Have you ever had one of those "Hmmm..." moments when you wish you knew what someone was thinking? I've had a few of those this week in regard to our being a homeschool family. You would think that after 13 years, I would have seen and heard it all and would have the perfect answer for every questioner of homeschooling. But sometimes people don't actually ask any questions; sometimes they don't say anything at all. They just sort of pretend you and your homeschool decision don't exist in their world.
So I could pretty easily become upset or discouraged or angry or fill-in-the-blank with some other emotion. Or I can take a deep breath and trust that the Lord knows exactly what I'm feeling and He knows exactly how I ought to respond in order to honor Him and bring Him glory. And since that is the ultimate end goal of my entire homeschool career, that's the option I need to choose every time I deal with someone who doesn't really "get it" when it comes to the whole homeschool thing.
Each scenario brings a different set of circumstances. Sometimes the person doesn't know Jesus as their own Savior and my response to them must be in relation to their greatest need. Other times the person may have had some sort of negative experience with a homeschooling family and they may need to see for themselves that some homeschoolers are totally "normal" and can educate their children with competence and maintain functional relationships with others. Perhaps the person may work for a private or public school and they may have never heard anything positive about homeschooling; the unknown has a way of leading people to draw conclusions that simply are untrue.
Recently my experiences have been with people I knew from "way-back-when" - many of them haven't spoken to me in more than 20 years. I am sure there may be some shock that I am now a born-again follower of Jesus Christ who homeschools her 5 children. Couple that with the reality that many of my high school acquaintances work for public or private schools and you have the perfect breeding ground for tension regarding the topic of homeschooling.
It's funny, though - if I could show people what my life is like on a day to day basis, if they could meet my kids and see what kind of people they are growing up to be, if they only knew the public school teachers whom I count among my dearest friends, they would probably feel differently about homeschooling. The reality is that we don't really get the opportunity to share all of that with people. And if I do have the chance to share with them, I really want to share about the Lord's great love for them and His plan of salvation. That's so much bigger than my desire to "justify" my decision to home educate!
So, all of that to say - HANG IN THERE homeschooling moms!!! Don't let yourself become weary of well doing. You will reap a harvest in due time if you do not give up! And don't feel inferior to anyone because you homeschool and they think that's just plain nuts. That's no reason to feel inferior at all! After all, we know full well there are some homeschooling moms who aren't really teaching their kids - and we also know there are some public school teachers who also aren't really teaching the kids entrusted to them. It's okay to admit there are some "bad apples" out there. Honest teachers have to admit the same thing about their peers. It's not our job to make right what others have made wrong - it's our job to do what the Lord has called us to do as individuals. And if we are able to do that in a way that draws outsiders to Jesus somehow, then we will have truly made an impact that matters.
Be encouraged as you continue to teach your brood at home & point others to Jesus when they pause to take a look at your choice to homeschool.
Day 66 done :)
Jan L. Burt