..."popsicles on the porch"...what a great afternoon treat and our favorite way to spend time together! These are simple and precious moments! Princess #1 and Princess #2 along with Little Man #1 and #2 are my inspiration for most of these writings.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Who Me? Homeschool??

I never thought in a million years that we’d be a homeschooling family, let alone that I’d be a Director for this awesome program!  I wanted to share my journey on how God led us to this exciting adventure and hope that it encourages those who may be considering homeschooling too!

It was NEVER on my radar to home-school. N-E-V-E-R!!!  I was the typical person who thought homeschooling was weird. Besides, I thought, “what qualifies me to be a teacher?”  Sure, I have a degree, but being a certified teacher is a entirely different story.

So, how did homeschooling get on my radar? Simply put...
God broke my heart. 

As my oldest child began reaching the school age years, something in me just wanted more!  I don’t know why, other than God just put that desire in me. So, I decided to do a little research. I consumed just about every homeschooling book I could, I read blogs, went to conferences and picked the brain of many homeschooling mothers. The more I learned, the more God began to challenge every preconceived notion I had about homeschooling. 

Through my research, it was easy to see the educational and siritual benefits to homeschooling, but there were still a few hang-ups I had. The first I have already mentioned above and that is...

1.    What qualifies me to be a teacher and educator for my child?

And the second was…..

2.    How would Homeschooling allow us to Live on Mission? How could we effectively share our lives and tell people about Jesus if our children were not in a “public” setting?
As my husband and I began to ask God these questions, it became very clear for us where He was leading our family.

1.   What qualifies me to be a teacher and educator for my children?

To my surprise, this question was rather easy for me to work through. Becoming a mom has made me more in tune with the "others" in my life. As moms, God has given us the ability to know what is best for our children. From the moment I knew I had conceived, I have been making decisions for my children and providing for all of their spiritual, emotional and physical needs. So, I guess it was a natural progression for me to begin thinking about their intellectual needs as well. Why couldn't I take care of their intellectual needs too? Their well being in "every" area of life is my responsibility.  

I am convinced that no one is going to care for and love my children more than me. No one will care more about their success and their well being than their own mother. Plain and simple. Aside from God, I am and will always be their biggest fan! 

Therefore, I AM qualified. I certainly do realize my own limitations, but you better believe if there was a subject I couldn’t teach, I would do everything in my power to get them the help, class, teacher, and etc…they need just as I would anything else. That being said, I am also realizing the importance of being a lifetime learner and staying ahead of my pupils. This excites me! I have the opportunity to take advantage of things that I was just too busy or uninterested in before. 

I am also discovering how far homeschooling has come and the amazing community of families that resource and network together. Not to mention, God led us to a national homeschooling group whose founder, Leigh Bortins was an aerospace engineer!  She is passionate about equipping parents all over the country on how to be home educators, but more on that in a later post. ; )  

All of this, coupled with a faith that God prepares those who are called, helps me to have faith in knowing He will prepare me for the tasks ahead, just as He always has.

2.    How would Homeschooling allow us to Living on Mission
My husband and I try to actively live our lives on mission. Sharing our lives, building relationships and hopefully building bridges back to the local church.  We love to “fish” and want to share this same conviction and passion with our children.

Living on mission is something we are VERY passionate about, but how would homeschooling allow us to live out this conviction? In the beginning, I had a hard time reconciling how we could effectively live on mission if we were not allowing our children to be among those who are lost and don’t know Jesus.   

Living on mission is not defined by a specific place, but rather how we live each and every moment of our lives. We live on mission with our families, our friends, at gymnastics, at baseball practice, at the gym, at the check out line, in the parking lot, taking a walk around the neighborhood just so you can meet your neighbors, being keenly aware of the lost and hurting right around you and then responding to their needs, and etc…It’s not about a specific setting like a school. It is your lifestyle! I want to teach my children to have this “other” centered lifestyle everyday regardless of where they are.  

Tim and I firmly believe and see our children as little disciples in training.  Just as an athlete trains everyday for a race, our children are also in training.  An athlete has no idea what it’s like to compete until he actually gets out there and does it.  With that being said, he doesn’t jump out onto the field without training before the big day. No, he must first spend time practicing, drilling, exercising, studying, and etc... 

My kids are learning about Jesus. They are disciples in training. They are learning “about” Jesus but they don’t “know”, “know”, “know” Him just yet. They have head knowledge about God, but haven’t yet had the heart experience. 

They need both. Without this, how can I expect them to properly take a stand against sin when it presents itself? How can I send them to a battlefield when they haven’t fully learned how to put on the full armor of God yet?  

They need to have a proper knowledge and understanding that God is who He says He is.  As they begin to experience this truth for themselves, they will learn how to recognize His voice, see Him at work around them and discover His unique plan for their lives.  When they have truly experienced this, they will have the strength and more importantly the desire, to live out their faith in a world that blatantly sets itself up against the knowledge of God.

I’m not saying they will always make the right choices. While that might be my hope, I am not that naïve. As I began wrestling with God through these tough questions what convicted my heart the most is the process of building. Building a strong foundation takes time and it’s hard to build when outside influences are pulling for their attention all day, every day.  

Am I sheltering? No, I don’t believe that sheltering is the answer, rather it is being cautious and cognizant of the fallen world we live in.  Matthew 10:16 says, “See I am sending you like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

I love the way Dr.Voddie Baucham articulates this thought, “Our children will engage the culture. The only question is, will they do so as lambs going off to slaughter, or will they be sheep among wolves who are wise as serpents and innocent as doves?" (Matthew 10:16)

This is not a post to convince you to homeschool, although I hope it may have encouraged those who may be considering it. If you are indeed considering it, but still scared to let go, my encouragement to you would be to visit with other homeschooling moms, sit in on their homeschooling days, and keep reading anything and everything you can about homeschooling. 

Most importantly pray! And keep praying until God gives you peace one way or another. I wouldn’t say homeschooling is for everyone, but I do believe it should be seriously considered, researched and prayed about by everyone! ; )

Whoever said walking with Jesus was dull and boring!

Loving the journey!



Renee Ann said...

I enjoyed looking through your blog. It was neat to read about how God led you to homeschooling and gave you such peace about the decision. I'm visiting with iFellowship from Doorkeeper. Blessings!

popsiclesontheporch said...

Thanks for visiting Renee! God has been doing so much and it's so good to finally work through all of that! It's been a long but exciting journey! Thanks for dropping by. Hope to connect with you more!


Amy Talsma said...

So glad I found your blog as I Googled around the web looking for info as I consider homeschooling our two children (age 4, and 3).This post is so well written and articulates so much of what has been on my heart! Thank you!