The Gentle Childhood: A Path Toward Home for Mother and Child
If you have been homeschooling your children for longer than 3 days, you have inevitably been faced with THE QUESTION from well-meaning family, friends, church members, doctors, dentists and neighbors; “How DO you DO IT?”
Or, better still, the “I could NEVER” statements.
“I could NEVER teach my children at home!”
“I would NEVER have enough patience!”
“I could NEVER get that kind of respect from MY children!”
When I am feeling charitable, I remind myself that people don’t MEAN to be stupid! But when I am feeling less so, I plaster my long-ago-perfected, slightly smug smile on my face and say: “Thank you!”
All the while SCREAMING in my head: “Are you KIDDING ME?!”
“Do you honestly think that just because these cute little demons have enough training in basic manners to stand straight, look you in the eye, smile and say ‘Yes, sir’ and ‘No, ma’am’ that they don’t possess the same black hearts as your little monsters?”
“Or do you think that MY black heart is somehow less sinful than YOUR black heart?”
I know what you know and what every home educating parent knows: it is only a profound sense of duty and vocation that holds us to this commitment we have made and returns us to the family altar again and again; day after day. This sense of duty coupled with our desires for our children and ourselves will form the basis for my article. But before delving into these ideas, I’d like to get up on my high horse for just a moment.
I would like to take just a moment to address not only homeschoolers, but pastors and teachers as well:
Do not be too hard on people for comments like the ones above and don’t be discouraged by it. When people misunderstand what we are about in this business; love them. Answer them gently. Pray for them . But also, tell the truth. Do not romanticize the homeschooling life; to them or yourself. Defend your choice with gentleness and respect. Speak truth about the daily grind and ask them for their prayers for your family. Be humble and be honest.
Your parishioners who home school are doing a hard thing and a good thing and a Godly thing. Support them. Pray for them. Seek to understand their decision and the thought and prayer that goes into it and encourage them with God’s Word for their strength and comfort when the days are long. Homeschooling mothers, especially, wear the weight of the world on their shoulders. Lead them to repentance and remind them that Jesus bore that weight in His hands and it is unbelief to place it in theirs. Point them away from the endless homeschooling blogs and Pinterest sites that make them feel “less than” and point them toward the Lord’s Table where they can be renewed and refreshed and forgiven; emboldened to face another week.
We are not judging you or your abilities as a teacher by choosing to homeschool. We respect your vocation and seek to emulate it. When a homeschooling mother or father comes to you with questions or insecurities or when life circumstances require that they put their child in your classroom, do not make them feel like a failure for the gaps that will inevitably exist as if no other child in the history of mankind has ever struggled in math except a former homeschooled child! Share your knowledge with them. Empathize with the struggle. Show them grace.
We in the church too often allow dividing lines to be drawn between those of us in church schools, public schools and home schools. We forget that we are all on the same team: team HEAVEN. We should be 100% united in our support of families and our prayers for the good of the other should be frequent and robust.
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COVID-19 Lockdown Keeping You from Attending Church?
Don’t become socially distant from your family altar!
How to cope? How to thrive!
The Hausvater Project provides 25+ FREE resources for home devotions, including:
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