my problem with homeschooling.

This post will be largely vulnerable for me.  So please take that into account when you comment or email me, OK?  I mean no harm to anyone, am judging no ones choices and am telling all that I have to tell from MY experiences.  OK?

So, if you have been around here for long, you will recall that I have an ongoing issue with the whole to home school or not home school bit.  I have prayed over it and read about it and researched it and done everything I could to work it out.  It was tough.  I was confused for some time.  I was not convinced that homeschooling was for us, but I couldn't let it go.  I began to wonder if God was indeed calling me to home school, which would make for some serious changes in our lives, which, if that was what God wanted me to do, then I would do it.  I know he equips the called to His purposes and that he would do the same for me.  At the same time, homeschooling was not sitting well with me.  Not in what I would expect the normal unsettling feelings would be but more of a "there is something more to this" kind of feeling.  So I kept praying.  And reading.  And researching.  And God kept revealing.

And as I walked through it all, I came to realize that my decision (I say mine, because it was MY issue) on whether or not to send Moses to public school or not, had very little to do with sending Moses to public school or not.  Yes, you may need to read that again. 

You see, God has been working on my hidden issues and hurts.  Ways that are hindering me, and my parenting, and my marriage and my being a friend.  Ways that the enemy LOVES to use because we can't see them.  Because we don't know they are there.  Hurts that are so deep and hidden that they are mysterious even to their owners.  However, much like a torrent wind blowing through the yard, just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it's not there and doesn't mean it can't do harm. 
I have a fierce calling to protect my kids.  I would even venture to say that it is even more so than your average mom.  I'm not saying I am more loving or better or more concerned than your average mom, I just have a past that tries to force up walls when it comes to protecting my kids.  I have no naturally healthy example of appropriate ways to protect my kids...so my defense is all walls up.  I remove those walls one at a time as I learn appropriate and good ways to let them venture out on their own.  If I have ever left you alone with one of my kids...just let me say, that is the highest honor that I could ever, ever, EVER bestow on anyone.  If I have left my kids in your care (and there aren't many of you) it's because I trust you fully to put yourself second when it comes to my kids well being, to look out for their innocence and guard it will all you have.  A pretty high calling for a babysitter, no? 

I guess I should say HAD no healthy example.  God is changing that by being my wonderful and perfect Father. 

I know that things happened to me, physically, spiritually, mentally and sexually that would not have happened had I been protected in the right ways.  My childhood could have been extended...my innocence could have lingered longer.  Some things you just know.  

One of my top parenting goals is to protect my kids from 90% of what I was exposed to as a child.  Their innocence and childhoods are some of my most precious treasures. 

I mean to protect them from things.  And I don't mean normal childhood things.  Those things I can deal with with relative ease.  I am not overly concerned with broken arms or bouts of vomit or attitudes.  Those things I expect and can deal with because they are normal.

I am talking out of the norm, things kids should never have to deal with.  Childhood stealing things.  Things that could be prevented with a little due diligence things.  Innocence stealing things.  Joy stealing things.  Spirit crushing and soul disparaging things.  Years of therapy and counseling things.  Things that only the healing salve of Jesus can heal things.

Things that I was dipped, rolled and breaded in as a child.  Things that I sought healing for (from the wrong source) and was called a liar for speaking of.   

And that is where Jesus met me with this particular journey.  I was called out by the one who knows me best.  I heard him clear as day explain to me "Your issue is not to home school or not, it's about protecting your kids in a way that you were never protected". 

Touche'.  A glorious and wonderful revealing moment.  I was finally released from the "to or not to home school" question.  My issue WAS how can I protect my kids if I send them into the big scary world...doesn't that mean I don't love them...or want to care for them...or want to protect them?  Doesn't that mean I'm not doing my job as a parent seeking to do my VERY best at my very favorite occupation?  No, no, no.  All I was really saying is "God, you didn't protect me, how can I trust you to protect them?".   

God used a blazingly bright issue to light up an issue in the dark.

And often times, as it goes, acknowledging an issue makes it easier to deal with.  And dismember.  When you know what you are working with you can seek the truths that apply to that situation.  And God is always good to give them to you if you ask.   

God has been building columns for me.  The kind on a crisp, clean and white piece of paper.   In one column are ways He is equipping me as a parent.  The tools and words and scripture He is showing me.  In another column are ways those tools are manifesting themselves in my kids.  Ways that show me that they are secure and feel loved and ARE PROTECTED.  In one more column are the people he is placing in my life at just the right moments to tell me that my kids are awesome and that we are doing a good job...the teachers and friends and family who know my kids and I best.

He has shown me that I am a different kind of parent.  And that my kids will benefit greatly from that.  I am NOT my past.  My kids will not have the same damaging childhood.  They will maintain innocence and childhood joy for just as long as I can grip it.

Homeschooling is not an issue.  Does Kindergarten still scare me?  YES!  But in a normal person kind of way.  God has been good to clear out the cobwebs and shed light where it is needed.

I am "good" as a parent, fully equipped now?  No way. I will be learning how to parent until I die, but where I am at now, is a good good place.  The perfect platform for learning and growing.

And just in case you need some boosts in your journey, I thought I would share some of my favorite "parenting books" with you...

The first is not shown but it's my Bible.  I use an app in my iPhone called YouVersion.  You can choose a plan that suits you.  I use the Bible in a year version and it takes about 15 minutes a day to read.  Skip reading anything else before you skip this.  I can't emphasis how much of a difference in makes in my life.  Each time through the Bible is like a new book for me.     
This is my current repertoire.  I get up an hour before the boys do to drink my coffee and read.  It's time well spent and it sets my day up right.  I love sleep but giving up some of it reaps major benefits for everyone in my family. 
"How to talk so Kids will listen" is cute in that it was written by two older ladies in the early 80s but the lessons are timeless and have already done wonders in communicating with my sensitive child.
The other two are AMAZING as well. 
This book I bought when I was needing a book that just confirmed that my boys are NORMAL.  I did not want a religiously slanted book.  I did not want theories or ideas.  I wanted scientific confirmation that when my four year old acts like a wild banshee that it is normal and even expected.  I run to this book if I am ever worried whether some behavior is normal or not.  I HIGHLY recommend this book.
And this book...has saved lives in my house.  It did miraculous wonders for my boys.  And to this day they are great sleepers and bed time is a non issue.  Bedtime is EASY and SMOOTH and SHORT.  People who have witnessed my boys going to bed are usually impressed because it just happens.  No drama or screaming or long drawn out mess.  They go to bed.  The end.  And the foundation for their great sleep is THIS book.  Buy this book. :)

So that is my two cents.  My disclaimer is this:  this is all about my issues and journey.  Homeschooling is and can be awesome.  Public school is and can be awesome.  It's all about finding our own distinct paths in this world and helping our kids do the same.  Just thought I would share a slice of my journey in the hopes that maybe someone out there needs a little of the same revelation that I did.      
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