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?”