Thursday, June 27, 2013

It's Simply Passion

I keep mulling this post over in my mind.

It's overdue. And I know that because several have told me they feel judged by me. Which surprises me because that isn't my heart. But it turns out, my very strong opinions come across as judgment for those who have chosen a different path. So I wanted to clarify a few things.

And this is all in regards to our choice of education for our family.

#1. Yes, I have very, very (VERY) strong opinions on:
     Common Core
     Standardized testing
       and
    The many benefits to home education as opposed to the other forms of education available.

I'm not going to wax eloquent on all that here. If you truly want to know my thoughts, my stance, my opinions, read this book here:
Educating the WholeHearted Child -- Third Edition


It puts every heart thought, spiritual conviction, and logical opinion I have on the matter, into book form. And since there is no point in reinventing the wheel, I'll just say, "Read the book if you really want to know!"

#2. Though I have strong opinions on public education, I know of some amazing public schools. Absolutely amazing schools! Where teachers go above and beyond, even as they are constrained by state standards and limited budgets.

I have friends who have children in these schools and I have no judgement for them whatsoever. In fact, I am thrilled they have the access to such an awesome education within the public school system! 

3. I don't think those who don't choose home schooling are horrible, aweful, neglectful parents who don't care about things of God and a Biblical worldview.

I believe firmly, that Christian parents have prayed and researched and hashed out their decision to enroll their child in a school---whatever type it is---as much as Handsome and I have prayed and researched and hashed out (and have we hashed out!!!) our decision to pursue home education.

Now, if your child is in school and you haven't done the above, but simply placed them there without thought just because it "seems" the logical thing to do, of course I would urge you to re-evaluate and reason through and pray, pray, pray, that you are on the path God truly desires for your family.

But my basic assumption is you have and because you have, I support you, because what God has called your family to is different than what He has called my family to.

4. Those who pay for Christian education---oh my respect is through the roof for that. In our area, it is a whopping $3,000 to $4,000 a year per child for this type of education. The sacrifice so many of my friends make for this astounds me. This is a sacrifice all it's own.

5. I have high praise for parents who send their children to school and are closely involved in that education with close, constant contact with teachers, volunteering in classrooms and for field trips, and being sports team moms. It thrills my heart, at the hands-on involvement that parents are sacrificing time for.

6. Teachers. I can not forget teachers. Words can not adequately express my admiration and respect for those who teach. 

It is teachers who taught me the love of learning. Teachers who unleashed my potential. Teachers who invested in my life, from helping me with math after school hours when I couldn't get it in the middle school years, to college professors taking time out of the piled-up papers needing to be graded, in order to respond to my need to answer questions on weighty topics I was trying to work through.

Teachers who passed on a love for learning and teaching. Because of teachers in my public and Christian school education, I am choosing to teach my own daughter. Because learning, and knowledge, and passing that on, is a passion of mine and that all came from teachers.

The circle of our educational choice of home school, began in a school setting. Imagine that! And all because of teachers.

Teachers, who like I already said, have limited budgets and are chained in by common core and are personally evaluated by the student's scores on standardized tests. Who have to teach by state demands and still somehow, manage to teach with creativity and personality, despite the machine the government tries to make education. Teachers who use their own money to purchase the supplies the school budget can't afford. Teachers who speak with parents and tutor students in after-hours and invest in lives and have a classroom full of abuse and neglect and illness and learning issues, and love with passion, despite these hurdles.

I'm a passionate home schooling mom but I will have a teacher's back in a heart-beat and til the end of time, because their job is beyond amazing.


Am I passionate about our choice to educate at home? Yes!

Am I certain that my children are, and will be receiving a top-quality education, because I am smart and qualified and because of the classical method we are choosing and because we go beyond the common core and also teach things like how to reason and inductively study the Word of God? Yes!

Am I confident God has led us this way and any other way would be disobedience to this calling? Yes!

Do I love teaching my children, thrive on discovering with them, thrill at how fun and amazing our classical method of learning is? Yes!

Am I confident my children will be able to hold their own at the end of their school career with those who learned in a different environment? Yes!

But do I judge you because your family is on a different path than our family? No! 

A million times No!

My constant voiced excitement over our latest lesson or discovery or next lesson plan is not a criticism of what your child is currently doing.  It's simply excitement because I love teaching my children.

A link on Facebook to an article on the concerns over common core and the pressure of standardized tests, is not a statement about you and your child personally, because your child is learning that way and taking those tests. It's simply a link that I agree with as someone who has researched education and teaching methods and standards, and the role government is currently playing in it all.

My strong opinion on why home schooling is a powerful, high-quality, personal God-led way to teach my children is not an opinion of you as a person and your choice of education. It's simply my research-led, (very) prayer-led opinion on what was the best choice for my children and our family.

My passion is not my judgement of you.  

 Please, please know that.

With love and respect to you all, and

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Welcome
and
Disclaimer:


While this is stated on the blog purpose page, it is also an important enough disclaimer for me to feel a need to place on this front page for first-time visitors.
I am a stay-at-home-wife and mother, busy with home educating my children, doing daycare, and preparing our church-turned-home to embrace special needs and terminally ill children in need of a forever family.
These "Hidden Valley Ministries" are my first and top priority.
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