog belongs to Rebecca and she is allowed to say whatever she wants. I don't think she means any ill will to any of you."

I have to be honest...I know that everyone who read the blog entry felt like ps was being judged. THAT IS NOT RIGHT! The reason that it isn't right...b/c its in the BIBLE. Who is to judge us??? Well not Becki. And although she is allowed to have her are we. If she didn't want feedback...she shouldn't have added any imput to her blog about a subject that she knew would be very controversial.

Here's the thing. I know of some homeschool parents who have created a "click" just like high school. HOW ARE YOU ATTRACTING OTHER PARENTS TO GOD??? This judgemental attitude is a repellent to Christians and God. I would rather make mistakes in the real world than shelter my kids and pretend to be perfect. At least people will know that CHRISTIANS are REAL people. Come on...uplift...I don't feel uplifted....but maybe that's because I am on the side that your not on.

Anonymous said...

After reading the comments left I felt like I had to add some things. I was a homeschooled kid from 7th grade all the way up until I graduated. I am so thankful for the choice that my parents made for me because I hate to think of where I would have ended up because I was not a strong Christian and was not "the salt and the light" in my public school. What it all comes down to is if you are an involved parent you will know what your kids can handle and what they can not. I am planning on sending my daughter to kindergarden but I will be watching and playing every year by ear. But as a homeschool mom or homeschooler, don't think you can keep your children on the straight and narrow thoughout their whole education. Sin is everywhere, and yes, even within the homeschool community. I have seen my fair share of it and even been involved in it.

Secondly, this is a public blog. If Becki wasn't up for comments or other people's opinions, she should have written her thoughts and judgenments in her personal journal or shared them with close friends. We are ALL intitled to our opinions and freedom of speech no matter who's blog this is.

To the comment Jennifer made, "I wonder, what will have a greater impact, 1 1/2 hours of Sunday school or 30 hrs. a week of school?" I say if all our children are getting is 1 1/2 hours of being taught about Jesus then maybe we should be homeschooling. It starts in the home when our children are little. We should be saturating our children's day with things about Jesus and the Bible because they are little sponges.

Third, I don't think Becki's blog would have sparked such an uproar from pro-public school mom's if it wasn't for the judgemental lashes that she used toward them, especially the word SELFISH. I think in fact that ANY WOMAN who is a Mom of any number of children (maybe except for one...jk!!) is anything but selfish. It takes an incredible Christian woman to raise any number of children in this world and we should be sticking together on that basis, not on what we choose to do as far as education. Our job, being great mothers, is the hardest job in the world and we don't need to be looked down upon or be made to feel that what we are doing with our children is not good enough, especially from other Christian Moms.


Jennifer said...

I will respond to Beth regarding the hours comment. The reality of a mother of a schooled child is that by the time you get the kids picked up, start and finish homework, make dinner, and have baths...what real time is left over. Yes, I know conversation is and should be happening, but do you really have time to undo and teach over all that has happened during the child's school day? Now multiply that by three or four children.

Of course, all training has started since birth, at least I hope it has for believers. You can not ignore that fact that when your children enter school rooms that the greater influence on their lives becomes those they are surrounded by on a daily basis, a teacher (who is forbidden from teaching from a biblical perspective) and their peers.

For anyone offended by my comments, I realize your mind is made up and anything I say probably won't change it. However, since it has been pointed out that this is an arena for opinions, I will defend mine.

As for the "selfish" word, I get it. My days would be far different if I sent my three off everyday, but so would the hearts of my children. I might enjoy lunch with friends, an occasional pedicure, or even the claimed feeling of self worth of having a job where someone would tell me what a great job I am doing. Motherhood is a selfless job, if done right, and I witness constantly just the opposite. Many would never admit to it and would cry outrage if it was pointed out. None of us want to feel attacked in the core of our "motherhood" beings and I am sure that is what many feel here, attacked. I offer this, truly exam your choice, prayerful go to the Lord and seek the scriptures for yourself. Judgement lies not within the comments of the blogosphere but with our heavenly Father who truly sees our hearts despite our spoken words.

julie said...

hi, i am coming to this kind of late after reading a post about it on homeschoolingblog. i will try to be brief. i too don't understand how christians can send their children to school, i am in the uk, the schools here are so so bad. we took our children out of school for several secular reasons, my husband being a muslim could still see how bad school would be if we left the children there. i had prayed and prayed, and felt convicted through several scriptures - psalm 1 - blessed is the man who walketh NOT in the counsel of the ungodly, deut 6 v 7- how can we talk to our children about the things of God all day long if they are away from us, and of course proverbs 22 v6. i was also greatly blessed by ken hams video 'raising godly children in an ungodly world' - he explains very clearly why we can not expect our children to do the work of adults as salt and light in the world. at the end of the day we all have to do what is right before the Lord for our own families, children are truly a great blessing from Him and we need to nurture and protect them for Him, imho the best place for that is at home. it is certainly where the Lord spent His childhood! despite being in the temple for 3 days when He was 12! said...

I want to say to your anonymous commenter that yes, the Lord put us in this world to evangelize, to be salt and light. This does not mean that we put our children on the front lines! We are not called to throw them to the wolves. What does God's word say about the raising up of children? WE are to train them (we = parents). We are to rise up with them in the morning, walk with them, instruct them in the ways of the Lord throughout the day. How can we do this if we have turned them over to the State to "care" for? Our children, if they are under our authority and covering, are not to be "salt and light" apart from us. This is not their time. Right now they are in training so that they can go out into the world EQUIPPED to serve Him, to share Him with others. Right now, equip them. Don't dispose of them in the name of salt and light. Believe me, you're not doing God any favors by sending your children out into the world early on. They're not ready.

