Yes, I am about to climb on my soap box so hang on to your seats.
My family and I recently attended our state's annual convention for Home Educators. This means a little more than 2.5 days of taking classes, walking miles across the convention center from place to place, meandering through 100's of vendors, seeing old friends, etc. But, it is one of those "pains" you wouldn't trade for anything. The fellowship and encouragement pretty much mask the sore, throbbing feet and drooping eyes. We love going and every year have a great time.
After the weekend I showed up at Sunday School slightly in the deficit and people noticed! =) After explaining what my weekend had contained, someone I consider "close" turned to me and with a face of complete mockery simply says, "HA!"
Ohmygoodnessgraciousme! Bless her heart!
My immediate reaction was to be offended. How dare she?! She does not have any idea what she is talking about! She has so much to learn. Where most of these things may be true, the more I thought about it, the more I learned that I was the one that have learned.
As a home school kid in circles with several public/private school kids there were times I would think that I was "missing" something. That's how people tried to make me feel and they succeeded. They would treat me as if I had no idea what they were talking about. There were times I did not want to be homeschooled. I thought I wanted to be apart of what they "had." In reality, they had nothing! Nothing better...
As I have gotten older- later years in high school and after graduation- I am becoming more and more adamant that my parents not only raised me (and my sisters) with the education that God was calling them to but, and education where God could call us to Himself. I attribute so much of where I am to my education.
If you have never heard of this book, I recommend it. I have not made it all the way through but I have heard Ken Ham speak on it several times. I never had the chance to leave. I was being poured into with the truth at home, ready to give an answer.
If you are in the "HA" category, let me give you a little insight.
#1 - "Homeschoolers" aren't all the same. Just like public school kids. Just like you don't like others judging your whole school based on the handful of squeaky wheels we don't either. There are some homeschoolers that give "us" a bad name. Maybe why they do it, maybe how. Either way, we are not all the same. And, for the most part we are pretty normal.
#2 - We have talents...and brains for that matter. I played soccer and basketball, saxophone and sang in a choir. My sister sings with an all girl choir and they are pretty much the closest sound to angels this side of eternity! My best friend passed one of the highest levels of the Latin exam in the state...when she was in 10th grade. My brother-in-law graduated from 4 years of undergrad and 3 year of Law school. Another friend's soccer team went to states. All that to say is that we enjoy doing things and being a part of things. We have talents and we are good at things.
#3 - we go through struggles too. No, we are not in and among constant peer pressure. No, we do not have oppressing teachers. No, we are not standing in the rain and snow and below freezing temperatures to catch the bus (don't know why this equals a one up). But, we have other struggles. Don't think so, watch how you talk to us next time.
#4 - Potentially the most controversial. Our parents chose this position not to hide us from the world, but to guard our hearts and minds. They wanted us to be able to learn free from torment and taunting. They chose to struggle through our learning differences and finding what works for us. They wanted Christ to reign over other things and by "keeping" us home they instilled the importance of a Christ centered mindset and lifestyle. They chose to give us a start where we could learn to defend our faith.
I am not saying if you or your kids receive/received a public/private education that it makes your parents awful or unfit of their parental role. In no way do I want to say that we are better for it. But, the proof is in the pudding.
I am looking around at several of the people I grew up with at church. They places they find their lives in now makes me so sad. I have one friend with an eating disorder, currently attending college to get her degree in P.A.R.T.Y. Her facebook page is littered with the night life and alcohol. I have another friend who has all but severed her relationships with anyone from church. She does not talk to anyone. Doesn't get together. She won't be apart of any gathering. She has a circle of friends that make her "feel" good about herself. I have one friend who spends him time arguing against and finding fault in anything that comes from the Bible. None of these people came from unsaved homes. All of these parents loved and love God so much and it shows. I am not saying that if they had been homeschooled they would be saints. But, I am saying that foundation is important and if it is laid weakly or not at all then the structure will crumble.
I believe and stand whole hearted on that my parents chose for us the best start and form of education that is out there. How are you to know what is being poured into your child's heart if you are not with them for 75% of the day? My parents knew, and when they didn't like where something was going they were there to guide and direct.
To my "HA" friend, laugh all you want. I am very thankful to my parents for choosing what they did for me as far as education goes. I can not wait until I can attend one of these conventions as a parent. I am excited every time I go to see how big of a community we actually are.
Stepping down from my soap box...