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  • I Samuel 7:12
    "Then Samuel took a stone...and called its name Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far the Lord has helped us." 

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Monday, January 30, 2006

Comments

Dorothy

Well, Deb, I thought I might share what happened to us with regards to putting our children into public school after being homeschooled. My husband made the decision to put our three children into public school during a time when I was having some serious health problems. He felt like I needed to rest and not worry about teaching each day. Granted, I did get to rest a lot during the day which was greatly needed at the time, but evenings were like cramming an entire school day into a few hours! The children had hours of homework, projects to complete, book reports to write, and we had the added responsibility of weeding through ungodly material and the stress of telling teachers that our child would not be permitted to read a certain book/s on the manditory reading lists. On top of all that, the most difficult thing was the gradual pulling-away of our oldest son who, at the time, went into 10th grade. The things he shared with us in regards to what he heard and saw at school were sickening...and our school district is in the top 10% in the nation! His innocence was lost in regards to many things even though he made the choice not to participate in most of the ungodliness that was all around him. After two years, we brought our younger two children back home (they never wanted to go to school anyway), but left our oldest to finish his senior year. Some issues that we deal with today, I think, are partly to do with the ungodly and worldly influence of those years at the high school. Being able to look back now, it would have been more beneficial to have kept the children at home, slept when I needed to and just taken each school day as it came, even if we didn't finish everything. I do believe the children God has blessed us with need to be home in a godly environment, being taught by the people who love and know them the best...their parents. Deb offered wonderful ideas and ways to help our children understand what a blessing it is to be homeschooled and the many opportunities they have to serve others because of being home.

Tammy

I guess I am an awful parent and my children must be that way because they are in public school.

Sorry we have always done the best in raising Allison and Gregory.Have never felt the calling or urge to home school even though many of my friends are home schoolers.

I guess all the years that I have spent in praying for them with my friends from MOMS IN TOUCH has been a waste,Church for public school children-why bother then.Too late for salvation-they accepted Christ as their Savior at 7years old and Dad baptized them.

Guess the times the family has served others was a waste also.

We are Christians and trying to do the best we can with our 2 children.

Rachel

Hello Deb. I had just been thinking on this subject this evening so when I saw the post, I felt compelled to write. Let me say first, when Jim and I made the decision to homeschool 16 years ago, my convictions were not as strong as they are today. I want to thank the Lord for doing a work in my heart as well as Jim's for neither of us had even discussed the issue prior to children. I thank the Lord for blessing us with the children he has and for being able to teach them at home. I am thankful for a husband who is in total agreement with me on this issue and therefore has enabled me to stay at home even during tough financial times. We both know that it was God that saw us through, but I'm thankful for a husband who has never wavered on me staying at home even when we could have used the extra money. :)
I guess one of the most familiar passages concerning homeschooling is Deut. 6:6,7. That was enough for us when we first started 16 years ago. How could I teach my children of the Lord when we sat in our house, walked by the way, went to bed or got up in the morning (in other words, all day long) if my children were gone 8 plus hours a day? It is impossible.
Since that time, my convictions have grown much stronger. I would like to share a few thoughts with you.
Knowing that our children are to "flee youthful lusts", (II Tim. 2:22) we believe one way for them to do this is to be in the safety of our home.
Knowing that "foolishness is bound in the heart of a child" (Proverbs 22:15) we believe that in order to quickly reprimand any foolishness, we must be aware of it when it happens.
Knowing that "he that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed", we desire for our children to be wise and therefore need to be aware of their companions to avoid destruction.
Knowing that our children's companions should be those that fear the Lord (Psalm 119:63), we believe that the only way we can know who our children's companions are is to homeschool them.
Knowing that our children are "as arrows" (Psalm 127:3-5) my husband and I believe it is our responsibility and not the school system's to aim them in the way that God would have them go.

I will end with a very brief testimony to the glory of God. I believe that because of our decision to homeschool our children, we have not had to deal with any "teenage rebellion". There are many, many, many other blessings to having my children at home, but that in itself is something I thank God for. I could say much more, but I think I'll stop right there.

Randi

Deb,

I did not expect such a wonderful answer for my question! I happen to be using my laptop right now but tomorrow morning I will use my other computer to print this out. I would like my hubby to read it too.

Both my hubby and I are very commited to homeschooling all of our kids, I guess my fear is that they will feel like they missed out. Like I said, right now we don't have very many other families who are also homeschooling their high school aged kids so we feel very much alone. But we are very committed to seeing this through.

Again, thank you so much for the encouragement--I love that your kids had such wonderful, wise words of encouragement! After I take the time to read through this again tomorrow, I will probably come back and leave another huge comment!

Thank you so much! You have blessed me tremendously!

Chris

Thanks Hannah, Sarah, and Jonathan!!! You are the "proof of the pudding!" Dorothy, I know that God is redeeming the time and working in your family. What a blessing! We too have always homeschooled, it will be 18 years this Sept. I have watched many a family go from Homeschool, to public and visa versa. All I can say is it is much harder to do your work, or should I say your God given duty to raise those precious children with so many influences that are often not the best. My own sister and sister in law have done both and ended up saying homeschool was by far the best in relation to keeping their children's hearts. It's not that it can't be done (raising godly children who have a Christlike influence on others)while going to public school, but I think we have to realize that it is a battle. Of course EVERY parent must be on guard to keep the heart of their child and not be lulled into thinking that just because you homeschool or go to church or Sunday school or etc.... that you will viola! have great Christian kids who "do it all right". It is a day by day walk and yeilding to Christ .. both parent and child.

