2 Timothy 2:22 - Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
The journey we are on and the reason we are here upon the earth is NOT to follow culture and the world. Are we in the world or of the world? Are we attempting to change the world or are we walking hand in hand with it?
As a parent, we have been called upon to teach the ways of righteousness. Sometimes, we have forgotten the journey, but equipping our children is one of the most important things we can do. We do need to protect and shield them at times. We do need to guard them, teach them and mold them - more like Christ. All that we can do should turn them to faith. The world seeks every opportunity to get them to leave that faith. Now, what did this say to me?
A few weeks ago, we made the decision to keep our girls home this year, to homeschool. That word alone bring hair raising fear to many parents, and I will admit, it may bring a bit of that to me as well. I always rejoiced, secretly or not so secretly, that the kids were back in school, that my life was a little bit more of my own again, and I could breathe. However, this last year, that breathing became labored. I felt deep down a calling that meant we kept our children home to teach them. Not all members of our family felt the same way. This decision was not easy to come to, however, we are starting anew and trying it for 1/2 of the kids.
I want to be clear, this is a decision that we feel is best for us - for now. Will it be like this forever? Who knows. We are taking things one step at a time.
Curriculum - well, we decided to go with Freedom Project Education online school. This means the girls will have an actual teacher, and a virtual classroom and will interact by computer. Is it like a real classroom? No, but in a way, it may be better for our particular situation for now. I do not have to come up with my own curriculum, but we follow what they have set in place. They are common-core free. Yes, that is important to us. They are christian based. Yes, that is also important to us. Seeing God mentioned in a textbook is a wonderful thing. I will be responsible for homework and keeping them on-task. This may be more difficult for one child than the other.
Did something happen at the school to upset us? Absolutely not. Our boys are still there and will have wonderful years, I am sure. We will still be there for almost every sporting event and remain active in the school. Our girls both had amazing teachers last year and had wonderful years. This is a much deeper calling, not from superficial ideals.
I will tell you though, that Common Core and all it brings with it was certainly a contributing factor in our decision. I feel like my children were being "practiced upon." They were pawns in this large game brought on by federal government, millionaires, publishing companies and testing consortiums, and I felt helpless in the mess. As a parent, I don't want to stand by and watch it all go down. I don't think that it will all go away. I don't think that the changes are all good and they aren't for us.
We are looking forward this year to time to be together. Sometimes with adopted kiddos, it's very hard and not always healthy to send them away to be in the care of others for 8 hours a day, no matter how great those individuals are. I am hoping for a more "calm" environment to help aid in learning. I'm also looking forward to fewer germs, but we will see if this will make a difference. I'm looking forward to attending Wednesday night youth classes at church and not feeling guilty for how late we get home. I'm excited to learn some new things that you simply can't fit in when they are in school 8 hours and sports afterwards. We are getting some extra curriculars in that before would have exhausted us all.
So - here's to a different sort of back to school year, but one that we are hopeful for and looking forward to in different ways.