Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Homeschooling is Hard: A Mission Statement

Before Gabe and I married, there was an understanding reached between he and I that we would home school our children unless God clearly showed us differently. When Elijah was born, God cemented that calling in my heart. I looked in his newborn face and knew I probably wouldn't be sending him to kindergarten with a wave and a smile. I just couldn't imagine not being with him for all those years. Beyond the Divine calling to do so, why would we choose such a difficult and somewhat controversial upbringing?

A Mission Statement (of sorts)

We want our children to know that they are "fearfully and wonderfully made" unique creations of the One True God and that they were made to know Him and love Him. In knowing and loving God they will find their true calling in life and have the opportunity to live the richest, fullest life imaginable... the one that God designed them live. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."  (Ephesians 2:10)  A public school education cannot address the unique God given gifts, talents and interests innate in all of us. They can't even address God Himself! 

We, the parents, are commanded to teach these things: “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”  (Duet. 6:5-7) How can teach my children about God in the way the He commands if they are gone all day? 

Finally, I can't help but feel the goal of our schools is to ensure that each child receive a minimum level of education and to create conformity between children. It is not our goal that our children be conformed to the world:  “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”  Romans 12:2 

Beyond this here more of my many reasons...
  • I want to foster in my children a great love of learning, for them to be excited about learning and confident about their ability to learn anything their heart's desire.
  • I want to allow my children the freedom to master a wide variety of skills and subjects that schools may not have the time or budget to delve into and do it without the pressure of a state mandated timeline.
  • I want them to see and appreciate God's place throughout history, humankind and creation.
  • I want them find meaning in a world full of goodness and evil through the lens of the Bible. I want help them to develop excellent values and moral character such as integrity, honesty, courage, faith and love. 
  • I want to spend all of the time that I can with them. Three hours a day is not enough for me! I enjoy interacting with them and witnessing them grow in every way. 
  • Public schools waste time: in lines, in buses, on roll call, etc. There is too much good stuff in life being missed out while kids shuffle between class rooms.  
Its time for Elijah to begin first grade. For months, I have researched homeschooling methods, techniques, philosophies, curricula, books, websites, forums, groups, etc. etc, etc, etc. I have wondered and wandered to no end about what to teach, how to teach it and when to teach it. This has tied me up in knots and kept me up at night.  I have almost made myself crazy bringing my convictions to home school to reality. 

Here's what I've come up with: Homeschooling is hard.  Not everyone can do this. It takes a lot of conviction, patience, perseverance, creativity, courage, organization and forethought to home school. You have to believe in this! Even when you do wholeheartedly believe in the reasons for homeschooling, it is still very challenging to get the ball rolling and keep it rolling.

Last night, I had a major breakthrough. I realized, that for the most part, my preferences and hope for homeschooling align with one particular method of homeschooling. Its wonderful to realize this! I found several online resources based on this method that have proven to be immensely helpful in creating our lessons for this year. In fact, if I wanted to, I could follow exactly along with learning schedules laid out on these websites and be confident that my children would receive a superior education.

In my next post, I am going to outline our curricula for the upcoming school year, 2012- 2013. I will also provide some background information about the method of homeschooling I have chosen!

1 comment:

  1. I am so happy that you found a curriculum that speaks to your heart! Elijah is tremendously lucky to have such a compassionate, passionate, Mom/teacher in his life!