Unity in the Body of Christ in Regards to Homeschool versus Public School

“In Essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty.   In all things, charity." 

 Parenting is the most personal path you may ever walk; our hearts are so raw when it comes to our children that defensiveness can be our knee-jerk reaction.   There is so much defensiveness on both sides of homeschooling that it easily leads to bitterness and resentment in the Body of Christ. 

I love Homeschooling.  I believe with all my heart that my family was called to homeschool.  I think I could talk to you all day about why we homeschool and how rewarding it has been for our family.  I can and probably will write why we home-school in other post, but this is not an explanation of why we home school.  I pray for this issue to be an open dialogue with prayerful and wise conversations. I attend an amazing church of people who have become my family, but I am in the minority as a homeschooling family. While this can be hard some days, especially Back to School Season, I want it to always be open to conversation.

ADVICE TO BELIEVING PARENTS
To ALL Christian Parents:
The response ,"That is why we ________ (insert homeschool or send out kids to public school)" is NOT an appropriate or helpful response when a fellow believer is sharing a struggle with their child.
  Seriously, both sides, stop this.  I have been on the receiving end of "That is why we send our kids to school" more times that I can count, it is hurtful and  judgmental. When a fellow believer ,who has a different schooling choice than you, confides a parenting struggle with you, please prayerfully answer with scripture and encouragement, or keep your mouth shut.

I want to urge Christian homeschool parents:
My lovely sisters in Christ who public school ,or teach in public school, have shared a big concern with me that needs to be shared. Homeschooling parents need to be careful not to guilt public school Christian parents. Be careful not to imply  that public school parents are lazy or unconcerned with the spiritual, emotional welfare of their children, this is is furthest thing from the truth.  They want the very best for their specific children, and believe public school is the way to accomplish this.

I want to urge Christian public school parents (or teachers):
Be careful  not to imply that homeschool parents don't teach their children to boldly share their faith by not yet fully immersing them in a secular environment. Serving and living in our communities looks different for us as a homeschool family, but it still is a priority for most Christian  homeschooling parents. And implying that fear is our main motivation for homeschooling is hurtful. We want the very best for our specific children, and believe homeschool is the way to accomplish this.

Random Sidenote: Public School parents, please teach your children the proper term of Homeschool versus public school. Public School is not "real school",  implying ours is a fake school. ;)


DIFFERENT CALLINGS, SAME END GOAL
As much as I am sure God called my family to homeschooling, I know God called a close believing friend of mine to send her kids into public school.   I respect and support her as she steps out in faith into the scary unknown, and encourages her children to be light in a dark place of public school.  I also believe she respects and supports me as I step in the scary unknown of schooling my children at home.

There have been times we bun into miscommunication, or false assumptions on both side.  We do have different lifestyles, but we remain friends. The friendships I have are important enough to seek dialogue and sharpen each other as sisters in Christ.  We may have different callings in regards to school for our kids, yet we both believe that our children are called to stand out and share their light in a world of darkness.

Public school and home-school parents alike must be diligent to write the Word of God on their hearts as often ,and as soon as possible, so that they may shine in the darkness. My friend mentioned above has Scripture all over her house, they do no neglect gathering with other believers each week for church and small group, and  most importantly she lives out her beliefs.  She shows her kids what bible study looks like by doing it herself. She disciples them in the Word and teaches them how it applies to their every day lives. I hope that I can be this to my children, no matter my choice for education.

 I grew up in public school with  non-Christian parents.  While  many of those public school experiences led to my decision to home-school,  if I had not had Christians and Youth Leaders coming to my  public school, I'm not sure where I would be in my walk today.If I hadn't made mistakes and felt what it was to "ride the fence" of Christianity by partying on Saturday and then going to youth group on Sunday, then I would not have know the heart ache and pain of living a double minded life.

