Thursday, September 04, 2008

Ah...freedom


Jenn's post about homeschooling has inspired me to write my own.

We too started school this week, and yet...

As you may have noticed, nothing was on this blog about school in the Hendrick house.

Nothing is hardly ever on this blog about homeschooling.

Why?

Because I'm a chicken.

Like Jenn mentioned, I constantly feel like I have to apologize for homeschooling, avoid the topic, or at least not talk about it much.

That's silly.

I'm not about to turn this into a homeschooling blog...because...homeschooling is a PART of our life. It is not our life. You can all breathe easy. I'm not going crazy right before your very eyes.

Another thing we aren't ever going to do is say that homeschooling is the only way Christians can educate their kids without making God upset.

Are you kidding?

This is me talking.

I shy away from ANYTHING that even sounds a little like there's only one way to do negotiable things in scripture, or frankly, things not clearly spelled out or even mentioned at all. We serve a big, creative God. There is so much freedom in Christ. I'm way too out of the box to put something as huge as education in the box, especially since there is no 1st Book of Education in the Bible.

I hate fighting about things like breastfeeding/bottle feeding, eating organic/eating boxed macaroni and cheese, birth control/no birth control.

I hate it.

But, because of my fear of man and my nature to want to please, I've also done a horrible thing that God has been convicting me GREATLY about lately...

I have kept "off limits" this one area of our lives.

I have kept quiet the fact that homeschooling is a daily part of what we do and what we believe is right FOR OUR KIDS and the way we feel God has asked us to do ministry.

I started this blog to keep a journal of the lives in this home. I also wanted my family to reap the firstfruits of the gifts God has given me. So, that meant, I wanted to write about them, to capture their moments in little black letters.

This blog has become much more than that, which was COMPLETELY unexpected.

But, my main purpose remains...

I want to faithfully document all the things that God has done in our lives so we can be faithful to thank Him and remind our kids of the great things God has done. We want our kids to know that everything in life is a process. We want them to see how God has taught, grown and changed their parents over the years. We have done that in many ways on this blog.

And yet....

This blog has been eerily quiet about what happens during school time.

So, as of today, I want to be different.

I want to please God and my husband more than I want to please you or other people in our life.

We homeschool.

We are a homeschooling family.

We love homeschooling.

It's hard sometimes and has its challenges, but we love it.

We truly believe it's what God wants for OUR KIDS right now.

Can we pop fire works today?

Maybe you read this post and thought, "Why is she making such a big deal about this? I don't give a fying fishstick how they educate their kids."

Thank you...but this was probably more about me and my issues than anyone else's.

For me, this was a big day, and this is a big post.

I want to sing the National Anthem.

15 comments:

Brandi said...

i'm so glad you wrote this. i feel the same way.

The Kramer Family said...

So so so so good! I'm so proud of you and these words.

Its funny, because just like you were scared in the past about posting about schooling in your home, I was a bit scared posting about KK's first day of private school. And it all boils down to fearing man more than Christ. I no longer feel like I have to justify our decision either.....freedom!

I can't wait to see what goes on in the school world of Hendrickville.

I love my smart homeschooled nephews. They could never be dorks! Don't you know who their uncle is? Ha!

Love ya!

BrunerAbroad said...

I'm glad you're posting about this because I've always been curious about homeschooling, and since your kids seem pretty socially adept, I figure you must be doing it the right way. Because while I've known some awesome homeschooled kids, I've also known some...uh...well, you know. I'm eager to get a glimpse into the homeschool world through your blog!

Anonymous said...

I can understand being afraid to discuss this. I was homeschooled and I hate telling people that. The reason you should not be ashamed is because your reasons for doing it are pure. My parents were afraid we would start doing drugs, or believe in evolution if we went to public school. That is a different kind of fear of man. And I do not think it is the best reason to homeschool.

Andrea said...

Well stated. Your post makes me want to homeschool! Oh, wait, I do... :)

We've discussed the whole "dork" situation because my 10th grader was afraid of that. I have actually enlisted two close and brutally honest friends to monitor this for me and let me know if we cross the line. I don't think we will cause we're much too cool to be dorks.

It's been 8 years since we've homeschooled with public school in between. Four days into it and I'm absolutely loving being with my kids! It's right for us - this year.

Does whole grain mac & cheese in a box count? What if it's on a paper plate?

Hendrick Family said...

I think if it has the words whole grain in it, you should win extra points.

Sarah Shalley said...

Heather, I don't mean for this to sound ugly so please don't be offended...are you saying that Aaron is the sole decision when it comes to your childrens' education? Do you have any input? What if you felt differently than him? Just curious. We don't have children. I am an educator though and I have my own strong feelings about how children receive their education...that's not to say that my mind won't be changed when I do have my babies. THANKS!

Love little Hudson's smile.
Sarah

Hendrick Family said...

Yes...

It is our husband's decision ultimately about everything. As wives, we're under their authority.

However...

Aaron would say any wise man will not only appreciate, but also seek his wife's input on decisions in life.

I say Aaron's decision because after we talked about it for a solid year before Anson started kindergarten, he ultimately made the call.

