Dear Young Mom of Many,
You said in your letter that you were needing reassurance. You said that you were needing someone to tell you that the gut feeling you had about homeschooling was “ok” and that you weren’t endangering your children’s minds by not doing all the books and the workbooks and the worksheets and the and the and the…….
I don’t know that I’m really the person you are wanting to ask, but I’ll give you my thoughts none the less. (You DID ask. You may learn to not do that around me.) 😉
I spent YEARS doing all the hoops with our homeschooling. We even did one program where I spent 20 (!!!) hrs a week in preparation alone. It nearly killed our love of learning… and me. It wasn’t worth it. (I still love the program, but it just didn’t work for our family.)
In His kindness, the Lord reached down and began to open the eyes of my understanding. I began to ask questions of Father about the value of public school. I had this sense that if a mom is going to educate her children in the same way as the public schools, that perhaps it’s best to put them into a school format. (Perhaps not public, but rather private or parochial…)
The reason I feel this way is that the public schools have spent years learning how to perfect what they do. If we, as moms, simply want to mimic what the schools are doing, only doing it at home, then it would seem that the public/private format would serve us better.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I LOVE homeschooling. We made the decision to homeschool with our eyes WIDE open. Before we began, we had to decide if we were willing to follow this to the end. (As in, if it became a source of persecution, were we committed to continuing, even unto the point of incarceration?) Once we made this decision, we jumped into it with open arms and great passion. AND we did it just like the public school does.
We invested in books, notebooks, workbooks, etc, etc, etc. We couldn’t find that… rhythm for homeschooling. We kept battling against it. After much prayer, I began to see that the system really is best for teaching our children, if we’re doing it the way the system does. If it looks like a duck and smells like a duck and quacks like a duck, it will do better sitting in a pond. IF however, we want it to do something other than look, smell and quack like all the other ducks, home is a wonderful place to accomplish that.
At that point, the Lord transformed our homeschool and we found our rhythm. We continue to grow in that each and every year. Our time together is getting richer and more personalized with each day. Our delight in schooling together does as well.
So dear Mom, you are right. You can’t keep up with everything you listed – that is the way of the school system. I will pray that the Lord will show you what you are to do. Perhaps you need to consider a private/Christian school….if not, then perhaps you need to leave some of Egypt behind – come out into the wilderness. I don’t always like the sand between my teeth, but I love that I am following Father and not the system.
(This letter is in response to a couple emails I received. I am helping to prepare dinner and directing a household full of craziness, so this may end up making no sense. PLEASE, I not only welcome, I INVITE discussion of this. AND don’t feel you aren’t able to discuss this just because you don’t homeschool.)