Friday, August 16, 2013

Obligatory Back To School Post

That sounds inspiring...

I am actually beginning to get excited about this new year.  It will be a challenge.  I face moments of terror.  But who can resist fresh starts and new beginnings?  Not me!  I sat down yesterday and went through all the materials on our school shelf, threw out a ton and made quite a daunting list of "what we must do every day to keep up with everyone else".

Uh-oh.  I'm already in trouble.  Maybe I should follow the advice of my last post and consider what my motive is and/or should be.  When I'm hip deep into this I'm going to need a solid reason why I am doing this to myself.  Otherwise I will become discouraged, despondent and depressed.  Wait, that already happened to me.  Am I physic or what?
This is not meant to convict or convince anyone else that they should be doing exactly what I am doing.  I just want to get some of my own personal thoughts on record to encourage myself with later.  I need to be fully convinced in my own mind about what I am doing and why.  Not because it's expected of me, not because this is how I was raised.  Not because this is what I read in the latest homeschooling journal.  Not because of my mom's convictions.  Or even because of my husband's convictions.  These are just my opinions.  I would challenge anyone reading this to spend some time pondering your own situation and choices.  Why do you do what you do?  We are all in different circumstances.  What's important is that we each have a clear reason why we are on our chosen paths and what our desired destination is.  And a willingness to adjust if God nudges us in a different direction.

To quote a favorite president, 'Let me be clear,' I am NOT doing this because I love being with my children so much I can't bear to let them out of my sight for hours at a time.  To say so would be a lie.  At times shipping the kit and kaboodle off for 6-8 hours every day sounds terrific.  Okay, glad I got that off my chest.

I'm not doing this because I'm terrified of public schools.  I've never spent any time in the "system" so I really can't say much about it, good or bad.

As I see it, there are two distinct issues to consider.
1. Spiritual/Political/Cultural-this post
2.  Educational Theory-next post

Spiritual - As a Christian, I believe that God has entrusted these children to my care, to be raised for His glory.  I am to nurture and admonish them in the fear of the Lord.  I am to teach His precepts both by word and by example, all day, every day.  This is more readily accomplished at home.  Here and now is the training ground for tomorrow's leaders.  I cannot in good conscience send my children into the world to "shine as lights" when they are so immature and unprepared.  Some of them aren't even saved yet. Missionary dating doesn't work.  I don't think missionary schooling does either.  Usually it's the bad influences that prevail.  What happens if you pour a cup of muddy water into a cup of clean water?  The general atmosphere of the United States is becoming muddier every day.  Godlessness is proliferating at an alarming rate.  Even professing Christians are living in open and unrepentant sin.  Giving our children a solid foundation on which to stand against the world is paramount.  That being said, there is nothing I can do to guarantee my children's salvation, strength in the Lord or general happiness.  Everything is by God's Grace.  There is no upbringing or lack thereof that He cannot overcome.  I must do my part, (so as to have a clear conscience) then pray for Mercy.  We do not deserve nor can earn the least of His blessings.  The school we attended does not limit or influence what God might chose to do in our lives.

Political - The Government does not have my children's best interest at heart.  And even if it did, the Government is not the appropriate organization to educate the country.  Simply put, it's none of the Government's business.  Private enterprises and organizations are always more efficient and effective.

Cultural - I dislike the practice of segregation.  It's undoubtedly more practical to divide children by age and ability when you are managing large crowds.  However, if you are always herded into groups with your own age, that is all you will know.  There is much benefit to be gained by interacting freely with all ages, genders, backgrounds and experiences.  I, personally, am more comfortable interacting with people older than myself. (which might explain why there is an age difference in my marriage)  I can appreciate the different outlook and experiences of older people.

Then there is the "learning as a lifestyle" versus "learning happens on weekdays from 8-2 in the months of August through May" issue.  But that's getting into educational theory.  And I have apples to cut up and freeze...