Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday: Do we trust God with our children?

Please note before you read further:

This is NOT a homeschool vs public school debate. Please don't start slinging mud at other parents for their own personal choices. Those comments WILL be deleted.

My children are in public school. There was never really any option since both parents have always worked (except when they were not yet school-age). I home schooled my oldest for a year, due to some violence issues he faced at his new school his freshman year. But other than that, they have been in public schools from K-12 (my daughter currently being a Junior, the boys graduated). They are believers, they are firm in their faith and convictions. My boys support our current President, my daughter leans more toward the right – perfectly fine with me. They research and read and watch (both at home and our actions/words and outside) and make up their own minds - as they should as young adults. I am not the least bit afraid of them being "led astray" by a speech from the President of the United States - whoever may be in office at the time.

How is a public school address considered “indoctrination” (as was said on the other blog - a comment, not the article), any more than homeschooling a child is? Home school parents are teaching specific things which go against other specific things. My children have learned from both sides – in our Christian family and in the public, including their public schools.

My children are/were lights in their school – my daughter is the first to invite the new kid to sit at lunch with her, or carry the handicapped child’s books to class. She also “took on” a young girl in her class who was going on about premarital sex and called my daughter a “goody two shoes Christian” because she is waiting until marriage (which she is not ashamed to let people know). She didn't "take her on" by name-calling, not by putting the other girl down who proudly and publicly discusses her sexual practices. My daughter told her very simply and compassionately what the Bible says about saving herself for marriage, and that she is a Christian who believes in this and has vowed to be abstinent. This all took place in front of the entire class, by the way. My "public school kid" has NO shame in discussing her faith. Not many Juniors in high school will step out this way. Who knows, she may have just hit a nerve with that girl. Maybe that was why she was in that class. Perhaps God put my daughter there - at that table, in that particular class - to reach that one young girl before she did something else she'd regret. All I know is I am one PROUD public-school mama. :)

Jesus did not live in a bubble. Nor did God create us to live in one.

Hear me: I am NOT saying that home schooled children are completely sheltered from the world. I am very well aware, and applaud, all of the programs available for home schooled children to participate in extracurricular activities and the parents who go to the extra effort to not only teach but create and lead outside activities.

What I am saying is that many of our Christian public school kids are ministers where God has planted them. And for those who say we should home school “if we don’t want our kids learning things we don’t agree with”, perhaps you should try to see that there are godly children who do attend public schools and try to serve as ministers there every day – along with Christian teachers, principals, counselors, lunch ladies, and others. Those students bring their un-churched friends at school to church on Sunday mornings, they share their faith to kids who may not have otherwise heard of how much Jesus loves them. Try to see, instead of passing judgment or looking down on "public school kids", what a BLESSING it is to the whole community when there are Christian children in the public schools! Jesus didn't sit and wait for those who needed Him to come to Him. He went out and met them where they were (at the well, in the town square, at the tax collectors stands, in the Temple, and on and on...) I dare say if He were walking the earth today - He'd want to be in our public schools so he could reach those kids who need Him most!

We have to trust that our children are capable of living what they have been taught, and trust the LORD that he will protect them in the world.

As Jesus said to Mary: "but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."


Chris Knight said...

Very, very good write-up Melinda.

And you are right. To have Christ means to have a Light that others might see. They won't get that chance if we hide it away, especially if we judge that others don't deserve it.

When we do that, we forget that neither did we deserve Him either...

Again: good thoughts here. Thanks for sharing them! :-)

Nancy M. said...

Hey, I am visiting from the links at Mama Bzz. We homeschool our children, but I realize it's a personal decision. I think there is no right or wrong. You just have to do what's best for your children and family.

Rachel R. said...

As a homeschooler, I don't understand all the hubbub about the speech, either. I mean, if you trust your children to be taught by the teachers, what is the difference just because for a little while it's the President doing the talking?

If you have that much difficulty with someone else telling your children what they think, apart from your supervision, then you should be homeschooling! And if you don't have a problem with it, then why act like there's a problem with it?

All of that chaos seemed like reactionism against a President that folks just personally dislike.

Michelle said...

I'm just now getting a chance to make it back over here for a comment.

Anyways, one of the things I have found to be true, very sad, but true, is how moms treat each other. Not just here in blogland but face to face.

I don't think it's right for moms to say terrible things about moms who homeschool, just as it is not right for those who don't homeschool to say terrible things about those who do.

{It's sad how you get lumped into groups. Not every public school family is the same, just as all homeschooling families are not the same.}

It is up to each family to decide what is best for their family. And anyone else outside of that family, just needs to mind their own business.

I've been on (face to face, or in blogland) the other side....that my kids are not able to socialize (really???) they aren't gonna know how to make it in the "real world" yada, yada, yada..... (from public school parents)

then on the other extreme (homeschooling families)...i don't bake my bread, i'm not into attachment parenting, did not nurse the girls, let them listen to every kind of music and wear pants & dress up for Halloween...and on and on and on

ugh! we just don't fit in anywhere hahaha!

Too, I think that each parent knows their children and how they would react in different situations. Emily would be fine in school, may even go at some point, Audrey on the other hand (for right now) i'm not so sure about. not about the work, but she reminds me a lot of how I was at that age...a follower not a leader. As her mom, I know that she would be a light, but I also know how easily she would struggle with peer pressure. Right now it may be minor things that would really not make a difference in the future. But as she gets older, some things could go with her for the rest of her life. We are working with her and building a strong foundation now, so that when she is older she can make the right decisions and not give into the temptation.

Man, i have rambled on! Sorry!

and you should be a PROUD public-school mama! Kelsey is a great kid! And i've never heard that story before....that's great!!

I guess my point to all my rambling is we moms need to stick together...especially Christian moms. I mean it's about the kids, raising good godly children, and whether or not you homeschool, public school, breastfeed, don't breastfeed, make your own bread, don't make your own bread, let your kids sleep with you, make them sleep in their own bed, let your kids date, don't let your kids date....whatever! it's NO big deal is it??? When it comes to your child's salvation..... that's the one main thing we have in common ..... and to me....that should be our main focus....leading our children to Christ...seeing them saved.....and live a life for God....

hope this makes sense i'm typing over three very loud girls!! lol

Mel ~ said...

Michelle, you know...if your girls were in school you'd have all day to post and play online! LOL You KNOW I'm just kidding!!! :)

Thank you all for your replies. This post was in response to one that was posted on another blog regarding the President's speech to the school kids. A LOT of the homeschooling parents replied with comments like "This is why we home school!" Umm, ok. You home school to protect your kids from hearing the voice of the President of the United States? (Yes, I know they probably didn't get their point across well, and I do understand where both sides come from - having BEEN on both sides.)

I appreciate everyone's views on this subject. I *love* the home school families that I know! I wish we were one of them, but we're not. I hope you all realize how lucky you are to have the resources that you do now! Back when mine were little, there was no internet to bond with other families and get ideas and share resources. Had there been, mine probably never would have been in public school. But...we bloom where we are planted. :)

Michelle, you are RIGHT ON with your last paragraph! Amen!