Friday, August 24, 2007

My Annual Pep Talk

This week I had my pep rally. It was time for my yearly back-to-school pep talk, so I turned to my well-worn, highlighted, written-in, coffee-stained copy of Educating the WholeHearted Child by Sally Clarkson (did you know she has an awesome blog?!) I flipped the book open to page one, and reread words that have ministered to and motivated me for the past 9 years. I thought I'd share them with you today:

"Home schooling is the right thing to do. No matter what mulititude of reasons may have initially influenced your decision to bring your children home, in the end the only reason that really matters is that it is the right thing to do. In your heart, God moved you toward the decision, confirming through a variety of sources that you were doing the right thing. And in your heart, you made the step of faith to do what you knew was right- to bring your children home to disciple and educate them as a family.

That decision, though, was not an uninformed or blind leap of faith. It was guided by conviction, born out of much consideration and research, and shaped in your heart and mind by the Holy Spirit. You have good reasons why home schooling is the right thing to do. You home school because it is right to guard your children against the aggressive secular, humanisitic worldview of the public school. You home school because it is right to shield your children from the immorality that permeates the public school, both the student body and the faculty. You home school because it is right to protect your children from the violence and wickedness that inflicts so many public schools. You home school because it is right to want your children to receive a better education under your loving guidance than the average public school is providing. You home school because it is right for parents to control what their children are studying and are being exposed to without being labeled intolerant and narrow-minded. You home school because it is right to decide that learning at home is better stewardship than spending thousands of dollars for a private school. You home school because it is right to follow God's design for family not just in living, but in learning as well. You home school because it is right to guide your children's Christian character development at home rather than allow them to be "socialized" by secular, untrained, unsupervised schoolmates. You home school because it is right to keep your children under your authority until they are grown, rather than place them under other unknown authorities at a school. You home school because it is right to love your children and want to be with them every day of their lives until they are grown- that is what God intended."

Whether you are embarking on your first year of homeschooling or your ninth year... doesn't it feel great to have someone cheer you on? To tell you that what you are doing, how you are feeling, and the choice you have made for your family is right? This was so affirming to me when we first started, when I was doubting my abilities, thinking I might be crazy or perhaps overprotective for not simply enrolling my daughter in the nice school down the street. All these years later, it still feels good to be told, "it is right."

I feel like I must say at this point that if you are reading this and are not a homeschooler, the flipside of this is not "you are wrong." That's not my intent at all, nor the intent of the author I am sure. But those who are going the more traditional route already have society as a whole directly and indirectly affirming that decision (as well as directly and indirectly questioning the validity of homeschooling). What is right for one family may not be right for another. For us, homeschooling is right.

And I'm pepped up for another year.



Jennifer said...

I love the WholeHearted Child book, too, and am reading it to gear up for our year right now as well (in fact, I also posted about a quote from it today.:)) You are so right...It is encouraging to have that *pep talk*.

Alycia said...

I am going to read this book ~ thank you Cyndi!! Also, I passed this blog to a new homeschooling friend who just withdrew her children from the public school. I know this pep talk with be a great encouragement. Blessings!

Jenny in Ca said...

thanks for the pep talk! I love that book, sadly I lent it out to I don't remember who, and never got it back. Your post reminds me I should order a new one.

I loved the cheerleader graphic!

We start schooling this monday, the pep talk hit the spot!

Kristi said...

I love a good pep talk! It is funny, I have some sections of books that I like to go through, also, before school starts! The book you mentioned is one, I also like "The Well Trained Mind," and the homeschooling book that Gayle Graham wrote (I forgot the title :). I loved your Homeschool Musical ideas!!

lori said...

It is always SO refreshing to hear a "pep talk!!" It was wonderful..I gave myself a pep talk and then on to the kiddos!!

The encouragement that "we" homeschoolers give to each other is edifying and uplifting!
Wonderful post!!
Loved it all!!


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