Even though not all Christian kids stand up for their faith in public schools, the ones who do make an eternal difference in the the unbelievers around them.   Homeschooling parents, please pray for your public schools and their teachers.  Your child's future spouse is could most likely sitting in a public school classroom right now. 


UNITY AND CHARITY IN THE BODY
 To see a more in depth study of distinguishing essential to Non- Essentials see Reclaiming the Mind.

“In Essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, charity."   These are the words of obscure reformer Rupertus Meldenius and the basis of my home church's mission statement.  I praise our Pastor for seeing the necessity of discerning where divisions in non-essentials can easily split a body of believers. He does not waver in the essentials and when the Bible is completely clear I have witnessed  painful, but necessary church discipline.  There is no wavering on The Truth when it is clearly spelled out in Scripture. Not all things are clearly spelled out in Scripture and we must work to discern these essentials versus non essentials.

Essential for salvation: These are the most essential doctrines of all essentials. This includes what every Christian should always be willing to die for. In essence, if someone does not believe the doctrines that are “essential for salvation,” they are not saved.
  • Belief in God (there is no such thing as an atheistic Christian)
    All issues pertaining to the person and work of Christ:
  • Belief in Christ’s deity and humanity (1 John 4:2-3; Rom. 10:9)
  • Belief that you are a sinner in need of God’s mercy (1 John 1:10)
  • Belief that Christ died on the cross and rose bodily from the grave (1 Cor 15:3-4)
  • Belief that faith in Christ is necessary (John 3:16)

Non Essentials:Choose Your Battles Carefully.  Just because something is non-essentials, does not make it unimportant, but  these are the issues that can trip us up, and I believe Satan uses to Divide the Body of Christ.   We are to seek Unity and be at peace whenever possible. Yes, Jesus says The Truth will be divisive (Luke 12:49-53), but He is referring to the division between believers and unbelievers.  The Word does not contradict itself and there is a clear emphasis on Unity in the Body of Christ.  (Ephesian 4:1-5) I believe it is essential that that we teach our children Jesus is the one and only way to Salvation, but how we do that we have liberty in.

The following are very important ideas, but not essential for salvation. Some examples of the non essentials that we have liberty in are:
  • Schooling Choices (home-school, Christian school, Public School)
  • Belief about particular when Jesus come in Revelations(Pre/Mid/post post tribulation)
  • The order of books in the canon
  • Which translation of the Bible to use from the pulpit
  • Which Gospel was written first
  • How often one should celebrate the Lord’s supper
  • What kind of music to play at church
  • Whether to use real wine or grape juice at communion
  • Whether to hold Saturday night services

SEEK GOD IN YOUR CHOICE
While I do not believe that homeschooling is an essential for Christianity, if you are feeling the call to home-school please do not ignore it I was terrified when I started, but obeying the call has reaped unimaginable rewards in our family.

If you feel led to send your child to public school, seek God's face in how that will play out in your family.

No matter what your leading, live out your faith in front of you kids by supporting and encouraging other sister in Christ. Christian women need other women. Do not let the enemy distract, destroy, and divide us.





YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN

A (Recovering) Yelling Mom's Story 

Security in my choice to Homeschool


Christian Moms, Take Off the Cape

Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum

We have begun Kindergarten!




For our 2012-2013 School Year we are using My Father' World Kindergarten curriculum, the basic package.  I love Unit Studies, and the Charlotte Mason Approach, and MFW combines both approaches, along with a little classical.

The Kindergarten curriculum is easy to teach , open and go curriculum. All the subjects are combined into your day as you teach. Our day starts out with a 100's chart and calendar. An example of how the other subjects are all integrated is when we learn about the letter T; our science includes books and articles on turtles, art and cutting of fun turtle art, and the bible characteristic of perseverance as we read Aesop's Tale "The Tortoise and the Hare."

The lessons take us only 20-40 minutes a day, which is developmentally appropriate for a kindergartner.  I am no doctorate, but I do have a degree in Early Child Education, and  appreciate that My Father's World truly understands Early Learning and Brain Development.  It is a time of learning HOW to learn, fostering the love of learning through experiencing and making hands on connections with the world around them, through play and reading.

