Home schooling in CA and CO requires parents to submit a “letter of intent” to home educate. They also have other more specific requirements, like how many hours of instruction per day, on average, and how often to give the child state required testing, if any.
As I was walking in my neighborhood earlier this week, I was contemplating all these things; and how if my husband and I hadn’t decided to keep them at home to teach them, would we still be intentional in our parenting and the teaching, of not only our local state requirements, but of God’s precepts?
I believe that we would have made sure our girls were well fed, clothed and had what they needed for their academic or school related activities. But, would we have taken an active role to teach them God’s law; read to them about other Christian heroes, not only from the bible, but from the last two hundred years or so, also; about the men, women and children who have gone before us to make our nation a relatively safe place to worship God, without having to be told we could only worship at a certain place, time or in a certain style.
(By the way, that is what the pilgrims started when they came out to the new “America”. I’m looking forward to being able to visit more of the historic places that are here in the East Coast; and for my girls to be able to see, taste and smell a little of the American Revolution, learn about Eastern Native American history, and learn about great inventors like Thomas Edison, by experiencing all of it for themselves, through museum visits and fun field trips, as the Lord provides!!)
I would have to honestly say, probably not. The journey from parenting to home schooling has taught us to read more and be prepared in order to enable our children to be productive citizens of this world. It has also taught us to pay more attention to what is being taught in the world of public and private education. We have learned to tailor our children’s education to reflect not only our educational and philosophical beliefs, but more importantly, our Christian faith!
There is no doubt that they would be learning about God. But, it would probably only be on Sundays or Wednesdays because we would most likely be super busy with extracurricular activities all the other days, that have to do with their public school. Not only that, but Troy and I would both probably be working full or part-time jobs. That would not leave us much room for “being” more involved in the molding or shaping of our children’s hearts.
More likely, they would be influenced by the culture of their school friends and peers in their Sunday school classes or other church related activities. Although I want my children to have peers in all those areas, I don’t necessarily want them to primarily be rooted and get their core nourishment from them.
Troy and I want them to be rooted in the one who can keep them standing when some of their peers are facing choices, causing them to fall and not be able to get up again.
I imagine we could’ve gone that way if my husband and I had doubted that we weren’t capable, with God’s guidance, through regular and earnest prayer, of leading our children to “know about God”, learn to walk, talk, eat and throw tantrums. Oh, wait! They would’ve already been able to do most of that on their own, wouldn’t they?
When Troy and I decided to home school, we thought it best to do that for a couple of reasons. First, we couldn’t afford private school and second, we wanted to be their first and most influential teachers. We figured, if they can learn to obey and honor us, then they can do the same outside the home; honor and respect their elders and love their enemies (we’re still working on it!). I have met many people, and know some personally, that don’t want to do that because they say it’s too difficult for them.
Why? Where would they get such an idea? Oh, that’s right, they live with their children. We understand. We live with our children too! Troy and I understand that it’s not easy, but we have chosen to do that anyway because we want to be able to give our girls a strong and firm foundation; a foundation that is steady and cannot be swept away when the storms of life come blowing through. As Jesus died to himself to give eternal life to all who call on him, Troy and I have chosen to die, daily, to ourselves so that our girls can have a strong biblical foundation and choose to follow Jesus and gain eternal life.
The bible documents what Jesus said about facing troubles in our lives in this world; He plainly said that we will have troubles in this world, but we can take heart in Him, because He has overcome the world (John 16:33).
In the end, what’s going to count most in our children’s lives, wherever God steers them, is whether or not they can remain faithful in their spiritual walk with God in the midst of the troubles they “WILL” face.
It will come down to “WHO” they know, not necessarily “WHAT” they know. And, the one they know will help them in times of trouble, so they in turn can also help others in need. (2 Corinthians 1:4) That is my ultimate goal as a mom of faith!
I want to challenge you with the following, if you’re up for it:
If you don’t “home school” your children, for whatever reason you are convicted not to, why not commit to “submit a letter of intent” to God, to home “educate” your child, according to God’s word?
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.” Psalm 111:10
In reality, that is our intent in our home school. We have not only sent in our letters of intent, regularly, to our home state, when necessary; abided by the specific rules on what subjects to teach, to home school our children, but we have also intentionally committed to train our children in the way they should go, so when they are old, they will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6 NIV).
Lord willing, until I blog again!
P.S. You don’t have to “home school” to raise healthy and faithfully grounded children in the Lord. So, don’t feel pressured. Follow your heart according to God’s will for your family by prayer and supplication.