Okay, is everyone ready for a blunt weblog post? If you're not, then just stop reading right now...
As August rolls ever closer to September, and another year of homeschooling dawns, let me ask you a serious question: Why on earth do you homeschool, anyway?
Seriously!! What is your reason for choosing this lifestyle of home education? Peer pressure from within your church? Or from your spouse? All-consuming anxiety about what the world might do to your child? In order to maintain a firm hand of control over your family?
Those are all lousy reasons to homeschool.
First, peer pressure is not God's way of accomplishing His good and perfect and pleasing will. Open up your Bible and start reading those words in red, and very quickly you will see He intends freedom for His disciples. So if you homeschool because everyone in your peer group wants you to homeschool, you need to step back and spend some time in prayer about the entire situation. It's not my job to tell you whether or not you should homeschool, but it is also not the job of people you attend church with. Get with your spouse and your God and just talk to both of them about homeschooling. And you'll know what God's will is soon enough.
Second, if you homeschool because your spouse pushed you into it, then you must pray pray and pray a whole lot more. There is no easy answer for this, but God specializes in things that are difficult. Pray and pray and pray - and move toward a conversation when He leads you to. Keep praying even while you are having the conversation. Be willing to hear His direction for your life, and for your children....even if it is not what you want to hear.
Third, if you have anxiety about every terrible thing out there in the world that might harm your child, you will end up putting a strangle-hold on their life. The same God who is your personal Father desires to be their personal Father ~ He has no grandchildren. Anxiety has a way of keeping us moms from letting our children let go of our hand in order to grab hold of His hand. It's so very dangerous to live an anxious life. If this is the reason you homeschool, you truly must spend a concentrated amount of time in prayer seeking the Lord's freedom. And then you need to see if He has called you to home educate...because if He truly has called you to it, He does not want you to have anxiety about it.
Lastly, I have to address an issue that I see far too often within the homeschool community. Wives and mothers who claim to be submissive to their husbands and to their Lord are mired in a mess I simply call Reverse Feminism. It's a term I coined to describe the families and homes that are under the pretense of the husband/father's authority, but in actuality are under the complete and total control of a quietly domineering wife/mother. Mom decides what food every member of the family eats, even dad when he is at work, and no one has any say in the matter...except Mom. Every activity each member partakes in is chosen by Mom....and Mom alone. Where the money is spent is decided by Mom. Where the family lives and attends church (or doesn't attend church, in many cases) is a decision Mom makes. All homeschool curriculum choices are in the hands of Mom...and no one had better dare to question her decisions! Anything the Lord has for a family, whether a word of encouragement or a blessing or discipline, is all "deciphered" by Mom. Dad isn't leading this family - Mom is. And it is sin, ladies. Outright sin. It has to be addressed, so I am addressing it. As an 18-year veteran homeschooler, I have a little bit of a platform and a little credibility to speak out on this subject. If you are a wife, a mother, who is running your family and home under the guise of "submission", you need to repent. To your God, to your spouse, to your children. And then turn away from this grievous sin, give the reigns of control back to your husband.
So, this is my very serious blog post...and if you want to leave a comment, then you certainly can. I'm probably not going to get into any "arguments" to defend my stance, because I don't need to defend myself. I've seen Reverse Feminism so often in the homeschool world, I'm just not going to leave any room for excuses or denial. If you do this, stop doing it. You're out of God's will, and that is a very dangerous place to be. End of discussion.
Now, if you want to know how I have kept homeschooling through thick and thin for nearly two decades...I will tell you. I have a call from God to homeschool. That's it. Nothing more than that, no additional reasons why I do this all-encompassing thing called home education. Just a call from the Lord. He said to homeschool, I choose to obey.
Share this post with your homeschooling friends, talk about it frankly. Pray about it. And be encouraged to be serious about your family and your homeschool. Because I can promise you, God takes it seriously.
Day 321 done :)
Jan L. Burt
author of The Homeschooling Mothers Bible Study