Monday, August 26, 2013

I wrote a blog over a year ago on some things I had been considering about homeschooling. You can read it here. As we start a new year, I have had some more thoughts about why we do what we do.

More reasons we choose to home school. ( I understand not everyone has the freedom to stay home and home school. I also understand not everyone is a Christ follower). I realize I write this blog from a passionate advocate of homeschooling. If you read it and are offended, I urge you to engage in conversation with me about it. My intent is not to offend but maybe to make you think about your choices for your family and if they are truly right for you. As I said before, we said NEVER would this be us.

1. To be a good steward of the time I have with my kids!

Deut  6 says :“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

I personally, can not follow this call by being away from my babies for 7 hours a day during my best hours.I could say well from 3-7 I can teach them diligently... and  on the weekend, but really- life is busy. They get home and there is dinner and homework. Weekends are filled with birthday parties and events. I believe this is a call for all of us, home schoolers or not. If you are a Christian parent you are called to this- to teach them diligently.

 They are growing so quickly. I often think of all the preparation it takes to have your kids in school. Pack lunches, lay out clothes, get up and get them ready, drive them there, wait in carpool line, wait in carpool line again, do their homework with them, sign forms etc etc.

 Yes, home school takes some prep too but I am prepping for my kids specific needs and their day as far as lesson planning. We typically get done with formal school in two hours, sometimes three. This includes worship, soaking, bible study and the basics reading, writing, arithmetic. Then we have the rest of the day to hang out, go to gymnastics practice, and play games as a family.

2. Freedom of time

I can take my kids on vacation whenever works best for us or this year- when Disney is least crowded! We can pick up and go to the zoo, field trips, or run a day of errands without having to worry about picking  a child up here or dropping off there.

3. I don't get sad as they grow

This time of year I am bombarded with moms crying as they drop their kids off to school. Or things like " Just cried all the way home, I can't believe they are in this grade and this grade." I have to ask a hard question. Has society made it so normal for us to drop our kids off for hours at a time that we can ignore a motherly instinct of sadness and think it is normal?  Maybe God has given us a desire to be with our children and this sadness we feel is actually from him- not normal and something to be celebrated.

I don't usually get sad when they grow or enter a new grade, Why? because I get to experience everything with them day in and day out. I don't have that nagging feeling in the back of my mind that I am going to regret these years.

4. The "worst" home school day is better than any public school day for my kids. For two reasons.

1) What they get from me. They get love, acceptance, protection. They get to bond with their brothers and sisters. They get to experience life at their pace and their learning style. They get to interact with all kinds of people and ages. They get JESUS all day long. They get heart training all day long. They get me at my best. My best hours are in the morning.( BY 2-4 I am DONE as in I am tired and crave time to myself or I am just lower energy, and not intentional). Even if we don't do anything "academic" they are still learning and growing in my opinion, the best environment for them.

2) What they don't get at school: Even if we get nothing done at home, they are still being protected from the indoctrination of the school system. On two levels 1) What they are "learning" from the government chosen curriculum and 2) what they are getting from other kids as far as "socialization." I have heard people are so scared to let the kids ride on the bus so they take them to school, yet, the same kids and kind of activities that are on the bus are at the schools, don't you think? So, by keeping them at home it is a win-win on so many levels.Kids at this age are little sponges, They absorb everything, They are so impressionable. I want to teach them my values. It is also my responsibility as a parent to maintain ad protect their innocence. You get one childhood. I will gladly make the sacrifice to let them keep it a little while longer.

5.) About being a 5 year old evangelist

I used to be an advocate for the public school system because I thought- what would happen if all the evangelicals took their family out of school? Part of my thinking was that we shouldn't dis-engage from the community. There are plenty of ways to be an active part of the community without your children going to school. I now ask, at what cost? No 5 year old or 8 year old is ready to go and be a witness or to follow through on Gods calling for their life. They may make new friends and we may be an active part in the school community but at what cost to our children? Be involved in the community, let your child share his faith, but let them do it under the umbrella of safety and protection. Based on statistics, the little evangelists will be turning away from the church quicker than you can say 7th grade.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Derailed Domestic Goddess

We get in a funk. We sail along for a few days, staying on top of the laundry, getting all of the spaghetti scraped off the floor, keeping the kids bathed and somewhat clothed, we even get dressed. Dressed being the usual changing out of my pajama pants into my yoga pants, throwing my hair back in a ponytail, quick brush of the teeth, and ready to take on the world, or at least the day.

