Thursday, August 23, 2012

Home Education vs. A School Building... How do you know?


*This post has been updated with bible verses at the bottom.

There is a war going on as strong as any political debate.  Points are made.  Words are spoken as if set in stone by our Creator.  Believe me, I totally understand why you Home Educate.  I love fact that you can be with your little ones as they grow into maturity... equipping, training, and teaching them.  But where it becomes a war is when we say that it is the way it should be for everyone.

There's a part of me that is exited for the school year to begin.  I thrive on routine.  I'm looking forward to a break... shhh.  But a bigger part of my heart aches for my daughter to be away from me all day.  Last year she was in half day Kindergarten, and this year she is going to be in full day first grade.  Man, where did the time go...

So how do you know whether to home educate or send your children to school?  

1) Prayer.  Lots of it.  Where do you find peace and rest in Him?
2) What Does Your Husband Think?  As the leader of your home, he should ultimately make the final decision after you have both prayed and considered all options.
3) Don't Listen To The Crowd.  Do what is best for your own family.  
4) Always Stay Current With Your Child.  Whether they are away from you in school, or within your own home, there are opportunities for gaps in communication and heart exchange.  Be the one to keep your heart conversations current and alive.  
5) Take A Hearty Evaluation Yearly.  Just because you send your kids to school this year, does not mean that you may do it next year.  You may home educate and vice versa. 

*I was challenged to support my decision with biblical proof, as I do believe that God's Holy Word is inerrant and sufficient to answer any decision that we have in life.  While every area is not black and white, the whole of scripture is consistent and does not contradict.  While searching out the scripture this morning, at first, I was going to make points for either side (home education verses and school verses).  But then, God showed me in His Word that these verses apply to both sides!  See for yourself:

1) Romans 14. FREEDOM
Read the whole chapter.  This is such a good section of the bible that talks about liberty we have in Christ.  It makes the point that we aren't to quarrel over personal decisions.  We are NOT to pass judgement upon another believer.  It says, "each one should be fully convinced in their own mind".  I know this chapter is specifically addressing food and drink and not causing your brother to stumble, but it also addresses more as a whole.  There is freedom in the area of schooling our children.  

2) John 16:7-15. PERSONAL CONVICTION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
In this passage God makes it very clear that Jesus went away and left to the believer (those who put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ) the Holy Spirit.  This person of the trinity lives within every Christian convicts each person of personal sin, of what is righteous, and what areas to judge ourselves before the Lord.  This is where people speak of "I feel that this is what we should do".  We should not go by our feelings, but maybe we could phrase it better to say:  "the Spirit has confirmed this in my life based upon His Word."  The Holy Spirit will never tell you something in addition to God's Word.  His job is to glorify the Father, so all will agree.  So, each family after prayer and bible reading and conviction of the Holy Spirit should make their own decision upon what to do for schooling.

3) 2 Timothy 3:14-17.  PARENTS SHOULD BE THE PRIMARY SPIRITUAL ROLE
No matter if you send your child to school or keep them home to teach them "education", the first and foremost thing that will change any heart is the Holy Scriptures.  We need to be the ones as parents to instill these truths into their lives.  To memorize scripture with them.  To sing songs of praise.  To bring them to church.  To model before them biblical discernment in the way we interact as parents.  Just as church should not take the primary spiritual role in our children's lives, school should not either.  Take every opportunity to minister to your children.  Every experience can be a life lesson of God's goodness and grace!

4) 1 Timothy 4:12.  DON'T DESPISE YOUTH
Don't ever underestimate what a child can do for the Lord.  The Lord can use a child in a person's life, just as much as He can use an adult.  Yes, they don't have a lifetime of knowledge and wisdom as of an adult, but if they know the Lord as Savior, He can use them mightily.

5) Proverbs 22:6, Deuteronomy 6:7.  WE SHOULD BE TRAINING AND TEACHING OUR CHILDREN

We should be and can train and teach our children. Take and make every opportunity count.  Some people take these verses and use them as an argument of why you should only home educate.  I see that these verses apply to whatever decision you make.  Be creative!  Don't become apathetic and disengaged with your children if you send them to school.  Likewise, even if your child is home there is a spiritual discipline that needs to occur day after day the same way.  It may even be more of a challenge to not let bitterness get the upper hand.  

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8 comments :

  1. Love this, Traci. I love homeschooling my kids but I know it doesn't work for everyone.

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  2. As a home school mom, I agree with you, Traci!

    However, I wish more public school Christian moms would write about how they foster their children's faith and write those success stories about their older children who graduated from high school with strong convictions and kept their purity intact.

    I think if more public school moms would share how they foster a love for God and the positive stories, maybe more women who are on the fence about home school would consider this option.

    Perhaps you might be one of them:)

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  3. This is exactly how we decide where to school our children. I never expected to school at home, but it is working. And to be honest? I'm pretty jealous of the mamas who send their kids to school more often than I probably ought to be. Praying for contentment.

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  4. I love this Traci! It truly is humbling to know there are some who don't try and make moms feel guilty because they chose to send their kids to public schools and not homeschool. I have read a couple blog posts on this issue and I think yours was the most gracious one. Thanks for sharing your heart in the matter.

    I am new to your blog! :)
    ((hugs))

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  5. Well said. Every point well taken. I am wrestling with it on my blog this week. Yet, ultimately, as you state here, lot's of prayer and trusting the final decision to my husband.

    We had our school open house today and we're excited. :)

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  6. @Michelle, I think that I would love to share about that! Thanks for the challenge!

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  7. Yes, I agree that God's word does not teach that one way is right over the other. A child's spiritual upbringing is the parent's responsibility and I know good godly parents who have their children in public school.

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  8. My daughter is going to homeschool my grandkids and I worry some about it. I know the school where the kids would go is in a bad area of town and is not very highly rated but I still wonder if homeschooling is right. My daughter was a LESS than stellar student so my prayer is that this challenge she has taken on will be good for her AND the kids.

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