May 24, 2007

Points on which we agree:

1. We love our kids.
2. We are seeking G-d on how to be the best parents we can be.
3. Those who homeschool are not elitists (at least not at this blog) and those don’t aren’t either.
4. We are here to stretch our perspectives, learn and grow.
5. We are not here to belittle or force someone to believe as we do. The last time I checked there was only one Holy Spirit and I’m not He.

So, with that being said, let me address Rick first and I will also address Jennifer, Jason, Karin and Dana as I have time later today. Please remember these comments are MY perspective and MY conviction. If you feel condemned or judged you obviously a) don’t know me or b) are determined to be obstinate. Both are fine. Both are easily rectified. Stop it already! This is what comments are for! Please rebut with your perspective and conviction. Now, I’m off to get new eyeballs, but when I get back. Let’s d’rasha!

(Rick’s comments are italicized for ease of maneuvering on this topic.)

I believe homeschooling is a matter of choice.

I believe it is a matter of survival. Survival of faith, independence, free will, heart, sanity, morality.

But those who do it shouldn’t feel as though public school is bad.

It is painfully irrelevant what I “feel”. Please show me the “good” things that are coming from public schools. Rampant immorality? Secular humanism? Johnny’s got 2 Mommy’s? The elementary school which my children would be attending if they were to be schooled there is also “award winning” and has a “great reputation” in the community. I’m sure there are some really nice Muslims too. I’m not sending my kids off to the local mosque to hear what they believe. Why? Because while they may have some “good stuff” occasionally, the core of which they are proponents is completely opposed to who I am and where I stand. As this is my belief, strongly, it is apparent to me that sending my child to something which contradicts my beliefs would be, well, bad…

I ask myself often, if Jesus were here today, where would He go to school.

*sigh* I’m sure Knightshadow can answer this better than I, but here’s my attempt anyhow. Yeshua (Jesus) attended his local yeshiva. His cultural experience and interaction limited him to primarily three avenues. Yeshiva, synagogue and family. Interaction with Gentiles was problematic for a few reasons but one of them that springs most readily to mind is this. Interaction with Gentiles could effect worship and whether one could be allowed in the temple. It was a big deal. Yeshua didn’t “buck” the system. He didn’t live outside the society in which He placed Himself and that society dictated an intensive and religious education. Question for you: According to your argument, Yeshua would have better served humanity going to the local Roman/Greek school? I’m sure His light would have shone brighter there? If that wasn’t the case for Him, why do we push so hard for our little ones to be out there?

He was a man about the public and the people.

Yes, He was. When He was THIRTY! Even before that, the wedding @ Cana, He told His mother, “Woman, my time has not yet come.” That whole free-will, self-determination, personal obedience thing. Something an adult is completely capable of and something a 6 year old doesn’t have the tools to understand much less implement.

I think we have to ask ourselves why home school.

First and foremost, I homeschool because my husband has clearly stated that his children will be homeschooled. Secondly, I homeschool because I believe I have a mandate, as a parent, to be the one who “raises them up”. Period.

If it’s truly about the home school experience then it’s good.

Homeschool experience”? I’m not familiar with that term and I’m not certain I understand exactly where you are going with it. I will say that doing anything for the sole benefit of “experience” would appear to be a waste of my time.

If it’s fear that the world may damage our children, we may want to rethink our reasons.

Am I concerned my children may be damaged by the world? In a word, HELL YES! You are kidding right? If you sincerely believed an environment was not only opposed to your belief system and lifestyle but actually committed to destroying that very belief system and lifestyle, how negligent would you be to put your naïve and immature child into that system?

God says to live in the world not of it. I don’t think Jesus is or was afraid of the world and we need children who can understand what they are up against.

Newsflash… School isn’t real life. In real life I can walk out of the room when my co-worker tells a dirty joke. In real life I can choose to find other employment when the management staff requires meditation for “group relaxation time”. In real life, I can stand up to the bully, the pervert and the co-worker. In school, none of the previous apply. My goal is to prepare my children for “real” life by building a foundation of G-dliness, integrity, individuality and conviction. That’s how I prepare them for real life. Because being a believer and living in a way that pleases G-d is far more important for “reality” than relying on a sort of pseudo-tolerant socialist dogma to support a relativistic and self-serving methodology at the expense of anyone’s immortal soul.

Home school is a great alternative for a lot of kids. I think we need to remember it’s not for every kid. Some are called to be in that situation. If not, how are all those kids in public education, going to meet Jesus if all of our kids are in private or home schools.

My kids aren’t “called” to be homeschooled. I am called to educate them. This is how I do it. I’m not responsible for all the other Johnny’s and Susie’s in the world. Just two little boys in Bend, Oregon who live at my house. Little boys who play with the neighbor kids, go to parks, the library and other outings. Little boys who go to church, extra-curricular activities and local events. They are light. Light which I carry from place to place. To protect and direct. As that is my purpose.

Far too much of Christianity today is based on fear and I don’t think that’s what God had in mind.

Not enough of Christianity is based on “fear”, in my opinion. Too much of Christianity has dumbed faith in a righteous and holy G-d into our Divine Buddy. We should have a holy and justifiable “fear” of the responsibility we have to rear our children and the cost we knowingly took on when we brought them into this world.

In the unforeseeable future, is it possible G-d may ask me to do something which I don’t understand? Of course. Should I ask G-d every school year if this is indeed, still something He desires of me? Well, yes and no. Until my husband changes his mind, that’s a moot point, isn’t it? But yes, I should know this is the route G-d has chosen for us and re-visit that moment often.