Everyone is (kind of) where they are supposed to be working in the machine of the day. Things are running pretty smoothly, “I can do this!” you think to yourself, somewhat smugly.

Pfft, homeschooling, four kids, nursing baby, five bedroom house, self employed, school, church,relationships, I got this.

And then “it” comes. It may be an afternoon, a day, or a week. Sometimes it can turn into a whole season.

Oh no!


We lose it. We lose the rhythm of this beautifully chugging along maternal, domestic, relationship, marriage, friendship, financial train.

Rhythm? Some of you are saying.

How about the whole train and caboose getting completely derailed! (Domestic goddess train.Track four. Derailed. Send for cleanup.)

We find ourselves in the midst of it. A dirty kitchen that isn’t just...dirty.
I saw a quote the other day that went something like this,

“Let your house be dirty enough to be happy but clean enough to be healthy.”

Can we just admit that most of the time we are borderline and probably somewhere on the wrong side of the border.

I mean days worth of dishes in the sink,  lunch plates shoved to the middle of the table so we can eat dinner. Dinner, you say!? Oh right, you don’t do cereal for dinner or processed corndogs with a side of something canned? Doh!

and as we fret about the mounting DHEC situation in the kitchen we catch a quick glance in the mirror.


and not the, “Woah..who is THAT hottie?” type of thought.

 Hmm..when did I last shower? It was going to be after my workout (which I never got to).Then the spit up, mud, and snot (my own and my kids during allergy season) all kind of rubbed and blended together into this wonderful (ahem) aroma. The grey hairs are coming in more frequently and I don’t think I have shaved since Christmas break.

Then there is the peeking through the curtains to make sure the neighbors aren't outside to see and smell my unkempt self. I make a mad dash to the mailbox (hoping my reward for my stealthy door- to- mailbox maneuver will be this week's US weekly). But instead, its a pile of bills added onto a month when I have already been trying to play houdini with the family budget.

When will we ever be able to pay off our debt and save for retirement when we can’t keep up most months? sigh.

Back inside I am teaching lessons in first grade and Preschool, habit training, and teaching life skills. Wondering which curriculum is right and if we are doing enough “school.”

When we slip into these times it is because we have lost our perspective. Our eternal perspective. Everything changes when we see things through our Fathers eyes with the goal as heaven. We live and breathe differently, we make decisions differently, we relate differently.

You see, the end goals are not a clean house, obedient and college educated children, a house full of nice stuff, and money stashed away in the bank for retirement.

We are not training our children for Harvard, we are training them for the Kingdom. We are not working for retirement, we are working towards Heaven. We are so wrapped up in getting them on the track to the best college and the best career. Everyone is in this sport or that program. Rush.Rush. Rush. Push.Push.Push.

Did you hear that?

That was just our  kids childhood exiting left stage, in a whirlwind tornado.

I realized a few months ago that I was rushing through the valuable things in our morning routine, soaking, bible study, habit training etc to get to the “school” part of the day. I was totally missing the boat. You see, that part of our morning is our education. It is LIFE. Whatever academics we get done afterwards is ok. I have had to put my trust in the Lord that he has a plan and a purpose for my children. When we seek Him first those things will be accomplished.

When our focus in life is on getting out of debt and saving for retirement ;that becomes an idol. Our focus is retirement security, when God is our security.
We are called to be wise stewards of our money. But an idol and focus in the wrong place can move us to make decisions to afford this false security instead of making decisions for the sake of the Kingdom.

When we strain and strive for a clean house beyond our capacity, we forfeit the day that God has planned for us.
How many times have you been aggravated by someone messing up something you just cleaned. How many times have you ignored a training opportunity or a chance to play with your kid  to get your chore finished?

Colossians 3:2 tells us to set our minds on things above, not on earthly things.

What is it, in this moment, that you have as an idol or are holding in light of a lie of the world? Can you turn it over to the hands of your heavenly father for His keeping? Can you repent for believing the lie that your security is found in this idol or this belief? Replace it with the truth that He is sovereign and that you are dearly and truly loved by Him.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Catherine Glory First Beach Trip

 I took the kids to the beach yesterday to remember the 10 year anniversary of my sweet mom going to be with her Jesus! The kids placed flowers in the water and then we played. I can just imagine how much she would love them playing. Catherine Glory just loved the sand and the water. She was so sweet putting it in her mouth and laughing at her brothers. She would stand and sit and then crawl over and try and eat their sand creations.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Teaching Them Diligently Conference

I attended my first home school convention over the course of the last few days. Our journey into a homeschooling family is young and somewhat comedic as we were the ones who declared. NEVER! will that be our family. As a journey that began out of obedience to the Lord, I am now understanding the why of doing what we are doing. I can honestly say after this conference, It would again take an act of God for me to ever let anyone else educate our children.

