Friday, September 3, 2010

Educating Children is the Parent’s Responsibility

Did that title catch your attention? I thought it might. I believe it with all my heart. God gave you your children, you alone will have to answer for how they are educated and trained. It’s YOUR responsibility, from teaching them to say ‘mama’ to teaching them quantum mechanics. (Does that even exist? I don’t know.)

But here’s the kicker. While it is the parent’s responsibility, nowhere in the Bible does it say. “Thou Parents ONLY shall teach their children’. We all need help. We all rely on others around us to help. We all part out some part of our children’s education. Either in the form of Sunday School, or Grandma teaching little Suzy how to sew, or math classes at a co op, all the way to sending out kids to school for all their academics. There is no one right way for everyone.

I have many friends who have their children in public or private schools. They feel strongly this is what the Lord would have them do. I homeschool my children. I feel strongly that this is what the Lord would have me do. The two do not have to be mutually exclusive! The Holy Spirit guided my family to this way of life for a reason, as did he lead my friends to theirs for a reason.

Why must we argue about that? Why must we think our way superior; the only right way? How arrogant! How unhelpful to the body of Christ! How disappointing to God. I know people who send their kids to Public School and think that is the only right way. They believe that by homeschooling or private schooling, we are not taking God’s Word to be salt and light seriously. I know homeschoolers that think it’s nothing short of a sin to send one’s offspring off to the evil government schools.

I’m going to be honest with you. Homeschooling has some downfalls. It’s not perfect. My kids are missing things. It’s hard. Someday I want to give up. I also know that public schools have their downfalls. It is not a perfect option. It is hard. I know many parents who wish they could change something about their public school. Private schools have their issues too. I know parents who wish they could change things about their children’s private school. This side of eternity, no option is perfect.

Here’s the thing…can’t we have a little grace for each other? You send your kid to public school and I’m going to support you and applaud you for all you do in the school and for the teachers. You send your kid to private school and I’m going to support you and listen to you and be proud of you for all you do for the students and teachers. And I’m going to homeschool my kids and you can support me.

Arrogance never builds up. It only tears down. The Holy Spirit can lead my family one way and your family the other, and both can be right. That’s how God works.


cuponklipper said...

I felt bad for posting this comment on FB because I always get mad when people post there instead of on my actual blog (I love getting blog comments!). So I am posting it here, too :-)

This is awesome. I was floored by a profound statement that Lori Newmann made at the co-op orientation the other night. She warned us to not be a stumbling block to other families who have not been called to home school. This wholeheartedly supports her warning to home schooling families to not be arrogant and self-righteous. Thank you!

Tricia said...

Thanks Amy! I like getting blog comments too. I was really surprised to hear Lori say that too.

My writing that was not just in response to what was said at orientation, but just in general. I've been thinking about it for a long time.

I have friends who send their kids to public school and think that if we keep our kids home, we're not obeying God.

Then I know homeschoolers who feel like anything less than homeschooling is a sin.

I just get so tired of arrogant extremists. It separates, you know? It does not bring people (or churches) together.

Melanie said...

Preach it sister! I totally agree.

Kristin said...

You go girl! I love your page, and I'm very jealous of the design. Did you do that yourself? I know you could teach me how to do it because you obviously have that ability. LOL Great post!