Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Trusting God--Not Well-Meaning Friends-- in Educating My Children

There appears to be three sides to the education debate: public, private and home school.  Those are the options.  I knew this going in, but what I wasn't aware of is that many who "play" for each of these teams are strongly opposed to any other option other than the one they have chosen for their own child.  While I respect all parents and the struggles we must go through to decide what's best for our child's needs-- is it really fair to bash someone's decision based on our own bias?

For three years I have followed what I clearly thought was God's direction in educating my children at home.  I never gave birth knowing this was the way things were going to fall into place-- in fact just the opposite.  Home schooling was too big for me to even think about pursuing!  I wasn't smart enough, I didn't have enough patience, and honestly-- I didn't want to do it.  God has a sense of humor...

I was called into this new vocation of teaching my kids at home, and at the end of each year I would pray about the coming year.  "Lord, is this still what you want me to do?"  For three years the answer was an unequivocal, "Yes!"  And I was obedient to this calling.  In it my children have flourished and gained what they have needed from homeschooling: education that fits their learning styles, confidence, calmness, and above all else a sense of values and unconditional love.  I won't deny that I also got a lot from this experience.  It was tough, and many mornings I would wake up not wanting to "teach", but I saw the growth happening inside my children, so I plugged on...

This year we have moved across the country for many personal reasons.  One of those reasons was education for both children.  My oldest who will be finishing up middle school this year has high school and all the wonderful experiences of those four years to look forward to.  My youngest, who is an extrovert and also diagnosed with ASD, is going into third grade, voicing a desire to go to "real" school.  But his needs are such that just any school wouldn't do.  A lot of time and research went into figuring out what was best for both kids-- knowing that God needed to first release me from the call to homeschool before we could pursue other options.  After a lot of prayer, and getting those mini-miracles that happen when things simply fall into place after I heard what I thought was God speaking to me, we have chosen two great schools for the kids to attend next year!

Full of excitement I shared this news with some home schooling friends.  You know, the friends who would get the whole "God gave me a message" thing...  And to my dismay I received some rather hurtful words in return.  In other words I was failing my kids by putting them back into traditional school.  Wow!  That was a shocker.  Not that I bought into that thought process, but that these people were acting EXACTLY like the people (even some relatives) that scoffed at the homeschooling idea three years ago!  How alike we are in our justification of meanness.  Hmmm

Parents be encouraged that God will speak to your heart on matters such as this.  I believe that He is the Master Planner--not us.  Every child is different, and every need will be met in a different way.  Trust that He will lead you in the direction that is best for your family, their needs, and work within your own limitations and abilities.  When others on the opposing education teams (or well meaning relatives) blast you for your "self-righteous" decisions, remember above all else, trust Him.


  1. Thank you Lisa- I have been struggling about Kindergarten for Dani and have selected a private school were she will be in a class of 15 K/1st graders. Some raised eyebrows since it is a religious based school and I have been working on my teaching credential but each time I walked into the elementary school she was supposed to attend I would leaving wanting to cry knowing it was not the best place for her to be.

    Today-- the whole family is excited about the school we have chosen and can't wait to start the new adventure at the end of August. I have been doing my best to just ignore the odd comments and looks, because I know I was drawn to this place for a reason.

  2. Bravo Susan!! Praying both for you and Dani in this new adventure. I love how God has taught me that without His counsel most of my "brilliant" decisions are dead wrong! Humility is a gift, they say! Ha!!

  3. Thank you for sharing, Lisa. Your post really encouraged me. My husband and I are in the midst of discerning what path we should choose for our oldest son when he starts Kindergarten in the Fall of 2012. I'm feeling a very strong pull towards homeschooling, though it's certainly an idea I never would have given a second thought before. It's so disheartening to anticipate the negative reaction many of our family and friends will probably have if choose to homeschool. Thank you for the reminder to trust God in this decision!

  4. Amanda, I'm praying for yours and your husband's discernment in this issue. If you decide to homeschool feel free to email me at lcstrnad@aol.com and I'll be happy to share some information with you that I've learned over the last few years. Homeschooling has a huge support network.