 We can not live in fear. We will be miserable. Have to live in faith. there will be gaps in our child's education. We had gaps in ours. God will make sure that our kids have what they need for His purposes.Trust Him. he wants us to have peace.They are His kids and His purposes will be fulfilled in their lives.

In this blog I will share some of what I took away from the conference. My thoughts will not be complete, So feel free to share your thoughts or ask questions.

1. 2/3 of young people are walking away from the church. 95 % of Christian kids go to Public Schools (not born again, just people declaring they are Christian.)  You can be either for Christ or against Christ. there is no neutrality. Therefore, the Public School system is against Christ. One argument Christians usually use against homeschooling is Matthew 5:13-16 How do you take an indicative into an imperative and ignore what the verse teaches about discipleship?This verse just tells me what I am!

2. We are training our children for the Kingdom..for heaven..NOT for college. I have been really challenged in this area lately.I had always been the one raised with the importance of education. Education and higher education was a high value in our house. Two days before my mom passed away she told my (then) friend, Andrew Page, "Please let Lindsay finish her education." I always thought one should just go to college regardless..just get the degree! Oh, how I think differently now! I have three degrees..and a lot of student loans.I agree with the speaker we heard over the weekend that we have bought into a lie. The lie that we all need to go to college. Everyone's gotta go to college- Where did we get that from?? We all need a bachelors degree.We often spend too much money, too much time, and go to colleges that are antagonistic to Christianity for a degree that is not worth the paper it is written on.  He mentioned, that you can now pay full price and four years for a BA in film studies, metal Smything, chicano studies, womens studies, drama, turf management. We are living in a time where we are desperate for a useless degree so that we feel good about ourselves, or good and validated about our children. "we got a bunch of educated fools." HA! The point is some people are better suited for non-college trades. Of course, if God has created you to be a Dr. or engineer then yes, you are going to be drawn naturally towards the higher maths and sciences and will need to go to college. But you can also do alot of the requirements at community college for cheaper. We also say we would never send our kids to the public school down the street but then we send them to four years at clemson. With the tuition, lost income for four years, loan interest...we are not gaining that much more money over the course of a lifetime as we think we are by having a bachelors degree...oh, and I have two ;)

3. What about Socialization? Oh , the number one! Everyone wants to know, how do you "socialize" your home-schooled  kids. Have you ever heard a school teacher say, "you are not here to socialize." "no talking in quiet.!"..more on this later....

4. What do I need to teach? Primary thing we need to teach is bringing our kids hearts to God. We get so caught up in curriculum and that brings so much anxiety. We are going to have many imperfect homeschooling days but that is the day God chose for you. It may not include getting all of your curriculum done :) Homeschooling is real life and ITS NOT ABOUT THE EDUCATION.It is about the heart. God has not called me to home-school for the academics.

5.And before certain readers have a heart attack, lets talk about the "education" the public school system is giving. School system promotes the worst way to learn. Worksheets, tests, and separated subjects to assess their learning...not engaging the child or the mind at all.Lets learn about pollination for the test. Not because pollination is exciting and we want to learn about it. Kids do not have to think about the information . To be a thinker you have to mull over the information and narrate it back. Which leads to my next point.

6. Charlotte Mason. When I first read about this pioneer in education, her method resounded with my heart. Education is an atmosphere, a discipline,a  life. In our day we have a relaxed morning for devotions, bible memory, good habit forming, soaking in the holy spirit, We use living books over textbooks..presenting a broad curriculum that "spreads a feast" before the child.We also use narration with anything we do and note booking to make the kids assimilate the material and make it their own.How much do you remember from middle school and high school? Do you remember some facts here and there.yeah, you can google those facts now. Lets educate!

7. God first; Spiritual maturity will produce maturity in all other areas.Including educational maturity.Seek God first and He will move their hearts to do that which he wants them to do.

8. A study done by a professor who noticed a certain group of kids coming in and out of his classes. they were articulate, self directed, engaged learners. he decided to find out which kind of high schools they had gone to. They were all home schooled. The kids had learned how to teach themselves and in college they could handle themselves.

to be cont...

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Toy Story Play Date With Big Brother Titus

Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Seven Months

Here is my official seven month picture. I am so busy being able to crawl around that most of my pictures turn out blurry.