Wednesday, May 14, 2014
After Nine Years of Home Schooling......Here I Am
Nine years. She is fourteen now, ready to start high school in the fall. When we first decided to home school we thought that when she was ready for high school we would put her into public school. Not now. I told her that a while ago. I asked her what she would think about going to public school. She said no, she said she would miss us and the things we do here. She said she wouldn't want to be gone all day like that. And I was glad.
But this post is not about her really. It's about me. I've been thinking a lot about where my heart is and where it has been these nine years. I've thought about the 26 year old woman I was when I first began this journey as a "home school mom". She was five, I also had a four year old, a two year old and a baby. I started out on shaky legs, to say the least. I bought a boxed curriculum and tried to mimic what I remembered from first grade at school. To tell you the honest truth, I didn't think I would succeed in what I was setting out to do. I didn't feel "smart" enough, patient enough, talented enough.
That was nine years ago and I am not the same woman that I was. Oh, has the Lord grown me and stretched me and refined me! Believe me when I say that there have been times, and perhaps will be again some day, when I could not go on. When I wanted to run away. When I thought there must be an easier way. When I had no faith, none. When I cried out to my God and to Blue eyes that I needed help, I needed someone to carry me, pray for me, help me, because I couldn't go on. And between the two of them, there has always been someone to carry me, place their hands on me and pray for me, there has been someone to tell me over and over again that there is a harvest coming, that, lo! Even now, even then, he already could see the tender plants growing, thriving, blossoming.
You see, when Blue eyes first told me that he wanted me to home school our kids I was completely thrown for a loop. I had not planned on it or expected it. Just like a lot of people I had a lot of preconceived ideas and misconceptions about the whole movement. There were a couple families that stood out who represented home school to my mind and they were not at all what I desired for my own family.
And yet I believed then, and still do, that the husband should be the head of a Christian family. I trust the Bible more, much more, than I trust my own heart. I know that it is not ugly, oppressive, or irrelevant that the word says as Christ followers we should be like Sarah and the other holy women of old who lived in obedience to their husbands. (1 Peter 3:6, Titus 2:5 just to name a couple).
So I told him I would earnestly pray about it and that if he truly felt that this was God's will for our family then I would be willing to try it. At first I was a little embarrassed to tell people that we weren't going to send her to kindergarten. Especially if they wanted to know why. Like really why, not just the pat answers. In case you haven't noticed, Biblical submission is not a very popular trend, even among Christian women, now a days. Well, it didn't take long before I had reasons of my own to give anyway. I read lots of books.
But honestly, the reason I was a home school mom for many years was because I believe that a husband and father will stand before the Lord one day to give an account for what ever it may be that his family has become under his care and keeping. I want to help him to give a good account. I felt that it was only right that God would reveal his will in regards to our children's education to the leader of our family. Education is big. True education involves the heart and soul, not just the mind.
And, oh, has not God proven to me that when we, in faith, step out in obedience to His Holy Word that He is ever so faithful? Has He not shown me that He will give me "all things pertaining unto life and godliness"? That His way, although it feels so contrary to the desires of our flesh, is always good and always brings about perfect peace?
I could have said no. I am so glad I didn't. I would not be the woman I am now and our marriage wouldn't be as strong and beautiful and Blue eyes wouldn't be the good man he is either. We wouldn't be the same family. I know we wouldn't.
Do you know, there have been days I have cried out in anguish of heart, that if this all flops and we all end up a mess he has to answer for it because I was doing it for him? And my good man, he has never wavered. He has never, ever said maybe I was right, maybe I couldn't do it. No, not once. He has always pointed me to my Jesus. He has prayed over me, cried with me, and encouraged me.
And now, after all this time, I see it too, just as clearly as he always has. I see that for our family this is good. I thank the Lord from the depths of my heart that we have this freedom to teach our kids at home. Four more years and she will be grown up, of age, I guess. My beautiful brown eyed girl, who loves Anne of Green Gables, playing the piano, writing. I know her, I know her heart. And she knows mine because we have grown together all these years. She has seen the very worst of me, and hopefully, the very best, when God shines through. And I of her. She watched me give birth to her little sister, we have grieved together.
There was a time when I compared, always, my kids with their public school peers. When I worried about them being neck and neck. But not now. There's no comparing. I know plenty of kids who have gone through public school and they are strong, Bible believing, Christians. They are no worse for the wear so to say. They are educated. Our kids could've gone through public school, God would have still been faithful. It may have been good but this is best.
This is best because we are raising up a "godly seed", a future generation of parents and adults. We are blessed to be able to offer the first fruits of our day, the first fruits of their lives wholly to God and the study of His word. We study The Word, we pray, we grow, we do our math, we fail and forgive, we read many, many good books. Books that make us laugh and cry and think about things. We discuss, we write, we draw and color and paint and listen to music and make our own. We garden and make food and wash the dishes. We take care of babies, sing to them and love them. We laugh at toddlers and cry from frustration. Sometimes we have "half days" and go to Walmart and Goodwill. Yup, all eight of us, because who wants to stay home? I learn from them and they learn from me. We serve God together, we are a family and, I think , we are becoming educated.
"Praise the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me! Bless His holy name and forget not His benefits."