Days of Creation at the beginning of the year


Optional Supplements  to My Father's World

PLEASE NOTE-  YOU DO NOT NEED TO BUY A SEPARATE MATH OR LANGUAGE ARTS WITH MY FATHER'S WORLD KINDERGARTEN.  All subjects are tied into basic package.  The supplements we added are completely optional.

HANDWRITING WITHOUT TEARS- We added  Handwriting Without Tears/Preschool packet  to the day to help handwriting b.c we had A LOT of tears when we started the year. My boys were  JUST five year old, and in hindsight, could have waited a little longer before started handwriting.
Mat Man from Handwriting without tears

WHITE BOARDS WITH LINES- MFW includes a lot of fun tactile ways to lean letters, but my boys were struggling (picture a lot of crying) with the small pencils and one inch tall lines of the handwriting worksheet.  The lines on the whiteboard are a full 2 inches tall and give the boys an opportunity to practice the letter and draw an item of that letter.We adapted to learn the letter/sound with Handwriting Without Tears, then practiced on our white boards before even attempting to write with a pencil on the small lines of the MFW student sheets. After adding HWT and white boards, the twin who struggled with handwriting is having no problem with the MFW handwriting pages!

MATH-  Continuing on the tactile learning style curriculum, we have supplemented with Math-U-See primer.  We didn't see the need at the beginning of the year for this supplement because MFW has a comprehensive K curriculum that includes math concepts.  Yet as I looked ahead to 1st and 2nd grade, I knew that My Father's World does not include math in it's core curriculum, but recommends Singapore Math.  I didn't think Singapore math was as appropriate for my for tactile learners as Math-U-See.  Seeing that we would eventually start on Math-U-See, I received advice that the curriculum is structured to build on top of the foundation it lays in it's primer and alpha programs.  This has led us to start the Primer packet mid- Kindergarten.





Deep Thoughts from the Batman and Spiderman....2012

Just some quotes from my awesome boys...

Batman


Me after finding undies in living room,"Is this underwear dirty or clean?"  Batman(in all seriousness) "I don't know, does it feel like it has any farts in it?" 

 I just said "Please stop picking your nose." His response was, "I'm not picking my nose, I'm just getting something out of it that doesn't belong there.".....he should be a lawyer.


"Mom! My foot hurts from kicking my brother in the face!".....really?!?! 

  Batman while helping me make lasagna,"This is my favorite food because I love ri-cottage cheese!"

 "Mmmm! Mom, potato wedges are my favorite type of wedge!" 

Just had a funny conversation with Batman that the tuna he was eating was NOT a type of chicken....I still don't think he believes me.



 

 Spiderman

" Mommy, I put on clean underwear! You want to smell them to make sure?" ...ummm, no thank you!

  "Mommy, you need put our candy up higher because sometimes Batman and me sneak it." Me, "Well, then how about you not sneak them?" Spiderman ,"Umm, yeah I think I will sneak them so you should just put them up higher." Well at least he is honest!!!!

"You know what be really hard? Rock climbing while eating soup." Good to know... good to know.


 "I want to be a swim teacher when I grow up, but I am pretty sure my Lighting McQueen swimsuit wont fit then."

 During a game of opposites Spiderman said, "I think the opposite of plants is a shovel, because that's how we get to no plants." I love hearing how his mind works:)

 Overheard at dinner, "I'm a noodle tornado & I'm about to be eaten by the mouthinator!"....oh to be five again:)

 "Did you know that 'ouch' in spanish is 'yowzers!'?"  Not sure where he comes up with this stuff:)

  "If I don't get a prize at vbs tonight then I wont whine...I wont be happy about it....but I wont whine." I think he is 5 going on 45 sometimes:)

 "Mommy, did you know there are things you know that  I don't know?" .....I really hope so.