Saturday, April 13, 2013

On Faith, Family, and Flat Stanley

I am kind of in love with our home school community. Okay. I am really in love with it.

Tonight, my oldest daughter was in the musical that she has been practicing for all year. Flat Stanley. My oldest daughter is a lot like me. Her diva comes out at home and in small settings where she feels comfortable and confident. But in a large crowd she is content to simply be part of the group. She loves showing up, working hard, having fun, and being involved. That is enough for her. She has yet to try out for a major role in a play, always happy to be in the background. Maybe someday she will try for more. Maybe not. Either way, she shines.

The play was cute. My daughter did have one dance scene that she has worked really hard on and tonight she rocked it. Her diva came out for the crowd for two whole minutes. But the play was not my favorite part of the evening. My favorite part of the evening was sitting in the church sanctuary with more than one hundred other like minded people. Every time we gather together as a home school community I get chills. And I feel so thankful and blessed for this community we have chosen to be a part of.

Here's the thing. I believe there are a million different ways to do life right (as long as you are walking with Christ). There is not a one size fits all method. God made each of us different. Unique. With different callings and different paths. And this is our path. The one we have chosen and feel so humbled to be walking down.

Sometimes I think homeschooling gets a bad rap. A few weeks ago, I was even called 'silly' (by a woman I respect and admire) for the choice Boss and I have made in educating our children. I hear all of the time that home schooled children are too sheltered. Unsocialized. That when faced with peer pressure or difficult choices in the future, home schooled children will crumble. Or rebel. And that parents who keep their children at home are not preparing them for the real world.

But I have to wonder, what real world am I to be preparing my children for? Because if I am preparing them to climb corporate ladders, to chase the world's standard of success, then I am okay with not preparing them for that. I would rather my children walk in the opposite direction. And it's true. My children could crumble one day. And they might rebel. Again, there is no one size fits all method. If homeschooling was sure to guarantee safety and success, I believe all parents who love their children would do so! Only there is no guarantee. But my hope and my prayer is that by being truly grounded, in both God's Word and in our family, that my children won't crumble when times get tough. That they would be rooted enough in family and faith to stand strong. And as far as being unsocialized goes, I suppose that depends on your definition of what type of socialization is important. Because it's true. My children are not surrounded by peers their own age day in and day out. But instead they are surrounded by a variety of ages and I love that! My daughters have friends who range in age from three to sixteen and they truly consider each one of them, no matter their age, a friend. It's kind of beautiful. And I don't think Boss and I are silly for sheltering our children. In fact, I am happy to do so. The real world comes at each of us eventually. And I am thankful that for just a little while my little ones hearts can be light. The heavy will come soon enough.

Homeschooling was not in our original plan. And had we chosen a different route it would not have meant we loved our kids less. Or more. It simply would have been different. And I have no doubt that no matter the route I would have done my best to be the best mama I could be. But I am thankful for this route. This path. This journey. And I am thankful that we are able to travel it together. As a family. And on nights like tonight, I am most thankful for the like minded community that surrounds and encourages us as we seek to raise our children to be disciples for Christ.

Yes. I am kind of in love with our home school community. Okay. I am really in love with it.

(image by Denise Owens Photography)

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