School has started up again and the thing I dread most in the back to school process is buying the school supplies. Three kids, three different class lists and you can’t just get any notebook. No, it has to be Mead, wide ruled and a weird size that no one really ever paid attention to before. Oh, I miss the olden days when spiral notebooks came only in one size and there was only Elmer’s white glue and no such thing as glue sticks. Don’t even get me started on the fact that I have to also provide a gallon size bottle of hand sanitizer or boxes of tissues. (Where does our tax dollars go?) Okay, I protest too much but seriously these are things my home schooling friends don’t have to deal with.
My oldest is going into 8th grade and I can’t believe it. Time goes by fast. Our decision to not home school or to not send our kids to private school has been right for us. It hasn’t always been easy but I feel we made the right choice. I could go on about the pros and cons of why we made our decision but that would bore you and me. All I know is that I am more convinced every day that education begins at home. I am proud of friends who have chosen to home school and stick with it. I am glad we have private institutions that also educate children and choices we can make. If there is one thing I have learned about education it is that one size does not fit all. I also am more convinced that our children learn the most by the example we lead and the advice we give them.
I might not teach my children all of the content areas at home but their Dad and I strive to teach them how to react to the information they are given. I love that my 8th grader has challenged her science class about evolution or recognizes that teacher who goes out of his or her way to talk about creation in a subtle but honest manner. I am proud of my second grader who draws a picture of the cross during Easter time. I am happy to have family discussions around the dinner table about how taking God out of our history lessons deletes so much American history that cannot be denied. I laugh when my 6th grader says ever so logically, “So first we are told that everything comes from something (matter) and then all of a sudden the world came out of nothing. That makes perfect sense to me.” (I love her sarcasm.) They are getting an education from public schools but we are working ever so hard to give them the Christian viewpoint.
I support all school choices. I even get many of my preschool teaching ideas from some awesome home school teachers. I am in awe of how homeschooling has grown and I will be one of the first people to fight for home schoolers if their choice is ever taken away. However, I do hope home school families don’t neglect the Christians who have decided to send their kids to public schools. We need your support too. We believe education begins at home as well. The only difference is our kids go somewhere during the day and then we reflect and mold what they have learned at night.
I love that God gives us freedom in our lives to make choices and when we align them with His will, they turn out for the good. Public school has been that for my family. I have to be a pro-active parent but my children are learning some valuable lessons of living a Christian life in a secular world. There are some negatives and positives but I know God has been in our prayerful decision we made about 9 years ago. Education does begin at home but sometimes it branches out but the root of it will always be at home and with your family!