As we close out our back-to-school week and head into the weekend, I'm hoping we can take a few things with us:
Don't assume anything. There are many great options for schooling today—we are blessed to have the freedom to educate our kids as we choose. Let's not take that for granted! Yes, each option carries a variety of pros and cons, but from reading each and every mommy testimony this week, there is no doubt that we all have the well-being of our child in mind.
When you are having a rough day or a rough week, make your own list of benefits. Think and consider the reasons you chose to send your child to that school or homeschool and pray first—focusing on the benefits and blessings. As we have seen, each option has a fair amount of challenges—avoid constantly fixating on the negatives!
Have open discussions with your friends. We can learn from each other and pray for each other as we disciple our kids; we are also being educated in our different environments along the way.
As I asked for these testimonials, the answer I received from Tessa did such a nice job summing up the week, I decided to save her sentiments for today. I'm going to end the week with some of her thoughts here:
I have learned never to say "never" especially in the realm of schooling! We have done all types of schooling (Christian, public and homeschooling). I said as a school teacher---I would NEVER do public or home school---I ate my words.
Some of our reasons were spiritual, financial, social, and convenience. But ultimately, each year's decision--and each school we have chosen has been based on much prayer and seeing God direct exactly what each child has needed. We have seen benefits and road blocks at every type of school. What kept us going was KNOWING God clearly led in that decision and it helped to keep us going and plowing ahead--especially on days when we wanted to throw in the towel or jerk our kids out of the situation. Instead---we went back to the point that God led us there that year (Wherever it was) and sought how to remedy any of the situations from a Biblical perspective.
It has been a great learning tool for ALL of us. When things were not as they should be in the Christian School classroom, it gave us a great way to discuss it with our child—how to respond in a Biblical way and pray much. When it was in a public school setting, it gave us (and our child) a great way to witness, take a stand, but most of all show Christ-like behavior in handling situations. It gave us confidence because God sent us there. With homeschooling, it has given us perseverance and has given us a lot of great quality time of teaching Biblical perspectives. With homeschooling, I really felt like it has exposed much that I need to change in my own spiritual life---especially as I respond to situations with my "students."
I sincerely believe that prayer and walking with God is the KEY to parenting a school age child and making these huge decisions. It helps as you make the decision, as you enter each day, as you face the trials of each type of schooling, and as you disciple your child as they walk through each day. Total dependence on God is what has gotten us through---and the days I depended on my own strength---we have barely survived!
Prayer truly works; even to change the teachers, the situations, and the child! Teaching our children to pray has been key as well!
The most important lesson we have learned (as we now have a SENIOR!) is that no school or church ever replaces the discipleship a child needs from their own parent. A parent is VITAL in any school situation to reinforce, pray with, disciple, teach about God's ways---and it takes BOTH parents---it can never be left up to any institution to give your child the spiritual reinforcement the parent should give at home. You and your husband have to decide what you feel like God is leading you to do for each child. Others decisions really can't influence that, because God shows each family what is best and where they may minister best. Nothing is easy, but God gives grace and strength wherever He leads!
Last week my baby climbed a mountain. I'm hoping it will not be his last, and I predict many more mountains of all shapes and sizes will rise up in his future. Let's pray for wisdom as we guide our babies--showing them the path and giving them encouragement, but ultimately letting them carefully place one foot in front of the other.
**Thanks again to everyone who participated, and have a great school year!**