Even this year, I asked him if we could put Anson in school...just for this year, since I have a newborn.

But, he prayed about it and said he would do whatever he needed to do to help me with this year's intense amount of things Anson needs to learn.

He felt so strongly that this is what we still are called to do right now and was willing to sacrifice his time, his sleep to make it happen.

So...yes...as with anything, we're called as wives to let our husbands lead their family. How we educate our kids is only one part of our lives. After considering the needs of this entire family, keeping in mind what we firmly believe God is calling us to do in the lives of the people in our church, Aaron feels strongly that we are still supposed to be homeschooling. As a husband, considering the big picture is what Aaron has to do, and he does it well.

Now, since this year has started I am blessed to say that none of the fears that led me to asking Aaron about sending Anson to public school were even legitimate. I can do this! I thought I couldn't but I can. And God is good...baby Hudson sleeps almost ALL morning. We have very little school left to do once he is awake for good (usually around 11 or 12).

So, I'm thankful I looked to Aaron for his leadership in this area, not only because God says to, but because he was right! My fears were silly.

Heather

Reba said...

Heather, so interesting to read your post. With my Christian friends, I almost feel ashamed to admit I am sending my kids to a public school AND that I work outside of the home (as a teacher in a public school). In fact, most criticism I have faced as a working mom is from friends at church. And maybe I am crazy...four kids and a full time job. Like you, I am doing what we feel led to do. I feel like my classroom is my area of ministry even if I cannot say out loud who I am serving. Anyway, thanks for sharing. I always enjoy reading about how others are living their lives serving the same God but maybe in different ways.
Reba

Hendrick Family said...

I wanted to also mention that while the fear of my kids turning into socially backward people is real...that also shouldn't mean much.

I hear that so much...

What if they are dorky?

Well what if they are?

If we're going by the Bible here, making sure our kids aren't dorky is probably pretty low on the list of priorities from scripture, if it is even on the list at all.

Now...I want my kids ready to be able to be all things to all men, which means, they need to be socially astute! But, I don't want to live in fear that my kids are going to be social misfits either. That too is silly.

Heather

Anonymous said...

Very good, Heather.

I don't struggle with that fear of telling people we homeschool, but maybe it's because I taught public school for about 10 years and can easily explain if others have any concerns/questions about it. I can say, "I love public school! I taught it for 10 years! It has nothing to do with that." etc.

Of course I remember you and Aaron finding out for the first time that we homeschooled our kids! ha! You were shocked to find that out and told me, "I hope you aren't offended when I say this, but....your kids are so NORMAL!" ha! You had known us a for a while before you realized that. That cracked me up, but I totally got it.

Homeschooling a high schooler scares me to death this year, but not telling people that I do. Isn't that funny?

Great post.

Melodi

Jennifer Bacak said...

Coming out of the closet...well done, friend.
"My name is Heather, and I homeschool my kids."
No one was more shocked when God led us to homeschooling than Rusty and I.
But God is so faithful to show us what is right for our own family. How presumptuous would we be if we thought we'd heard what is right for EVERY family!!! Freedom! I think we just need to talk about this more among women so our fear of silent judgment can be dispelled.
And Heather, I think our kids are a little weird, but I don't think it has much to do with homeschooling. You can always trace it back to the parents...
jenn

MInTheGap said...

Stand strong and unashamed!

We just started homeschooling for the first time this week with our oldest. It's a neat experience!

amy bowling said...

Heather, you don't know me, but I love to read your blog - you're just so darn funny! (I found you through a friend at church, Jess Looney, and then you led me to my old friend, Jenn Bacak.) Thanks for this post. As a former teacher, I always figured I would be the one to choose how our children were schooled. I assumed that choice would be similar to choosing the paint color for our bedroom - yes, it would effect him daily, but either way would suit him fine. Boy, was I wrong! His direction from God was that we would place our children in public school. For a while that has basically been my answer, "my husband made me do it." But I realized a couple of months ago, that's not really supporting him, is it? :) God asks us to follow our husbands not just with our actions, but with our hearts. So now if someone asks me why, I tell them that WE feel a strong calling on OUR family for public schooling. Of course a deeper conversation will reveal the roots of this decision, and the reasons, but taking ownership of this choice I believe has brought me one step closer to submitting the way God wants me to. Heather, you have a precious family and I appreciate you modeling this as well as many other ways I can strive to follow my husband.

pbmciver said...

Heather that is funny, because I on the other hand was embarrassed becaused I DIDN'T/COULDN'T homeschool, lol. I tried it and it was too much for me.

But, on the bright side since I put my daughter back in school (pulled her out for 1/2 year in 9th grade) she went back at the beginning of her 10th grade year and not only did she make all A's and B's the whole school year but she also was in credit recovery for all her major classes and caught them all up as well. So, she is happy to say that this year she is classified as a Junior with her classmates...Yeah Shelbi. And, before I even attempted to homeschool she made nothing but terrible grades so I can say at least trying to homeschool seemed to help us, lol. I think I scared the daylights out of her because she is probably afraid I will pull her out again and finish what I started so she is applying herself now....lol.