Meeting God's Requirements for Our Children
- Friday, October 27, 2006
Upon entering public school, our daughter was immediately placed on the honor roll, maintaining a 95% average for a time. Once she saw she could meet what was expected of her, she geared down to a slower pace, eventually maintaining and graduating with an 85% average. If we were just looking at numbers, we could say "This all worked out just fine." However, allow me to share with you, in our daughter's own words, just how burdensome and nearly useless her public school education was:
The point is, I learned almost nothing in high school. I remember enjoying "Business Communications" and learned how to read body language there. Just about everything else was crammed for the test and then forgotten. The point is, an 85 average means nothing!
You know that I made some very poor choices as a teen. One factor that helped in bringing me to that level was that I was exhausted and very stressed. The exhaustion affected me for sure. Public school means running, running, running. Loads of homework, 9 periods of 40 minute classes crammed with facts to memorize and difficult personalities to manage and endure in both teachers and students. Swim class; I thought I was going to die from the intense level of swimming (I wasn't up for it) and then run, run, run to Global Studies and take a major test with my hair dripping and my hands shaking; up way too early every morning (to get the bus), to say nothing about doing an extra activity like Marching Band. It was 3 nights a week plus every weekend, sometimes both Saturday and Sunday, and lots of travel. Children under 18 are still growing and need lots of rest. It's the kind of stress that makes you not care about anything. In my opinion, the public school environment has played a big factor in the many suicides the schools have seen. I think that this exhaustion played a bigger role in my poor decisions than any influence that specific personalities had on me.
The general atmosphere of corruption was very affecting, such as hearing profanity constantly and enduring (what I now know is) sexual harassment by unchecked hormone-ridden boys. No Christian friends could have stopped any of this.
Some may feel that our children "need to experience these things to prepare them for life." I do not find such a requirement in the Scriptures. A study in the differences between Greek and Hebrew education shows that the Greek education was to know and experience everything, while the Hebrew education was to know God and His plan for your life. I believe that the Hebrew education is what we are to desire for our children.
When our much-loved, smart, caring, compliant daughter graduated from public school, she was no longer living for the Lord. Our influence had become very small, and others' influence had become great. She longed for their love and approval. She was still compliant—to others, not to us We lost her heart for a time, and were very concerned for the choices she was making. One year after graduation, she recommitted her life to God, and is happily married today in a union committed to serving God. She and her husband have three children, the oldest of whom they began homeschooling last year.
While life still has its many challenges, the homeschooling methods I now practice have brought us through to graduation with my next child. I stopped comparing our homeschool to what others were doing. Before, I tried to equip myself with the only system of education I knew. Today I trust that what God calls us to do, He equips us to do. His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
I had also lost sight of God's requirements for our family. Today I keep them in focus. Homeschooling does not save our children, but it does provide the best opportunity for Biblical parenting to take place.
I was able to recognize this time around that our recent graduate was an independent learner by high school. Rather than stressing over subjects that would have nothing to do with God's plan for her life, we allowed her to pursue her interests, including music and photography. She is an avid reader, and has a good understanding of the world around her. She is equipped with the amount of math skills she will need to draw from in life, and has a grip on creation science vs. evolution. Most importantly, she has a Biblical worldview and is able to defend her faith.
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