This week we are studying from the questions of others, what to do, how to do it, and why. Hope you enjoy this series and learn lots from it. This second letter is from a fairly new homeschooling mom with deep-core issues. Enjoy!
I guess I’m the only one out here who doesn’t get it. When I go to support group meetings, I always hear moms talking about how God told them to home school, or something, and we didn’t do it that way. In my case, I just decided to try it last year, to see what all the excitement was about. So far, I’ve liked it, and here we are. Outside of relaxing a little, (who wouldn’t?) my two kids (ages seven and nine) don’t seem much different. Am I maybe not “called” to home school like these other mothers? Couldn’t God really want my kids to toughen up some, by being in the schools? Does home school really prepare all kids for every type of career? –Mackenzie
No. God does not want your children to toughen up in public.
Let’s talk about that first, because He may have been leading you more than you realize.
Adults are like oak trees. A beautiful, tall, old oak tree is tough. If you run into one with your lawn mower, the tree wins. Right?
How does it get that way?
Simple: Oak trees get huge and tough by not being mowed over when they are young and tender.
Children are young and tender.
Children, in general, however, can be very cruel.
So can life.
It can feel a lot like a lawnmower.
For this reason, God put children into families, with parents to protect them, comfort them, and strengthen them. They actually obtain their toughness this way, in the home. They have to be taught how to be tough, and it is therefore the parents’ job to teach this toughening. How can you protect, comfort, and teach your children toughness when you are not with them!
Do you think their teachers will wrap them in their arms, cry with them and remind them that God sees and cares and can help them be tough? I think not; it is against the law, in the teachers’ imaginations.
That is why children relax, as yours did—and mine did—when they finally come home.
Unless your children are very above normal in obedience and kindness, they will create opportunities for you to help them learn how to be oak trees.
Surely they swipe toys, neglect chores, sass, or maybe even resort to violence with each other, just as all kids are prone to do. Even the most well-behaved children got that way by being TAUGHT—NOT to steal, NOT to be lazy, NOT to rebel, and NOT to bonk brother on the head.
And those who miss this teaching grow up to steal, be lazy, rebel, and use violence. Hmm.
There is another type of toughness that has little to do with sin, though. This type will go out on a cold, rainy, November morning, and vote. It will volunteer for storm clean-up. It will take up the Bible-study leader’s slack if he has the flu.
This type does not occur on the playground, much.
In fact, this self-denying toughness is missing throughout this world. You can give your children the advantage of this type of toughness, though, which is the real preparation that everyone needs for every type of career out there.
It is great preparation even just for college.
Home schooled children succeed in college, more than children from any type of collective educational situations. Did you know?
Your other question, about your calling, is harder. I cannot answer for your friends’ feelings or their communications from God.
Let’s just say that God has commanded us to teach our children all the time–when we sit, walk, lie down, and get up. (Deuteronomy 11:10) Sounds as if we need them at home, doesn’t it? In fact, it sounds to me as if God assumed we would have them at home and does not always issue a special call for it.
Also, His command or assumption that we write and read (Habakkuk 2:2) makes it very important that we give our children the tools for those activities, and it just does not always happen in the collective schools.
The risk of our children falling away from all the good things is too enormous. We should keep them where they will not be mowed down, and where they will be watered, nourished, and trained to grow straight and tall.
Given time, they will toughen just fine.
And they will not grow up to be lawnmowers.