Monday, March 10, 2008


Al Mohler will be discussing the California homeschooling issue today on his radio program. You can listen to it online here from 5:00- 6:00 PM Eastern Time. (Or if you're a podcast junkie like I am, you can subscribe to it here.) His blog article about it is here. I really appreciate Dr. Mohler's perspective on SO many issues. He really is a voice of reason in my opinion. I'm ready to hear what he has to say on this issue.

Have a great Monday!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Whose Children Are They?

Can you imagine the public outcry that would be heard if it were suddenly brought into question whether parents could legally be in charge of feeding their own children unless at least one parent became a certified, registered dietitian? What if, in order to prepare your children's food in your own home it was mandatory to be under the ongoing supervision of a credentialed, registered dietitian?

How do you think the general public would feel about their state assuming that since one family didn't adequately feed their children (as determined by the courts) now all families must receive training and certification as dietitians and cooks, or else bring their children to state-funded nutrition centers for all of the meals for their minor children? Because, obviously, parents can't be trusted. They're not qualified. The feeding of children is too important an issue. We can't leave dietary decisions and menu implementation to amateurs! Even amateurs who love these children with their very lives and are doing everything they can to educate themselves and feed them properly. Parents either must receive the necessary qualification and certification to cook for and feed their own children, or let the proper professionals handle it. In fact, it should be the law.

This sounds a bit absurd in the realm of nutrition, but this is exactly what's happening in the realm of education. The underlying assumption is that parents simply can't be trusted to educate their own children.

This week's California Court of Appeal decision is found here. If you haven't already, I encourage you to go read it. The language is clear. It's not just about this one family. The decision is now on the path to become a legal precedent for other cases. I don't think it's alarmist at all to listen to James Dobson's radio broadcast for today and consider seriously what is discussed. It's not paranoid to join HSLDA or at least your state's support group. It's not irrational to go here and sign this petition on behalf of thousands of homeschoolers in California. You never know when your family might benefit from the work that's being done on behalf of the rights of parents. Parents who happen to want to nourish the minds of their children themselves... through homeschooling.

**Edited to add: This is not just a homeschool issue! Al Mohler has a great post about this on his blog here. Dr. Mohler states, "This is a controversy that demands the attention of all parents. After all, if parents have no constitutional right to educate their own children, what other aspects of the parent's choices for their own children lack protection? This question reaches far beyond educational decisions."

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Lie # 7

**This is the seventh post in a series that I have been writing from the book Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe, by Todd Wilson. (If you haven't read my other posts on the topic, you can find them by clicking on the link in the label at the end of this post.) **

That's what I love about this blog. I can start a series of posts, leave off, and pick up the series a year later! If you are a serious blogger you probably can't imagine doing that. (If you are a homeschool mom, you probably can. ;)

It's March 6th. Finally! It's March! Did you make it through the "February Freakout?" Do you typically have a FF? I do. Every year in February I have that "WHAT am I DOING??" feeling. The momentum of fall is gone. The Christmas rush is over. There are no more holidays in sight until spring break or Easter. Some of the curriculum I *loved* last summer and eagerly started last fall is staring at us, no longer fun and new. The books have creases and pages are torn out. Some of the things I thought my kids would get a kick out of got an "eh" and a shrug. Several of the plans I made in my August back-to-school-coffee-fueled-plan-a-thon were too much trouble to actually put into practice. My clothes are no longer cute. The weather doesn't know if it wants to be cold or warm (where we live) but my legs attest to the fact that it is NOT time for capris pants.

If you don't do this in February, chances are you feel this way at some point (or at many points!) in your schoolyear. It's in seasons like this that you run into.... her.

You've seen her. The "perky homeschooler."

She's perpetually dressed cute, or even worse, looks cute in *whatever* she wears. She's always in a good mood. She's excited about what she and her kids are doing in school. Moreover-- her kids are excited about it! You usually run into her when they've just come from one fabulously enriching activity and they're on their way home to write about it in their Enrichment Journals. She loves all of her curriculum and wouldn't change a thing. Just being around her makes you feel extremely guilty about your own feelings about homeschooling at the moment. Why? Because you've bought...

Lie #7: Every other mom loves homeschooling her kids.

Most of the moms I know like homeschooling most of the time. In fact, the majority of them love it (in theory) the majority of the time. But the truth is, in practice, many of us don't LOVE it each and every day. Some of us love the results of it, but not the everyday-ness of it. And... that's okay! It's hard work!

If you look at what you do that's really good for you, it's not always easy. Taking vitamins, for instance. The mediocre vitamins I get at Wal Mart that are good-but-not-that good for me are a pleasant color and not that hard to swallow. The vitamins I get from my vitamin store that are the bestest-vitamins-in-the-universe are huge, green horse pills. Which do you think I *like* taking? Which do you think actually make me feel better and more energetic?

Exercise, eating certain healthy foods, certain spiritual disciplines, ministry tasks, motherhood... most things that are best are hard! Most moms I know who are homeschooling are doing it because for whatever reason they (along with their husbands) have decided it is best for their children. But it is hard! And things that are hard are usually not The Most Fun Everyday.

I am motivated by a deep love for my kids and a commitment to do what's best for them. My husband and I have decided that homeschooling is best. (Yes, through high school!) I LOVE knowing that I'm doing what I know God has called me to do. Do I always love doing it? No. I *love* what homeschooling is. On most days I *like* what it involves. But, I *live* the reality of each day, relying on God's power and not my own energy or emotion. In fact, on the days I don't really "love" it, it's more of an offering to God and I find I'm more reliant on Him. If I love Him with all my heart, soul, and mind, and homeschool as though working for God and not man... it doesn't matter if I love it all the time.

Not loving homeschooling for a season is not the reason not to do it...Not loving it is not a sign you're not good at it...Not loving it does not make you "less" of a homeschooler than your perky friend...Not loving it gives you an opportunity to lean more on Him, and gives Him an opportunity to work His character into you as you persevere...Not loving it brings an opportunity to make necessary changes...Not loving it is okay, and it is normal.

I'll close with a quote from Wilson's book. "The things that are the easiest are usually not very good for you, but those things that take blood, sweat and tears are worth everything. So take heart. Homeschooling must be really, really good because it's really, really hard."

Everyone (even Perky Mom) has those "not-lovin'-it" seasons. Don't believe the lie!


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