I have a fear of going against the norm that was reinforced by my classmates while I was young. Most young scholars fear being singled out, whether for good reasons or bad, because it sets them up for ridicule by the other geniuses in training. The practice I received in blending into the crowd has made it difficult for me to follow my Savior as an adult. The trail of following Christ is often a solitary one. Christians not only have to travel opposite the ways of the world, but Jesus often calls us to do things differently from our fellow Christians. My tendency for conformity made the decision to homeschool a difficult one. We homeschoolers definitely go against the norm, and I was very insecure as the other mothers of preschoolers I knew chose to place their kids in public school. I am ashamed of how much I struggled with the decision to homeschool when I hear the stories of the pioneer homeschoolers, who were so convinced that God had called them to homeschool that they were willing to go to jail for that conviction. God is slowly building me a backbone and teaching me to follow Him even if none go with me.

My reeducation continues. I still have rude awakenings in which God opens my eyes and shows me that I'm doing things the world's way instead of His way without even realizing it. I'm still learning how to make sure the decisions I make in life are based on biblical truth rather than the values of our post-Christian culture.

My hope is that my children, being raised in an environment where God can be a part of all we do, will be ready, even before they are grown, to shine as lights "in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation" (Phil. 3:15). I want them to avoid spending their young adult years with cultural blinders that the Lord has to slowly and painfully remove.

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Cindy Puhek resides in Colorado Springs and has been homeschooling for five years. She earned a BS and MA in chemisty and taught college and high school science classes before realizing that God's highest calling for her was to make a home for her husband of 12 years and four children.

This article was originally published in the Sep/Oct '07 issue of Home School Enrichment Magazine. For more details, visit http://HomeSchoolEnrichment.com