Friday, March 26, 2010

Thoughts on Homeschooling (Part 1)

I thought I'd share a few of my thoughts on homeschooling and why my husband and I think that homeschooling our children is a better choice for us than sending them to public school. If you choose to send your children to public school, that is your choice. If I choose to home school my children, that is my choice. If we did not think it to be the better choice for us, we would not do it.

*First, a disclaimer. I am not opposed to Christians who decide to teach in public schools. In fact, I am very grateful for the Christian teachers I had as a kid. I also know that we need Christian teachers to write up curricula and things for us homeschooling parents. Is it tough to be a Christian teacher in the public school system? I think so. Does it mean it's impossible? Absolutely not. I think for some people it can be a very respectable career choice. I also want to clarify that although I believe homeschooling is, in general, a better choice for Christian parents, sending your kids to public school does not necessarily mean that they will "fall off the path," or rebel. Likewise, homeschooling your children does not necessarily mean your children will not "fall off the path" or rebel. My husband and I are both examples of kids who, by the grace of God, did not "fall off the path" even though we came through the public school system. We remained quite strong in the faith throughout public school and university, although I know I had several struggles with choosing the right path in middle school. I am convinced, however, that by homeschooling our children, we can provide a more firm Christian foundation for our children.*

I was not home schooled in the traditional sense of the word, although my mom did teach me to read before I started kindergarten. My husband was not home schooled, either. However, we are both now very pro-homeschooling. You may wonder, how did we get here? I will now attempt to explain how we got to the position we hold now.

A little background info...

I was in the public school system for 13 years. I went to a school in a very small town and was blessed to have a few Christian teachers and friends. My parents were also very involved in my studies. My mom was not afraid to call up the teachers (probably to the annoyance of many of them :) ) and inquire as to what we were learning, what we were doing, etc. Several times my parents removed me from the classroom and I sat by myself in the library while most of the class watched certain movies or did things my parents did not approve of. I also stayed home from most Halloween parties, as my family did not celebrate Halloween. I really did not mind at the time, and looking back, I'm very thankful for how plugged in they were to what was happening/what I was learning at school.

I distinctly remember going home one day and telling my parents that my Grade 1 teacher told us that people are just like animals. I remember saying that people were not the same as animals; they are different. Whether or not the teacher was referring to evolution at the time, I cannot recall, but it just shows that my little brain was working overtime as I tried to discern what the teacher was telling me compared to what the Bible says. I remember being upset over what my teacher had said because I believed my teacher was wrong.

One of my most vivid memories of elementary school was when a group of First Nations people came to our school to do some of their traditional dancing and teach us about First Nations culture. One of the First Nations leaders then asked us to all pray to the Creator together. I recall one of the teachers motioning for us to bow our heads for the prayer. I refused to do so. I knew that they were not praying to the God of the Bible, so I did not participate. How I knew this was wrong at such a young age, I do not know. Perhaps it was because I was saved at a very young age (about 5) and the Holy Spirit prompted me that this was wrong.

Fast forward a few years to middle school.

Grade 7. My teacher was not a Christian. I remember one time during class he said that the Bible contradicts itself and proceeded to quoting half of a Bible verse to make his point to the class. I remember trying to explain to him what the rest of the verse said and how it made perfect sense and was not a contradiction.

Grade 8 or 9. Health class. S-x education. It was incredibly embarrassing to learn about such an intimate thing and to have such frank discussions among male classmates. Enough said.

Fast forward to high school.

I had several Christian friends in high school, thankfully. On more than one occasion, I walked out of class during a movie or something else I found offensive or inappropriate. Often I was not the only one who walked out. I remember learning evolution in history class (I think it was history class) and then writing exams and writing at the beginning of every answer "According to the theory of evolution..." Thankfully, my high school science teacher was a Christian and thus, he did not cram evolution down our throats. In fact, I remember him talking about how some of the theories of evolution did not make scientific sense. He was still required to teach us about evolution, so he said we could just research the theory on our own and write a short essay about what the theory said.

