Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Be Open

In October 2013, after our oldest child had spent 2 months in public Kindergarten, Father said, "Be open". I knew in my heart, He was specifically addressing the concept of homeschooling our children. How I knew that, I don't know, but I knew.

So I was "open". I spent any spare moment I had reading up and researching homeschooling, teaching methods, learning styles, schedules, books, curriculum...you name it, I read about it. I joined some Facebook pages specifically geared towards homeschoolers and specific curriculum so I could learn more. I only personally knew of one homeschooling family in our circle of friends, so I did not have a lot of personal experience to hear from. And that family had recently moved out of the country, so I had no personal resources to glean from. But strangely, I bumped into homeschooling mothers EVERYWHERE! The park, the bank, the library, the grocery store, the pool. I had a hard time avoiding them. It was very weird. I always walked away with a sense of wonderment.

Was this from You Lord?

Early on in this journey, I somehow got a hold of a book called "More Charlotte Mason Education" by Catherine Levison. I read it, intrigued with Charlotte Mason's educational philosophy that children are persons, empowered and hardwired by God with interests and skills and natural bents, and not just tiny vessels to be filled with data as the local public schools seemed to believe. (Whether individual teachers believe that or not, is irrelevant. The local system approaches education in that manner and even in the teachers' powers, there is little wiggle-room to address anything off the assessment standards. Someone could be the most loving, gifted teacher ever, but they are still handcuffed to the system that employs them.)

Charlotte's philosophy was attractive because that was my personal belief in MY newly known identity...why would my children be any different? But to be fair to the journey I had embarked on, I put that book down and read other books about different philosophies and teaching methods (Waldorf, Montessori, Classical). But nothing I read spoke to my heart the way Charlotte Mason's teachings spoke to me. Some of them made sense in their approach educationally, but the Masonry personal focus on a child's spirit really spoke to my new mindset of walking in His Spirit.

In the midst of this journey, while I prayed continually for God to tell me what to do, I never got a clear answer.

Father, to home school or not? 

Nothing. Silence. As of this writing, He still has not given me a clear answer in words like He has in the past. But what He HAS given me is this:

  • A confidence that no matter our choice, He will walk with us in it.
  • A confidence that no matter how hard, He will give us strength to not just endure it, but give us victory over it.
  • A confidence that nobody in this world loves our children more or is invested in our children more than us. 
  • A confidence that we could homeschool our children in perhaps unorthodox methods (per local public standards) and still give our children a rich, balanced education that would prepare them for life as adults.
  • A confidence that we could address heart and character issues in a deeper, more meaningful way than if our children were in public school for 7 hours a day.
  • A confidence that even in our weakness and mistakes on a daily basis, HE IS SUFFICIENT. To us AND our children. What a comforting thought! He fills our gaps. Thank you Lord!

While we have still not officially embarked on the homeschool year as of yet, He has closed no doors to the preparation process. So unless He makes it crystal clear to us sometime before the end of this month, that we are NOT to homeschool our boys, we continue to move forward in Faith. That could change at the last minute. And if it does, we will walk in whatever direction He clarifies for us. But until then...forward we go.

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