Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Some People Should Not Home-School--part 1

I used to be the judgmental one thinking, 'Jacob would never have allowed his sons to attend the schools of the pagans, so neither shall I.' Well, God can use godly children in dark places. To each his own, a quote my sister Sharon of uses, and rightly so. I think God leads each family to do things in different ways and all can bring glory to Him.
Most moms have enough guilt, so please let's not get into any kind of judging. Some are judged for home-schooling and others for not. I'm on both ends being judged for doing and not doing it and of judging those who didn't and those who did.
This will be part one in a series I will call "Maybe Some People Should Not Home-school Their Children."

Over the years I've made many mistakes as a home-school mom. Here are a few things I did right:
I had my kids in AWANA, which teaches them to memorize Bible verses. This was wonderful.
I used Shurley English, which taught ME the difference between adjectives, adverbs, and so on. It helped me teach my children to write essays, which were frightening for me to teach, because I had writer's block from a mean 4th grade teacher....long story.
We took a chess class and our little team was number one in Washington state, and eighth in the nation. This was very good for my children. A few things I did wrong next.........
A bad thing that was good, was I'd drop everything and say, "Yes," to any other home-school mom if she asked, "Could we meet at OMSI for lunch?" No matter that we were six weeks behind in math; this was FUN!!!
Even though we were regularly behind in every subject, a picnic was necessary and often happened, along with Shakespeare. Years ago Tammy and I would get together and she would affectionately laugh at me because my whole house would be a disaster, and I'd be in my bathrobe reading to my children on the couch. Tammy is doing a great job teaching her children at home. She's one of the best home-school moms out there, but she had the gift of organization. I don't have the gift or even the gene for that.
All that it would take was one phone call... "Kathi, we're all skating today! I know it's Wednesday, and you probably have lots to catch up on, but it sure would be fun if you could meet us at the rink..." Need I say more? I will not be home-schooling next fall. My children all love Jesus. They are also close to their daddy and me. They know where eggs, milk, apples, and potatoes come from. They don't have a whole lot of stricture, however, and I think they could benefit from that. I am at peace with this decision and don't want a pity party, but rather, I want to trust that God will be with these dear children and bless them and make them lights in a darkened place. God is faithful even when I am not. He can use the mistakes I've made to glorify Himself! I am grateful.


Gina said...

I know that this is a hard decision. We went the other way for one of our children next year. That was a hard decision to make. I think it is great that you know your strengths and weaknesses. I agree that some people should not homeschool, forever or for a season. It is good to know if you are one of those people. I was one of those people for a season. We started at home but due to circumstances we moved to public schoool. It was for a season. Hopefully I'm not still one of those people!

linda said...

I'm wishing your children much luck next year, I'm sure you have prayed long and hard over this...and God has shown you which path to choose. It's all in his hands...and isn't that a relief and blessing!

A Pretty Home said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sharon said...


You have done such a great job with your kids. They are so smart and they are such wonderful, happy, smiley kids. I think you are wise to know when it is time for a change and you are discussing it with your husband. God is bigger than any fear that you might have. I am really happy for you for finally making your decision, I know you have been trying to decide this for some time. I will pray that they will all do great in public school and that you will continue to have peace about your decision.

I am sorry that you have felt judged regarding all of this. I think it is sad that people have to judge because like I said before, we live in America and we have choices and what is good for the goose is not nessesarily good for the gander, so we all just need to answer to God and to listen to our husbands.

The only advice I can give you is stay really involved and really connected with them. You might be pleasantly surprised that you have more energy!

Have a great Wednesday! I love you!


Tiffany said...

YES -- each family must do whatever God is calling them to do. If that is what you and hubby feel you are supposed to do, go with it with joy and anticipation. Be freeeeee.......


Jan Parrish said...

It's OK to homeschool for a season. We homeschooled our daughter through graduation but put our son in high school. He had a difficult adjustment but loved The Future Business Leaders of America and Computer classes that I couldn't help him with.

Don't receive any false guilt on either end. If God is calling you out of homeschooling, be obedient and don't listen to all the nay-sayers. ((H))

You are a great mom wherever your children are schooled.

Blessed Mama of 4 said...

Good for you Kathi! I can tell just reading this that you wouldn't be making this decision if it weren't right for your family. And the years you spent investing in your children will pay off, not only in their educations, but in their ability to leave positive marks in whatever they do.

Thank you for your reflections, as a hs mom just getting started, I'm gleaning the good ideas and the cautions... which sound like traps we can fall into so easily.

Bless you and your kiddos.


Michelle said...

Hi Kathi ~ Thanks for sharing your story. As you mentioned about having been judged, I've been in that same boat over the years ~ mostly having been judged for not homeschooling our kids. Personally, I'm of the same opinion as you & your sister...EACH family has to do what they feel God has led them to do.

Hope you are having a great week!


luvmy4sons said...

Everyone has different gifts, different weaknesses and different purposes. I try very hard not to cast stones at anyone-home schooler or not. I praise God there are Christian teachers and Christian children in public schools. He has called them to do a mighty work and I figure He knows who can do that job well. Each family must go as God directs. Each choice comes with its own positives and own negatives and both are equally difficult to manage but in different ways. It is a parental choice...it is something God enables you to do, calls you to do...either way-home schooled or not. I struggle to be the mom I want to be and I would whetehr home schooling or not. I think how you educate your children is not an indication of whether you are a good mom or not, but how you go about your choice and how you love your children. May God bless you and your family on this new journey. He is able in all circumstances to complete the good work He has begun in all of you.

