Friday, October 11, 2013

I Wouldn’t Be Able to Separate Being a Teacher with Being the Mom: Reasons Why I'd Never Homeschool!

I want to spend the next few Fridays, on the blog, debunking a few myths about homeschooling from my new-found perspective. It will not be an exhaustive list. You can get that from a more experienced homeschool family. However, there are a few that stand out like a sore thumb to me, that I thought worth sharing.

My answer to the statement, "I wouldn't be able to separate being a teacher with being the mom," is simple.  I’ve always been a teacher to my children. I’ve always viewed that as our (my husband and my) responsibility. We are their first teachers no matter what the educational circumstance.

Now that we are homeschooling, our time is more focused, but it’s not much different. We have a basis, an understanding, a familiarity already established. Our school rules, goals and mission go hand-in-hand with our family rules, goals and mission.

It is true that I may be tempted to lack patience with my own children quicker than someone else's. And my children may be tempted to be more uncooperative under this roof, but God has put us together. This means two things for me:

First of all, because God gave me and my husband the responsibility in raising these children, areas of training and discipline would need to be addressed regardless of their educational setting. Homeschool gives us the opportunity to face our struggles and work through them, addressing disciplinary issues every single day. In the end, I see the character of our children more readily fleshed out. And I look forward to the joys of togetherness and the rhythm of our days, as our children grow.

And secondly, because God put us together, I rely on his strength, trusting when he says we're the best teacher for them.

And that leads me to another question. Am I the best teacher for my children? Here is one of the reasons why I believe I am:

Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

When this passage is read from the Hebrew text, it's actually saying train up a child according to their unique bent.

“Bent” would refer to a child’s unique hard-wired giftings and individual characteristics. Think personalities, skills, learning styles, and personal passions. These are unique ways God has designed each child and no two alike. With the unique way God has already hardwired our children, they are not simply blank slates to be written on or buckets to fill, but rather books to be read, studied.

As parents/teachers we determine, through constant care and study, the bents of our individual children so that we may train and teach them according to those bents, as scripture wisely instructs us. The key then for teaching is knowing. Knowing the child, and who better to know an individual child than the parent.

Consider this image: a bow is made by it’s designer to bend in one direction. If a person using the bow does not recognize which way the bow is bent and tries to bend it differently, he will find a very difficult task in launching his arrow and possibly break the bow. However, in knowing the bent of that bow, he can successfully take that arrow and launch it far in the direction he is guiding it. So it is true with our own children.

That leads me to my final question. Does that mean I should be the only teacher in my children’s lives? No. Absolutely not. I believe many teachers will be instrumental in the lives of my children.

1) Teachers that naturally enter each child’s life, such as with family, friends of the family, coaches, activity instructors, mentors, Sunday School teachers, etc.

In addition, homeschoolers are typically a part of some sort of co-op that facilitates a learning activity or workshop regularly. In addition to this, our town has a larger homeschool community that offers additional resources and opportunity.  

2) Teachers who we, as invested parents, will wisely seek out for an individual child in areas of great interest or beyond our expertise. We already know of so many people willing and ready to offer their expertise, in addition to a cooperative school district. It’s just a matter of who, what and when. 

The first type of teaching will inevitably happen. The second will occur as they grow and their individual needs become more evident.

Again, I am fully trusting the Holy Spirit for the when, the who and what of these areas for our children. Not to mention, I have a husband who is a very intelligent and wise man! Together, I trust our judgement, as we seek Christ.  I believe God has our children completely covered!

In a nutshell, there are challenges to any learning environment, but honestly I don’t find it difficult to be both teacher and mom because I am both. And just maybe the two were never meant to be separated.

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children.Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 6:5-7
Naturally, I realize that not every parent is the best teacher for their child, given various circumstances, and Homeschooling is not for everyone. I advocate that we always prayerfully consider what is best for the child and for the family.

Next week I'll address the question, "When do you get any time for yourself?

You can read previous posts on this series, Reasons Why I'd Never Homeschool, below:

I Wouldn't Have the Patience

I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Stay with me on this journey by subscribing and/or joining Heavenly Glimpses Facebook page.

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