Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Beginning - Homeschooling

There is always a beginning to a path. The path always leads somewhere and along the way the path gives us different experiences.

I thought I would share the path that our family has been traveling for the past ten years. Hubbie and I have been married for twenty years but the first ten years were very difficult and felt much more like being in a muddy quagmire then actually being on a directional path.

The Lord was faithful though, as He always is, to bring us to repentance
and to show us a better way.

At the time, we had three children (5,4,1) with one on the way. I was teaching a mommy's biblestudy (being a mommy myself and with only a bit more experience then the rest of the gals in the class) and working in my first grader and kindergartner's classes. I was out of the home three days a week for these things and then had one day where I watched my friend's children so that she could be in the class for her first grader and kindergartner. I also taught piano at the time and was on the board for the Parents club of our children's school. Life was full. Too full.

By the Christmas break I was ready to have a nervous breakdown. I quit the mommy's biblestudy in a flurry of tears. I backed off on the Parents club and started to despise my piano students and my babysitting job. I was just plain tired and very pregnant.

Something had to change.

Change did come. The school decided to advance my daughter onto second grade even though she could not read. She had eye surgery that year and so she was a bit behind. She also had three teachers in one year. The last teacher, feeling the pressure to pass all the children on to the next grade, was spending the rest of the year working with the kids who were at the bottom of the class. Boo just happened to be in the middle and so she was being taught by the brightest and best of the class. But, even the brightest first grader has no idea how to teach another child so they gave Boo the answers. I saw this with my own eyes.

It was not long before we started to think about the idea of homeschooling. We had a couple of friends who encouraged us to look into it. I had been homeschooled for a few years and loved the experience. I knew I could teach everything I saw in the classroom. But, I was a bit hesitant because I was not sure how I would get along with my children or how they would do with me being their teacher (I just laugh at this now!).

We signed up with a local charter school. This was the best decision we ever made. I know the ills of charters and I know them fully. But, for our family it was the best decision at the time. My AT (Assistant Teacher) was the director of the school. She had homeschooled all of her own children and understood my free style. God knew what I needed at the time. Because of her we succeeded.

Over the years our idea and thoughts about homeschooling have changed. We started out wanting a better education for our children and have come to the conclusion that God desires for us to teach and train our children. Not the federal or state government. Not even the church. And, the focus of the education that we are giving our children is not based on a scope and sequence that some bureaucrat hands down from Washington but based on God given abilities, aptitudes, and responsibilities.
Deuteronomy 6:1-7
Now, this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the LORD your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess, that you may fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes adn His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well iwht you, and that you may multily greatly as the LORD God of yoru fatehrs has promised you - a land flowing with milk and honey. Hear O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.

I called this post "The Beginning" because it was the start of a new life for us. When you take a step of faith, like homeschooling your children, God opens the door to other areas that need to be surrendered to Him.

The next step on our journey? The blessing of children

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