Personally for our family, there was no other choice. We needed to homeschool because it was our calling from the Lord. Each of us have to do what God has called us too, and be very mindful to act on that calling.
I am reminded of this scripture:2 Corinthians 10:12, 17-18 "For we dare not make ourselves of the number or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves among themselves are not wise.....But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth." It is so very easy to find other christians who are "better" and "worse" than you. satan loves to bring discord amoung the brethren... as we look full into the face of the Lord and allow Him to guide us and not our own desires and wants, we will be less likely to try to measure up to what WE think is the accepted standard.
I guess what I am trying to say is we all should rejoice with others who have been benefited through homeschooling and rejoice with those who have been able to raise up dedicated children without homeschooling. Not feel worthless because we didn't raise our children just exactly like the next christian family did. God is our standard.

Having said all that, I still feel homeschooling is the best for family unity and protecting our children from the wrong influences .

Chris

Rachel, I just saw your comment as I posted my previous comment and wanted to say DITTO to all your scripture!!! I had thought of some of those but didn't include them in my comment. We too have had many a time when extra money or time would have been nice, but God has ALWAYS been faithful and He gets all the glory! I appreciate your comments! We still have 6 more to graduate and I am figuring I'll be almost 60 when our youngest who is now 4 will graduate from our homeschool. What an exciting journey! :) God bless you and your family!!

Tom

Well, our friend Tammy has read our extolling of homeschooling and criticisms of public schooling, apparently taken offense, and vented a bit. And I would imagine others might have also.
Here are a few added thoughts that I hope will clarify some things about where we're coming from...

Growing up, my parents dearly loved me and my brother and sisters. And they had us go to public and parochial schools because that is what they knew to do with the light they had at the time, and they were motivated by wanting the best for us. There is no question of their love for us. And I have several uncles/aunts who were teachers and administrators (now retired) at various public schools. They doubtless chose these careers because they were motivated by concern for youth and the desire to do something noble in life.

The thoughts that Deb and the kids shared in this post in no way criticize the motives of those who choose to use public schools. The fact that Tammy and her husband constantly prayed for their children, led them to the Lord, and ministered to people together with them are all commendable, excellent, and biblical things. Our post does not, directly or by inference, criticize all the efforts in various areas, that Christian parents expend to bring their children up to love the Lord.

Another qualifier: in and of itself, the form of homeschooling is not a 100% absolute guarantee that our children will be godly. There are some who "homeschool" (teach some academics at home) but do not turn their hearts toward their children, disciple them to the Lord, train them up to love His Word and depend on the Holy Spirit. And we could all point to some children who, in spite of the influences and darts, go to public school and turn out to love the Lord. Ultimately, how our children turn out is due to the loving and sovereign grace of God.

But here's the big HOWEVER...

Just because we can all point to exceptions in visible results, that by no means excuses us from taking wise, responsible, and obedient steps to follow and apply the principles from the Word of God.

As His children, God commands and urges us in His Word to constantly be looking at our ways of life, comparing them to the scriptures (both activities and motives), and making changes as we submit those areas to His loving lordship. 1Thessalonians 5:21 "But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil." This is a continuous process which goes throughout our earthly life. And this examination should not be limited to just a few "religious" areas, but ALL of life, including how we train our children. And we should not fear or resist the application of the principles from the bible to how we handle the biggest stewardship we have been given from Him: our children. This is not a "morally neutral" area, like choosing vanilla or chocolate ice cream.

So, we stand by our assertions: that homeschooling (discipling our children in the Lord in all areas) is the most biblical form of training up children. And we have found no scripture which even hints that this great responsibility should be turned over to the civil government, the church, or other institutions. That responsibility, in a Christian family, rests squarely on the shoulders of Dad and Mom.

Courtney

Just like Hannah, Jonathan and Sarah, I too am a homeschool graduate. I was homeschooled for 12 years and am very thankful for my parents decision to do so. I must say though that there were a few times in my pre-teen/early teen years that I pouted about not being in a "real" school. At those times, my heart was not towards my parents and I wasn't saved yet. I think that the older a child gets physically and in the Lord, that they will begin to see the wisdom of their parents' godly choices for them.
Homeschooling has brought us kids close to each other and has also brought me close to my momma; she's not only my momma, she's my friend.

Randi

Hello again,

In reading over your responses again, one thing sticks out to me: none of you made much of an issue over peer-group relationships. I see that even though I don't think that kids need to be "socialized" maybe it is actually me who has put alot of emphasis on my kids having friends their own age--possibly leading to some discontentment on their parts. I need to think about this and possibly make some changes in my own heart.

My hubby and I have always felt that our family is #1 and that an emphasis on a peer-group is not good. I guess I need to live this out even more in front of my kids.

Thanks again for your response to my question--I needed to hear it!

Deb, from what I can glean through your blog, you seem to have a wonderful, Christ-centered family. I look forward to getting to know you a little better through blogging!

God bless you!

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