I needed to write an article for the next issue of Making It Home magazine. And I thought what shall I write? It’s the May/June issue and I wanted to write something appropriate – meaningful for mothers. And then I thought on the retreat I’ve just attended and the thoughts still swirling around in my mind. I thought on some of the questions also that I’ve received lately and was amazed (but never surprised!) at God’s weaving of different messages and themes.
I’m often asked and often contemplate the question: Why home school? I’m asked, “Do you think everyone should homeschool?” I usually hear that translated: “I don’t homeschool, and you probably think I’m __________ (fill in the blank; bad, wrong, etc.) for not homeschooling.” I get that kind of question/statement regarding a myriad of other topics… motherhood, no birth control, homemaking, submission to one’s husband, church, modest clothing and on and on. People tend to feel judged by those who are “different” than they—especially when it comes to these particular topics.
I’m often asked if I think homeschooling provides the best education for children. To which I reply, homeschooling doesn’t really provide ANY education for children—parents do—I know, a little glib there. I do think that parents need to do or undo what the government schooling does or doesn’t do to and for children – but the mere fact that children are at home and out of the government school atmosphere isn’t the only reason we school at home. There are many schools, I’m told, that are excellent for the care, guidance and education of children. I imagine that’s true and, in fact, I’ve met numerous believers who were government school educated and their lives are dedicated to following the LORD. But almost across the board there’s this underlying currant of thought — it’s subtle in some cases, but it’s there. It’s something that believers the world over just gloss over and don’t even really realize it and it is the educating of men and women to be equal in all ways. It’s the conditioning that boys and girls receive year after year and like the analogy of the frog placed in a pot of cool water and over time the water is heated to boiling and the frog is slowly cooked to death, the identities and distinctions of boys and girls are slowly steeped in the pot, and over time, like the frog, the distinctions and identities die.
They go in distinct and they leave blurred. Dead. The boys aren’t trained up to be godly, responsible, obedient, hardworking providers, protectors and strong leaders; and the girls are not trained up to be godly, responsible, obedient, homeworking MOTHERS, protectors of life and home, lovers of husbands and children, nurturers of God’s gifts.
In our home (and I know this is true for *many* homeschooling families) we’re seeking to live, learn, love, serve, obey, create, pray and follow the LORD so that we will not be educated otherwise. This phrase: “educated otherwise” comes from listening to talks by Nancy Campbell of Above Rubies. And, O my, I cannot get those thoughts out of my mind… and I don’t long to lose them, either, by the way. Women are/were uniquely created for the most blessed, precious, important, noble and sacred role: motherhood. Women are to be taught to love their husbands, love their children, to be good, chaste, keepers at home. Men are to be taught to be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience (in addition to many other virtues, qualities and characteristics of godly men).
So I say… hmmm… God has designed each for specific and distinct roles and the world seeks to blend, blur and blot them out. Boys could or should be men, but they’re being educated otherwise. Girls could or should be women, but they’re being educated otherwise. I take a moment to ponder and then I am gripped with unquenchable fervor to *be* what God’s designed and called — to teach the children to *be* what God’s designed and called ———and I must go from here: to that calling!
So, why would I send the children to government schools to be educated otherwise?