Terrie's Lil' Piece of Serenity said...

Kathi, I will pray for you and your family. I know you have taken it to our lord. And it sounds like your family has found the answer. Never be sorry for the decisions you have made. Everything happens for a reason. You have sure strong faith, I'm sure you're taking the right path. Just keep your faith!!
Hugs, Terrie

Mrs. Fox said...

When I was an academic advisor, home-schooled children were always light years ahead of their peers both academically and developmentally.

Stacy said...

I know this is a hard choice to make for you and im simply going to give you an virtual pat on the back and say your doing great mama ;) Keep it up!

A Pretty Home said...

i have an urgent prayer request. please see my blog when you have a moment.

thanks so much


Scooterblu's Whimsy said...

Kathi, it is so hard to make decisions for our children, when we know the impact will affect the rest of their lives. What works for one family, might not for another. I admire those who home school their children. But, I never could. I'm creative, but not structured or organized enough to be productive! My daughter was our first child to become school age. She was a timid, shy, shelterd child, primarily because the community we lived in had very few children. She grew up around older, retired people...she had lots of "grandmas!" They would have eaten her alive in public school, so we chose to send her to a Christian private school. It goes all the way through 12th grade, and she will enter this fall as a sophomore. She loves it! We sent my son, who is 5 years younger, to the same school merely for the convenience of having two children in the same school and on the same schedule. He is outgoing and would have been fine is public school. Each situation is different. HOWEVER, what is so unfair, are the reactions of other people as to how you chose to educate your children, especially if it is different than their own. People in our church, were very negative towards us, for sending our children to Christian school. I tried to respect their choice...I would have appreciated the same in return.

Now...stepping off my soap box...LOL! I will say I LOVE AWANA!!! I was director, or as the official term is, Commander, of AWANA at our former church for about 5 years. It was a blessing for me, to hear the children recite their verses with such vigor. That is a wonderful program! Seeing your children in their little cubbie and sparks vests brought back sweet memories for me! :) Your children are beautiful!

Hope you are having a great week so far! ~Rhonda :)

Kelly said...

Oh Kathi ... God is there right by your side helping you and guiding you with every decision you make!
This is my first year of home schooling, my kids will be in 8th and 1st grade and one thing I will remember from last year when I started researching home schooling etc....is that one Mom told me to remember home schooling is not just something you start and do....it is a * lifestyle*. And that is very true it is not simply school at home, it truly is a lifestyle. One that is good for some and for others not. You have to do what God calls you to do for you and your family and to do what *works* for your family at this time in life. No one and none of us are at liberty to judge.
I believe you always have your lovely childrens best interest at heart. You are a great Mom!

Love & Blessings~

Sharon Lynne said...

I came over by way of Jan Parrish. I put both my sons in Christian school (with financial help from grandparents). Then for high school, the funds ran out...and they went to public high school. My youngest is now a junior, and is doing fine. My oldest is a bit strong-willed (and he would have been that way no matter WHAT school he went to.)

I am a Special Ed aide in a public school of 1000 students. There are many Christian students. I feel so happy that I am teaching in the public school, so I can be an encouragement to them.

Even though your children are in public school...they will still learn much about God, through your life example and teaching at home. I will pray right now, for a strong faith for them.

Deb said...

Hi Kathi, I just want to say that I support you and your husband in your dicision. I feel that I have learned you well enough to know that you have asked God and waited on His answer. I know things will go as the Lord has planned. Deb

Liz said...

Great post Kathi. It's nice to see that your open minded and not judgemental. I think if more moms were like you, and had a "this is best for my family, but I'm not placing judgements on anyone else" attitude, things would be so much more peaceful.

I dont have kids, so sometimes I sit back and see the fights from afar and think "wow". I have friends that stay home with their children accusing the working moms of being bad parents (even though most of them dont have a choice in the matter) and vice versa. And the same goes for the homescooling/public school battle. Maybe it's because I dont have children, but I often stand back and get very sad. Different people have to make different decisions for thier children, but I believe that as long as you are praying to God and doign your very best to instill faith in your children, you are walking in God's will. Ok, I didnt mean to get on a rant... but i appreciated your post. It looks like you are a very devoted mother, doing her best for her children. Your family is very lucky.

cherished*vintage said...

Hi Kathi! I appreciate you for sharing your feelings about this. It's always been so crazy to me how defensive people get with whatever their choice is for their children's education. I'd love to be able to have my girls go to a private christian school, but we can't afford it, so that's not an option. Oh, homeschooling wouldn't work for me either. I'd be all for going rollerskating and all the other fun stuff too. hehe :o) Sydney starts public school kindergarten in the fall. I plan on being very involved. I really want to get to know the teacher and the other children in her class as well as to see what goes on in the classroom. You have layed a wonderful foundation for your children. I do believe they will be a light into the world.

Rosemary said...

I did the same thing you did. I homeschooled through elementary school and decided it was best if someone else taught my dd. I put her in christian school for three years and then into big bad public highschool. She blossomed!! This will be her sr year and shes head officer on the dance team at school and having a ball! Don't feel bad about your decision!! Rosemary


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