As Bruce Shortt once pointed out, if you are really concerned about ensuring that your kids (right now, when they are still "green") be "salt and light," then don't stop at public school. There are many other places they should also go "witness." How about a Mosque? Surely you can think of more examples to "place them" where they can "teach" other children and adults.

When Jesus hung out with the prostitutes and tax collectors, he was an ADULT. As a child, he was at home, serving and being a blessing to His family.

Remember, there is a time for everything. As children, their "time" and "place" is with their parents. I was neither sickened nor embarrassed for your blog entry.

And Anonymous is right: Character building DOES begin at home. Train your daughters to take God's mandates seriously - if they turn out like you, they will only rise up and call you blessed. Keep them home where they belong.

Be blessed today.


Anonymous said...

I have no idea what it is like to have school aged kids and I don't claim to. That day will come and I am preparing for it. I have absolutely nothing agaist homeschooling. All I know now is selfless mothering of a 26 month old and a 12 month old that I pour my everything in to daily. I was offended by the word selfish used to describe some of the women that I know to be anything but just because they choose public schooling. Heaven forbid that a Christian mother would find it God's will for her to keep her kids in a public school. What would you say to her, try to pray her out of it??? Realize that God's will for your life and the lives of others are not the same people. This is the end for me on this one. Thanks for everyone who contributed to this one, something to think about.


Anonymous said...

Well, you've had sooo many comments that I got tired or reading them all! LOL I will say however that we make decisions because we feel that they are the right decisions. Which inturn means that people who make the opposite decision is "wrong". And being told you feel they are wrong offends them. That is one of the hardest parts of being a Christian today. If you firmly state what you believe to be right then you must hate everyone else?

I think people on both sides need to make more educated decisions. I weighed all the pros and cons. Home School is what right for my family. I don't feel my kids need ps to be socialized. I already have a great deal of trouble attending to many home school functions. Believe me my kids are not locked in closets terrified that the "evil" of the world is going to eat them up. But they are getting a good christian education with out being molested daily by anti-christian sentiment. When they do go out in to the world they will know how to stand by and defend what they believe.
So, do I think I'm right? Yes. Do I think parents that send their kids off into ps are wrong? Well, yes. Because I don't think it is the ideal way to raise Christian children.
Do I hate ps families? No, but I do think they could do better.

Anonymous said...

The story of the child who was homeschooled "busting" out when they turned 18 is way too familiar.

How about the millions and millions of non-homeschooled kids that burst out???? A bigger deal is made out of it if one of us fails than the millions others!!!!

Anonymous said...

LISTEN!!!!!! If Becky thinks she is right for doing what she is doing... great!!! If PS moms or dads think PS is right for their kids.... great. Everyone needs to get off the whole i'm right you're wrong thing. Becky's first blog was hard to read, and it did offend me a whole lot, but the manner in which probly 15 of 20 responses were written was far worse than what she did. I commend those who clarified their position or explained themselves better and shut up. One blogger said we are to build each other up and in the same response told those who disagreed with her opinion that they were wrong and could do better. My advice to each of you would be to read Romans 14. Becky's husband led me to this book once, and please it is not only about food. Read it and you'll know what I mean. How would our kids feel if they could read what is being written back and forth here. Those who use harsh and attacking tones are doing what htye complain the world does to their kids. hmm

emily said...

I love your post! I got here from another blogger's post. I went and read the articles that you were referencing...I loved them too! You sound so much like me! The things I liked the most that were said in the article were the quotes, "It's not that you can't...YES, you can. What you are really saying is you don't want to expend the energy it takes to do it!"...AND, "I will not sacrifice my own children on the altar of public school for the saving of others." NOT that it would even happen that way. My children have not been given the job of being missionaries...they've been given the job of being children. It's MY job to teach them and direct them...the WORLD thought up the idea of sending them off to someone else to raise! I am VERY anti public school/private school/whatever...children BELONG at home with their parents. If parents (especially moms) would get over this ridiculously selfish idea that they deserve this "ME" time and start being the biblical mother that Christ called them to be, the world would be a much better place. The truth of the matter is, that most parents DON'T want to put forth the energy and work it takes to raise children the way God instructed. It's much easier to send them to a strange building full of strange people with strange ways and let them screw them up. least they'll have someone to blame!

phyllis said...

Holy smokes Becky! I was directed here via Gena's blog at Homeschool Blogger. I am certain that you had NO IDEA the Pandora's box you were opening...But Kudo's to you for stating your heart/mind. I agree with you wholeheartedly. Many Blessings! I intend to follow your posts with regard to this subject (and if I can ever be disciplined enough to keep up with my own blog, perhaps add your blog to my blogroll...)

Mon said...

I am a fairly new homeschooler. I got so much negetive feedback from family and friends regarding socialization. By reading your blog I have noticed that you have the desire and talent of a homemaker. If your children are home with you all day they will also pick this up which I'm sure you want to it pass on. My daughter went to Kindergarten and then I started homeschooling her for 1st grade. I have noticed a dramatic difference in both of us. I have more patience and she behaves and respects me much better. We are building a relationship, and she is preparing to be a mother and homemaker one day. She now shows a lot more interested in cooking, household chores and crafts.

When I started homeschooling, a friend told me "You must teach your child to be a light before they can be a light to the world."