I got engaged to my husband when I was in Grade 12. A few of my teachers were really not impressed and they let me know loud and clear. You are probably wondering, what does that have to do with homeschooling??... try to stick with me here :-). I was told things like I was throwing away my life, wasting my life, ruining my life, wasting my brains, etc. Oh..and I had better still be going to university, they told me. One even told my mom she was losing sleep at night over my decision to get married so young. May I take a moment here to explain that none of these teachers opposed to my decision knew my husband from a hole in the ground. I don't think many of them had even met him! Now I truly am not meaning to brag here, but because I did well in school, I was expected to go to university. I was told I should become a doctor, teacher, or something "important" because if I became "just" a stay-at-home-mom that would be wasting my life, right?...note sarcasm here. (HA! If you only knew me you would know I would make a TERRIBLE doctor. The sight of blood makes me queasy and I get grossed out by things very easily :-) ) Do you see what I'm getting at? The public school system does not value the aspiration of some young women to be "just" a homemaker. When I made it clear that that's what I wanted to do, I was basically told I was wasting my life! Public school teaches children to make a so-called "valuable contribution to society". Become a doctor, lawyer, teacher, dentist, social worker...anything but "just" a stay-at-home mom. (Because, you know, it's not like raising and training up the next generation is of any importance, right?) No, the government would rather have us moms work outside the home and "contribute to society" so that society can teach our children its worldly ideals through daycare and public schools. The government would rather tax the one-income family in order to provide a benefit to the two-income family by providing them with daycare subsidies, for example.

Let's face the facts; society DOES NOT value the traditional family made up of a bread-winning dad and a stay-at-home mom. In public school I can guarantee that our dear daughters will not learn how to become biblically-minded women. I can guarantee, however, that they will be indoctrinated with feminist ideals of being as career-minded as possible as opposed to home-minded. (Just for the record - I am not necessarily opposed to some women, especially single women, going to university or having a career, either). In public school our sons and daughters will learn that the family unit should be egalitarian not hierarchical in nature, and thus our daughters will be implicitly taught to become more masculine and our sons will be implicitly taught to become more feminine. What does the Bible teach about the family unit? But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 1 Corinthians 11:3. Sounds like hierarchy to me.

Our children will face enough pressure from the world to fit into its ideals in everyday life just by living in this world. Do we really need to send them to public school for 30 hours a week to learn more worldly ideals? Why would we send them to school for 6 hours a day to a place that is trying to destroy everything we've been trying to teach them at home? How much time will we have to take to un-do all that the school system is teaching our children?

No, children, we did not evolve from apes; God created man in his own image.
"But my science teacher said..."

No, children, a big bang did not create something out of nothing; God created the heavens and the earth.
"But my science teacher said..."

No, children, it is not okay that Suzy has a mom and a mom; God says homos-xuality is a sin.
"But my social studies teacher said..."

No, children, Bobby's truth is not "Bobby's truth" and Suzy's truth is not "Suzy's truth"; God says that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through Him.
"But my social studies teacher said..."

No, children, it is not okay to to have s-x before marriage as long as you use protection and are "safe"; God says that s-x is for a husband and wife in the confines of marriage only.
"But my health teacher said..."

No, children, it is not okay to have an abortion; God says life begins in the womb, and thus abortion is murder.
"But my health teacher said..."

No, children, humans are not going to "save the earth" by doing something about "climate change"; God says that
in the coming of the day of God, He will destroy the heavens by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat. Now, that's global warming!
"But my science teacher said..."

No, children, it is not okay for you to practice yoga; Yoga is a Hindu practice and Christians are not to participate in other religious practices."
"But my phys. ed teacher said..."

Anyway...back to my story. I married my best friend and sweetheart straight out of high school and I moved with him so he could continue his university studies. At the time I was convinced I would never go to university, much to the dismay of my former teachers. I worked for the first year of our marriage to help pay for school. My husband and I were never opposed to homeschooling, but we weren't dead-set pro-homeschooling either. We just didn't really give it much thought at all for the first 2 years of our marriage.

The second year of our marriage, I caved in to society's pressure and decided to go to university to study to "become" a teacher.

That's where I'll pause for today.

Click here to go to Part 2.

4 comments:

Homekeeper247 said...

"AMEN"....That was all that I remember saying after I read this post. Very well put. I am a stay at home wife myself just as the Bible says to be. I also would homeschool if we are ever blessed with children.

LynnC said...

I would like to say that I enjoyed your website. I would love to be a stay at home mom. But my husband passed 8yrs ago. I still made the choice to homeschool because we are not christian, but I do share you love of faith.

tasha said...

Hi Jenna!

I just found your blog a few days ago and have been sifting through it every day since then. I've really enjoyed being inspired to put together my Home Management Binder. Actually, I had one before but it didn't have much in it at all...a few cleaning checklists, and that was it. After seeing your tour, I was able to spend several hours putting mine together section by section and have finally got one that is actually FUNCTIONAL for me. Thank you so much, and I'm going to continue reading through your blog!

I also wanted to say that I agree 100% with your views here on homeschooling. Thanks for putting together such an inspirational blog!

toshowthemjesus.com said...

We just started homeschooling this year. Last year my son was in public school in kindergarten. He would come home and ask "Why does my teacher keep referring to "mother nature"? It was a rough year for us and I am thankful we are homeschooling this year.

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