I have read a few awesome blog posts lately surrounding a similar theme: obedience to Christ. I love that theme as I feel it has been kind of the theme of our lives the past few years! So, I am writing my own little struggle in that area right now!
Nick and I have recently started the very important "school" discussion in our household. When we discussed schooling a few years ago the discussion was private vs. public school. However, with the extreme cost of private school x3 or more I feel that it is just not an option for us. Not to mention that we are yet to see the real benefits of a private education vs. a public one. However, the past few weeks the discussion has changed from private vs. public to homeschool vs. public.
I had really convinced myself the past few years that I would send my children to public school. However, I have constantly felt God tugging at my heart in this area and homeschool just keeps being brought to my attention again and again. If I have learned anything over the past few years it has been that being obedient to God brings the most blessing and freedom that exists.
My friend Amy who I only wish I had gotten the opportunity to know better during our years in Springfield recently wrote a blog post about learning with her young children, http://www.amysgarden.com/?p=3047. Amy is a former teacher turned stay-at-home mom and I must say her quiet spirit and love for the Lord are quite contagious. Amy suggested a book called, The Early Years: A Charlotte Mason Preschool Handbook (if you click on the link you can download the first 4 chapters for free) and I am really enjoying it.
Like Amy said in her post it goes along with many things I already believed about educating preschoolers. I have never been the kind of mom that gets out worksheets and craft projects all day and does reading drills. Instead, I love to just experience life and learning with my little ones. We read book after book, sing songs, sit on the floor talking about a rock we found outside, play pretend, do household tasks together, etc. I love the concept of children's first 6 years of life being about growing and learning and exploring instead of "formal education". I am sure there are teachers who disagree but it was my own experience and I have talked with many older very edcuated people whose opinions I really respect who would agree.
All of this to say I am starting to feel excited about the prospect of homeschooling our children. I am still seeking God's will in this area but I absolutely love the idea of having more "control" over what my children are learning. I know most of my education was spent sitting around waiting for other students to finish their work or for the teacher to explain a basic concept to them. Which, in a classroom of 25+ children what choice did anyone have?
Obviously, like any mom I just want to do what is best for my kids! It is not my goal or intention to put them in a bubble. However, I do want to protect them while they are so young and impressionable. I see many pros and cons to both sides of the issue. Growing up I didn't know anyone who was homeschooled and I definitily bought into the homeschool stereotypes (which let's be honest, are there for a reason sometimes!). But, as an adult, some of the nicest, most successful, well adjusted people I know were homeschooled. So, needless to say it has me thinking.
The biggest barrier standing in my way is that, honestly, I think it would be really hard. Part of me likes the idea of sending my kids off to school everyday and having the days to myself. I know it would be a ton of work! I also feel very unequipped. However, I know that if this is infact God's will for our family that He will equip me. I KNOW that I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength. And He is the only way I can even begin to consider such a huge undertaking.
I am in no way saying that I think homeschooling is the only way to go. I still am unsure! But, one thing I am absolutely sure about is that I want to be obedient to God's will for OUR family. We have been criticized before for the decisons we make for our family and I am sure whatever type of schooling we choose the critics will let me know how they feel! But, as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord. And that starts with obedience to Him.