Thursday, October 18, 2012

Be in the school, not of the school

If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. John 15:19

I have recently have a 'public school' revelation. And because almost every Christian mother I've talked to about homeschooling has either 1. wanted to home schooling, 2. felt guilty for not homeschool or 3.opted for private christian school to keep their kids out of public school; I thought at least one other mom could find encouragement in this.

To be quiet honest, two weeks into Kindergarten my husband and I were both ready to pull our kids out of public schools and home school. It seemed that their teachers got the only good 7 hours out of their short days; when they came home they were cranky and tired and there was little we could do but just make it to their 7pm bedtime. They also came home having learned several new songs, curse words, sayings, you name it. I had done my best up until now to monitor what they watched and listened to, and it seemed in less than 2 weeks it was all erased. But we stuck it out. I have a feeling I'm going to get several "You should homeschool!" remarks just from fellow home-schooling sisters and because most everyone knows the pros of homeschooling, I thought I would share a few of the reasons we decided to keep our kids in public schools.

I hate to say it, but money is the biggest issue. As of now, 6 of the 7 days out of the week I have to do some sort of 'work', either babysitting in my home or cleaning jobs outside of the home. I have an immense amount of respect for the amount of time it takes to homeschool your children, and it wouldn't be possible for me to work and teach my children (effectively), nor can we afford for me to quit working. On top of that, I would want to compensate with music lessons, computer/technology classes, gymnastics, sports... we just couldn't afford to pay for our children to do all these things that they get to do in school for free if I wasn't working.

I'm also not sure I have the patience. The end. No, but really- I worry that in my attempt to raise them in a Christian atmosphere I would be doing just the opposite. I am afraid I might be too grumpy and irritable with them and I wouldn't want to give God a bad rap with my kids. I would rather let the teacher do the 'dirty' work and then enjoy and do fun things in the time I get with my kids.

And the last reason I want to share is that every single Christian teacher I know that works or has worked in public schools has also opted to send their kids to public schools. Can't be that bad, right?

Okay, so now you know why we decided to stick it out. And now I'm going to tell you why I'm glad we did. Since my children came home telling us about all the naughty things their 'friends' do or say at school, the only defense I can offer my kids to keep them from following those bad examples is this: "You are different than those kids. You are set a part. You are a Jesus boy. You know better. Be in the {school} but not of the {school}. Over and over again, every morning and again at night I remind them how special they are. They are chosen. They are different. They are held to higher stands. Over and over, truth after truth after truth.

And then it hit me... That's the real perk of public home school! You see, had I chosen to keep my kids home or send them to a school where they were surrounded by other Christians I might not fight as hard, I might not remind them as often. But I have to, because they are out there everyday. So for every bad word they hear I try to replace it with 10 'truths'. I'm so blessed by this, I love getting to pray with my kids everyday before school, I love that they get to see for themselves what it means to actually be different and set apart and they get to live it everyday.

Now please don't hear me wrong. I'm not in anyway trying to start a debate here. I know there are pros and cons to both sides of the fence; trust me I've weighed them both heavily. I'm just simply stating that for those of us that have decided to send our Godly children to an un-Godly school, there is comfort. And no matter where or how your children learn; having a mother and father that not only talk the talk but walk the walk both in and out of the home is the most important thing.