Homeschool or NOT! You still have to be a responsible parent.

It won’t be long now and our children will be returning back to school. For over 20 years I homeschooled all 3  of my kids and not because they were dumb and it took that long for them to graduate but more because there is a 12 yr span between our first and our last.  As you can imagine, in all those years, I have seen a lot of different things happen in the homeschooling world. But there is one comment I have often heard, from new homeschoolers, ” I am scared of failing my kids, having my child’s future in my hands is really scary.” to which I want to reply……. REALLY?

Where in any part of the universe would a parent think they are NOT responsible for child’s future? I don’t care if you send your kids to public school or you choose to keep them home.  Either way, you are still the parent and still responsible. I mean call me old fashioned, but I feel like I see a lot of lazy parenting these days, we drop our kids off at school or church and let someone else deal with them. I actually knew one parent who was having a disciple problem with their child at home and they called the school to take care of it when, the disciple problem had nothing to do with anything going on at the school. Time after time I have heard parents say ” I can’t wait till summer is over I am so tired of these kids, they are driving me crazy! I can’t wait to send them back to school”

I feel all to often, that we as parents take the easy way out and choose to allow someone else, or worst yet just allow our kids to raise themselves. Call me crazy, but I still believe what the bible says that we are to “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 ESV

Deut 6:6-8 NIV says  6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts, Impress them on your children. 7 Talks about when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

You know what commandments God is talking about impressing on our children in this passage?  The answer is found in verse 5 it is,   5″Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength”. Now, I am pretty sure if I asked most reading this article today “Do you love God?”  very few, if none of you would come out right and say “No! I Hate God! I don’t want anything to do with Him”. I think the opposite is true, I think most of us would say “No! I love God!” But if we say we love God, why are we not following what His word says to do? Worst yet, Why are we not teaching our children what His word says?

If you love someone you do things that please them.  If we say we love Christ and we really mean it. Why are we not in His house each week desiring to learn more of what He desires of us? Why are we not studying His word at home during the week so we are ready to engage in worship and study when we get to church?

How can we be preparing our children for their future if we are not teaching them about God’s word and how to apply it to their everyday life? If we are allowing someone else to have more influence over our child then we do, how can we guarantee their influence will be pointing our children to Christ?  See, I believe God choose you out of all the people in the universe to raise your children He placed them in your womb and His word says He knew them before they were born and He knew the plans He had for them. (Jer 29:11) Are we pointing them to that plan or just allowing our children to wander around like a blind person in a home they have never been in before, Hoping they will find the way?

I believe out of all the people in the universe, God choose you to be the parent of that child and with that decision comes responsibility on your part that is a lifetime commitment.

Yes, the roles slowly change and hopefully by the time they are adults you can be more of a friend than a parent. But that is only when they are much older and living out on their own. When they are young you have to be 100% the parent and 0% their friend. I mean lets face it. When they are infants you can’t just let them put anything they want in their mouths or when they are toddlers you can’t just let them walk around putting screwdrivers in light sockets. Why?  Because something might hurt them. You have to love them enough to keep them from harm.

Most people will tie up their dogs at night but let their children run wild. We need to remember when we embark on this parenting adventures it is a commitment of a lifetime and we answer to the Heavenly Father for what we have done; Parenting is a calling not a hobby that you get to pick and choose, what you want to do, when you want to do it. We have a responsibility by God as parents to lead children in the correct path, it is up to the kids to stay on that path but if we have done what God’s word says to do we can trust His word that, does not return void and when that child is old they will not depart from it.  So as we are preparing for this next year of school. Make sure they get the most important part of their education and that should be learning God’s word from you. Get involved in a church somewhere that supports this mission you have and I promise you, as you grow in God so will your children. God’s not looking for perfect parents, He is looking for obedient ones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Unschooled

Unschooled

Unschooled

Unschooled

Recently, I attended a conference with my husband where the speaker took us to Acts 4:13. After he read this verse, I didn’t hear another word he said because one word caught my eye.

For many years there has been a trend in the homeschooling world called “unschooling”. Wikipedia defines “unschooling” as an educational method and philosophy that advocates learner-chosen activities as a primary means for learning.

I had always thought those who “unschooled” were those really radical homeschoolers – you  know, the hippie type, that live out in the woods; the kind where the mom braids her hair and wears flowers in it, and wears a long maxi dress.  Being a homeschooling mom for over 20 years this was a little radical, even for me. Then recently, a friend of mine was introducing my daughter (now graduated), to another homeschooling family and when she introduced her she said, “She was unschooled.” When my daughter first told me this, I was like, “What??” Then, when I got to thinking about it, I had to agree. Yep, with my last two kids, we “unschooled”! I had done it without even noticing, because, after all, I never braided my hair or wore a flower in it, and I hate the outdoors!

There were many reasons we homeschooled, but the one major reason was that we wanted to instill in our children the biblical foundation in which our family believes. We have often told our children, when they were struggling to learn something, “I don’t care if you get an A, but I DO care if you have a relationship with Jesus Christ! And, if that is all you get out of homeschooling, I will be happy.” Of course they got more out of it and all are successful in the paths they are choosing in their lives. But I believe God has given them favor because they do have a relationship with Him. When they are around other people their age, there is a standard of excellence in their character that you just don’t find in most other kids.

If you ask any homeschooling parent, they will tell you homeschooling is not easy. We are often the object of ridicule by extended family, strangers, our peers, and sometimes are even threatened legally for our beliefs and choice to homeschool.

So, as you can imagine, I was in awe when I read the verse the speaker shared: “When they saw the courage of Peter & John and realized that they were UNSCHOOLED, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with God.” (Acts 4:13)

I know we want our children to acquire the highest level of education possible for them. But more importantly I believe that you, like I, when others see our kids, want people to say, “They have been with Jesus!” The commentary on this verse even says, “and perceived they were unlearned ignorant men.” The Greek word for ignorant comes from the word “idiot”!  If you are honest with yourself, you know you have been called an idiot, either to your face or behind your back, for homeschooling. And if you haven’t, you must live in the woods!

There’s another part I like about this verse. It’s the first part: “They saw the courage of Peter and John….”  It takes courage to homeschool your kids and I believe we build courageous kids when we homeschool. We build leaders; individuals who are not afraid to step out of the norm of what everyone else is doing and stand up for what they believe. It may take making some radical choices, and we may appear as idiots to those around us, but, I promise you, it is worth it!

So don’t be disheartened this year when struggles come. Just ask yourself, “Have they been with Jesus?”