A time to be silent, and a time to speak about why we homeschooled…

I have been silent, (and my heart inwardly grieves) because  my older children truly believe that we homeschooled simply for protection and control. I feel in my heart, that I need to put down in black and white the true and real reasons that I invested 21 years of my life to educate my children, and why parents make a sacrificial choice to do  just that.

I don’t know why I feel such a need to speak today, but I feel there is so much misunderstanding, and my own children believe all the outside views. I have children now that are in the public school system and I know they are learning a lot, but there is a lot more to education than mathematics and language arts.

A simple poem, ‘To Be Educated’ by Carolyn Caines says it all for me:

“If I learn my ABC’s, can read 600 words per minute, and can write with perfect penmanship, but have not been shown how to communicate with the Designer of all language,

I have not been educated.

If I can deliver an eloquent speech and persuade you with my stunning logic, but have not been instructed in God’s wisdom,

I have not been educated.

If I have read Shakespeare and John Locke and can discuss their writings with keen insight, but have not read the greater of all books – the Bible – and have no knowledge of its personal importance,

I have not been educated.

If I have memorized addition facts, multiplication tables, and chemical formulas, but have never been disciplined to hide God’s Word in my heart,

I have not been educated.

If I can explain the law of gravity and Eintstein’s theory of relativity, but have never been instructed in the unchangeable laws of the One Who orders our universe,

I have not been educated.

If I can classify animals by their family, genus, and species, and can write a lengthy scientific paper that wins an award, but have not been introduced to the Maker’s purpose for all creation,

I have not been educated.

If I can recite the Gettysburg Address and the Preamble to the Constitution, but have not been informed of the hand of God in the history of our country,

I have not been educated.

If I can play the piano, the violin, six other instruments, and can write music that moves men to tears, but have not been taught to listen to the Director of the universe and worship Him,

I have not been educated.

If I can run cross-country races, star in basketball and do 100 push-ups without stopping, but have never been shown how to bend my spirit to do God’s will,

I have not been educated.

If I can identify a Picasso, describe the style of da Vinci, and even paint a portrait that earns an A+, but have not learned that all harmony and beauty comes from a relationship with God, I have not been educated.”

Kids, this is the reason why we homeschooled! Oh, and it wasn’t a perfect environment, but there was music and drawing and time to listen to wonderful stories written long ago. There were schedules, endless math hours, and writing assignments, and the chore chart, but there were also ski trips on mondays, and close relationships with siblings lots of babies and toddlers to read to and play with, and …

most importantly, a chance to learn about the ‘Designer of all language’, to be ‘instructed in God’s wisdom’, to read the Bible and hide it in your heart, to take time to ‘listen to the Director of the universe and worship Him’,

but that education continues kids. It never ends.

So I pray that we can still be part of the education process in your lives by letting you know that

‘all harmony and beauty comes from a relationship with God’!  I just wanted you to know your mama’s heart. It is because Knowing Him – IS  being educated. Or, perhaps, Knowing HIM is being EDUCATED!


Author: tonirypkema

Wife to 1, mother of 11, daughter of 1. "The most amazing woman in the world." -Jared (son)

4 thoughts on “A time to be silent, and a time to speak about why we homeschooled…”

  1. Love it, love it!! People in the church don’t know why we homeschool! Tired of defending myself. Maybe they can read this. Thank you, Toni!

  2. I am curious about your use of the two words, together, ‘protection’ and ‘control’. If your kids believed you did all that you did out of protection for them – that would be a nice sentiment. If they use the word ‘control’ that would really be devastating. How do they work together in this situation and in your kids minds?

    I am hoping you will consider expounding on this in another post. The poem is sweet, but I don’t get how it explains your older children feeling like they were homeschooled so that you could have control. I am curious how they developed this opinion. I think it would be helpful to many of us younger parents that are homeschooling.

    Thanks for this post. Several people I know ‘liked’ this on Facebook and I am taking some time to peruse your blog.

    1. Hello Janet, I am thankful for your comment. I shared the poem simply as a mirror to THIS mama’s heart, and the purpose behind our choices to homeschool. In no way does it explain how the older children feel like the reasons were ‘control’.

      I think God understands completely though – because He set up a most wonderful environment for Adam and Eve with plenty to do and explore and even walks with Himself, but Eve was hanging out by the tree of knowledge of good and evil and even dialoging with a serpent, well, and Adam came and joined up with her, so we live in a fallen world today.

      But as parents who love the Lord, seeking His will,and sensing His will to homeschool; they follow through out of obedience and trust in God. And that is what we must all continue to do each and every day, no matter what happens, (whether He has us continue in our homeschooling or not) – is to seek God and obey His will for us.

      And I know that He desires most that we ‘love one another’. So whatever each child ‘feels’, we can know, that standing before God, we did our best to love and obey His will for the day! And now we have TODAY, what a beautiful thing, “O Lord, teach us to love! teach us to love in Your strength and in Your way!”

      And what is most encouraging about the gracious and compassionate Lord that we serve is, He does just that! And the kids know, (no matter how they feel about homeschooling) without a shadow of doubt, that their mama and papa love them, and they KNOW too, that Jesus loves them most, no matter what!

      And you know, I truly believe, that someday…
      the kids will know.

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