Monday, February 16, 2009

What's the Big Hairy Deal???

I'm hearing lately that some of those in public schools are having such issues with home-schoolers these days. Probably vice versa too.

Honestly, I don't get what the big hairy deal is! I mean and let live people!!!

Our family has been judged for being strangers and even some family members at times too...(our kids do tell us these things. ;)

In the previous neighborhood we lived in, our children got judged, and put down all the time for being home-schooled. Some of the kids would call them dumb, and make it a point at times to brag to them about what they are missing out on in the public schools.

What gets me...several of those same condemning children cannot even spell simple words...such as, "enough"! Or they would use words such as "there" and "their" written out of proper context. I'm not saying our children are perfecto spellers of the world either...I'm just sayin'!!!

A few of those families also "assumed" that our children didn't know how to relate to other children because they were "home-schooled". They had NO idea of our background (like...that our children had been in public schools since K, they had just moved away from everyone they had ever known since they were babies, they were grieving something fierce because their grandfather had just died of a fast growing cancer prior to our moving...there is more, but no need to go further).

Perhaps our children weren't fitting in because perhaps they weren't being accepted.

Now, there's a thought! Christians not accepting other christians...naw, that never happens...right? WRONG! Happens every day as we live and breathe!

The point is, they've pre-judged us without really knowing anything about us at all...about our children's personal struggles or our backgrounds. Even family members judge us on how much they think they know us.

Seriously, these folks had no idea that our children had actually been in private preschools from age 2 to kindergarden, and then in the public school system from K up until about a yr ago (4th and 5th grades) prior to our 1 whole yr of home-schooling...which was our very first yr of home-schooling! It kind of makes me chuckle when I think about it right now, at the time it was a tad hurtful though. Especially to the kids being in a new place and all.

We were pre-judged, as so many other folks are in different ways...for home-schooling, for public schooling, or for private schooling...for not being able to fit in, for being too thin, for being too fat, for being to short, for having different color hair...whatever..."you fill in the blank".

Let's face it, we are ALL guilty of drawing up/sizing up our own conclusions about people, based on our own "dreamed up", preconceived notions. Which are rarely to be completely accurate most of the time!

Personally, I'm not the perfect speller, and I make my fair share of grammatical errors regularly. Boy, don't you love spell check! The funny thing is, often times I forget to use it! heeheeee. Also, sometimes, I am not nice. But hey, I can say I don't go around knocking other families for their choice of how they educate their children. ;) One thumbs up on my list of many thumbs down!

However, I do have my many other judgmental tendencies, and flaws. I'm certainly not without sin. The Bible says that if I say that I am without sin, I make GOD out to be a liar. Wooo, that is huge! That was my paraphrasing....
Well, here it is in the NIV: 1 John 1:8 (New International Version) 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. And for you King James only friends: 1 John 1:8 (King James Version) 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
Personally...I love them all, but prefer "The Message" translation, it goes all the way to vs 10 for us:
1 John 1:8 (The Message)
8-10If we claim that we're free of sin, we're only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins—make a clean breast of them—He won't let us down; He'll be true to himself. He'll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. If we claim that we've never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God—make a liar out of Him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God

Man, I sure don't want to go there! So no way am I going to say I never do things wrong. As soon as I do, it will come back to bite me!

So, we made the decision to home-school for several reasons that we thought best for our children. After much prayer and careful consideration, we made the step. Is this a reason to be ridiculed though? Is being a public schooled kid a reason to be ridiculed either? I say NO on both counts!

Like I said, our two children were in classroom school settings from preK through 4th and 5th grades. They were both A/B honor student. Last spring they tested out quite high on their CAT tests. That doesn't make them any better or any worse then a child who public schools...or who may struggle with bringing that C to a B, or a child who makes all straight A's, OR a child who does or doesn't attend public schools! Every child is so different in the way they learn and perceive the world around them. Some children respond much better one on one.

To me, as a christian, it is all about ultimately guiding them in the direction of their gifting. So that they can work toward the career/ministry of their God-calling.

It is interesting that even of recent, we are getting hassled because we home-school. The day we brought J home from the hospital from her spine surgery, we no more than got in the door, and got her settled, when some kid prank called me about our being home-schoolers. No kid in the city we live in now has our phone number, so it can only mean someone from our previous city. It was a private whomever it was, called our local cell from a private number or dialed a (* )whatever to hide their number. The thing is, those can still be traced.

It was so unsettling, and so thoughtless of whomever did it! I was so tired from being at the hospital all week that week with J. She had complications from her surgery, and I was so thankful to be in our home with her...then bam, I get a prank call! So unsettling...

But why????? Why is it such an issue for others when a family choses to home-school OR chooses the public school system? Or private school?

I've always taught our children since home-schooling, that you don't ever brag about being home-schooled, or belittle anyone else for their family's choices of how they choose to educate. Yet, home-schoolers seem to get it from all sides lately.

I'm just sayin'. What is the big hairy deal about families choosing to home-school?

I heard it was mentioned in church yesterday the question, "How can home-schooled kids be the salt?". Well, I don't know about other home-schooled kids, but there are many ways that our kids are salt. My question is, "Who is to say that all christian kids are actually being the salt in public schools too???". Who is to say that home-schooled children AREN'T being the salt in their every day walks of life?...with neighbors?...(in hospitals as they are rehabilitating?- J was a major blessing to those around her for Christ while in the hospital) Not to mention...public libraries, and other public gatherings where home-schooled children engage in the community through sports, dance, music, public speaking. They have plenty of opportunities to be salt. We all do, if we take them.

Let's not put each other in boxes is all I say. Let's look for ways to bless others by being the salt ourselves first, instead of picking apart our brothers and sisters in Christ over such petty and insignificant things such as how a family chooses to educate their children. Life is too short! Let's each and individually be concerned about "being about our Father's business"!


Andrea said...

All I can say to that is AMEN!!! We are planning to homeschool our kids and have already had some "comments"...many more will come I am sure...but seriously, our oldest kid is TWO and isn't even close to starting actual homeschooling yet. Anyways, I agree 100% with your entire post...and honestly, I ADMIRE those who homeschool and put up with comments and prank calls like this. :)

Jenn said...

Aw, Thank you. I was hoping I didn't come across as harsh. Sometimes in my passion, I get to rough around the edges. I will really trying to share from my heart. What really saddens me is that the ridicule comes from brothers and sisters in Christ, christian people...we are suppose to build one another up in the Lord, not tear down. Of course, like I said, I don't always get that right either. I need to pull the plank out of me eye too! :)

rebecca said...

Awesome post, Jenn....I really enjoyed reading it! :)