October 21, 2010

Why I Homeschool Part II & the Myth of Me Time

I posted this video several months ago as one of the many reasons I homeschool. But that's just one reason - there are so, so many reasons we have chosen to homeschool.

Recently someone expressed their concern to me that I don't get any "me" time. And maybe that's why I get migraines? Because I am overwhelmed and stressed out... perhaps??

So I was confronted again by the question, "Why DO I homeschool?". Wouldn't life be so much easier if I just put them in school and let someone else do it?

When I strip away all the many reasons we homeschool, I find myself with only one answer: God called me to do this. I know He did. And until He calls me to not do it, or to do something else, this is what we're doing.

When you know God is calling you to something, that silences all the other voices and leaves no argument. Even people who love you and want the best for you (ie., more "Me" time), perhaps even other Christians, won't always agree or fully support you. And that's okay. God is not, after all, calling them. He's calling you.

So, that is why I homeschool. God called me to do it a half dozen years ago. And He called me to do it because I knew He was also calling us to be missionaries, and I could not shirk the conviction that someday I would maybe need to know how to do it.

Would I love more "Me Time"? Yes. Would I love more "rest"? Yes. Is it okay for Mom to go out alone or  away for a night or a few days? Of course.

I think for me it's just being happy with my lot and not falling into believing the "Me Time" myth. To me, "Me Time" ceased to exist once that first little baby was born. I was not even a Christian then, so this is not a Christian argument I'm making, it's just the reality of parenthood. When that first baby is born, "Me Time" is a lie we just need to put away and stop believing. Not that you can't get a break or some rest here and there when needed, but now it is not all about YOU. It's about the child who did not ask to come into this world and NEEDS tons of time, energy, love, feeding, clothing, bathing, attention, affection; and later, conversation, education, relationship, friendships, respect, understanding, sensitivity, compassion, grace and a million other things. I guess I just don't believe it's all about ME anymore.

What's more, when I gave my life to Christ, I died. Galatians 2:20 tells me so,

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."

Chris died. The old Chris is dead. Chris no longer lives. Christ lives in me. This life I live is not my own, but Christ living through me, willing in me to do of his good pleasure. Bringing about His will here on earth through me, as it is in heaven. As I yield to His will and obey, his kingdom comes, His will is done. And I'm not just talking about homeschooling. It could be anything. This is what I believe. Can I expect to see His kingdom and His glory if He has spoken to me on an issue and I choose not to obey, saying, "Oh well, He is sovereign. God will work it out anyway."?

Will we ever put them in school? I don't know. Maybe. Maybe not. I do know that one day, when they are ready, when they have labored and served alongside us, when the ship is built strong, after years in the safety of the harbor, they will be sent out. I don't know if they will be 7 or 12 or 17. But storms will come, they will be tossed about, the waves may get high and unrelenting. Our hope is that the ship is well built, fortified, attention to detail over the years having served to strengthen its frame so the ship does not completely come apart in the storm. That's life. I would never think to send an unfinished ship out into the hostile ocean alone. That is what public school is to me. Hostile. And we can't be there guiding them, helping them, supporting them. Kids are killing themselves today in that environment.

Yes, some kids do fine in school. There are success stories. But statistically, 70-80% of public schooled children from Christian homes walk away from their faith by the time they are 20. Why would I want to take that kind of a chance with the most precious things given to me in this life, my kids? What good is it to gain the "whole world" but lose their little souls? So my house is not perfectly clean, so what? So I haven't had lunch with a friend in years. So? So I have to get up at 5am if I want to go to the gym. Is that what I would get if I sent them off? A perfectly clean house, lunch with a friend, and a relaxed time at the gym all day? Yay, me.

And so here we are. Off to a place where there are probably no schools in English, quite possibly no Christian schools, and the public school option is not any more appealing there than it is to me here.

God knows what He's doing, He knows the plans He has for us, and if we simply trust and follow, He gives us the grace to do it. It's not easy, no one said it would be. Jesus never said it would be. I believe he said, "there will be trouble". Sometimes it's easy, but sometimes it's not. Being a Christian is hard. Going against the flow is hard. Swimming upstream when everyone else is swimming down is work. It's a supernatural thing to follow Christ, and we are empowered from on high to do it.

I LOVE that my 10 year old son thinks it's fun to sing "Ring Around the Rosey" with his 7 and 1 yo old sisters, as they hold hands and dance in a circle. He has no idea that this is "not cool".

I LOVE to see my son fall all over himself to fill Mom-mom's bird feeders because she can't, because she just had surgery on her hand. I love that we can do this in the middle of a weekday because he is NOT in  school.

I LOVE that we can take off when someone is sick, or it's their birthday, or something comes up. I love that I don't have to ask anyone's permission or sign any slips.

I LOVE that I can come across my 7 year old curled up with a copy of Pride and Prejudice on the sofa and I didn't make her do it.

I LOVE that my son can argue Creation versus Evolution better than I can, and give facts to support his argument, while blowing the rest of us out of the water with big words like Struthiomimus, Dienotherium, and Indrichotherium.

I LOVE that my kids reach for a book before they reach for breakfast.

I LOVE that I don't have to rush them out the door before 9am and they can leisurely enjoy a homemade (well, okay, maybe not always:) breakfast.

I LOVE that they are not coming home and asking me what (insert any number of bad words here) mean. I love that their "innocence" can linger for a bit longer in a corrupt world, that truth and goodness can sink way down deep and become a part of them before they are asked to defend something they may not yet fully believe or understand.

I LOVE that we can take off on a field trip for an entire day, or a mission trip for weeks, and call it school. Because it is.

I LOVE that "socialization" is not confined to a class of 25-30 other kids their own age, but means anything from playing with babies to visiting old people at nursing homes, and everything in between.

I LOVE that we are going to read Shakespeare while still in "elementary school". Because we can.

I LOVE that we can go off to Patagonia for a few years (or more) to do missions and not have to worry about their education. We just take it with them.

I love so many things about homeschooling and I'm so thankful that I can do it. It's what we are called to do. The academics are great and yes, I do think that for my kids it's a better education than public or even private school - but most importantly, it's what he LORD is calling us to do and I am happiest doing His will. It is always best. I would never tell someone they NEED to do what we do, but I would encourage anyone to try it. It really is tons of fun.

I don't know if we could ever go back!


1 comment:

Josh Turansky said...

Awesome post! Thanks for weaving your faith right into your decision to homeschool. I agree with everything your saying. The reality of Christianity and the Bible invades all aspects of our life. And it is a joy to follow God's call.

If you ever want to write a guest post for our homeschool grace blog let me know. This is exactly what we are looking for.


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