What is it to be ‘homeschooled’ – it is time to speak…

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

by tonirypkema (first posted Sept. 2013)

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!

P.S. Knowing God, and having time to ‘consider God’ and believe in the Son whom He has sent, and taking time to really understand  that God the Father loves ME – Is being educated tremendously. Knowing God loves ME, not just in the head, but in the heart and every part of one’s being doesn’t always take place in those ‘school’ years – but a foundation of CHRIST has been laid, when we receive His love and forgiveness. And…(and yes, there are times when a sentence can begin with ‘And’!) AND WHEN (not ‘if’) life’s great storms come to throw us to the ground…we have a foundation that is built that can stand against ANYTHING that comes our way! In Christ we have life and we have light to illuminate our way even in great darkness! Knowing God and His precious, powerful, and very personal Word – THAT is being educated, indeed!

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Author: tonirypkema

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

3 thoughts on “What is it to be ‘homeschooled’ – it is time to speak…”

  1. Knowing God, and to know that God the Father loves ME – Is being educated tremendously. Knowing God loves ME, not just in your head, but in your heart and every part of one’s being doesn’t always take place in those ‘school’ years – but a foundation of CHRIST has been laid and when life’s great storms come to throw us to the ground…we have a foundation that is built that can stand against ANYTHING that comes our way! In Christ we have life and we have light to illuminate our way even in great darkness! Knowing God and His precious, powerful, and very personal Word – This is being educated, indeed!

  2. Thank you for your loving commitment (and sharing your heartbreak) to your children in desiring to spend as much time with them as possible, being an example of Christ, demonstrating how to walk, then run, and then fly with Christ upon eagle’s wings.

    As a child who also grew up in a Christian household (with Dad serving as both and elder and deacon for more years than I can remember, and Mom in church choir) growing up in the church while attending public school, I can only now appreciate with kids of my own the need to connect our children with what they are learning with Who is their Creator of the universe that they are studying.

    And as far as those “older and wiser” grown children, I can relate in that after I graduated high school and went off to college for the first time on my own; the restraint that came from caring parents (and a degree of my own self-restraint as well) was for my own protection. My still-developing mind had yet to grasp this fact, and sure, I would now in retrospect my actions in the following 1-1/2 years as rebellion towards that godly authority while attempting to establish my own authority, an exercise in futility.

    Every weekend became opportunity to challenge those limits (won’t go into details here) along with two new classmates at college, John and Darrin (both pastor’s kids by the way) and after time, the emptiness that this life brought me to a dead end. It was at that time God sent messengers in the form of a campus ministry called Great Commission Church, who were going door-to-door evangelising. When they found us (I was now roommates with John) I was ready to receive Jesus’ lordship over my life again. Until then I had not realized that it was not my parent’s control and authority I was running from, it was His.

    Years later, I arrived at the doors of Calvary Chapel. I recently re-connected with John on Facebook and he and his eight children and family now live a few hours away, having re-connected with the Lord shorty before leaving university through a Messianic Christian fellowship.

    The Lord faithfully answers prayers of mama’s…. always… for her cubs, no matter how old they get, or how far away… thanks for your tender heart towards the things of God. They are a source of encouragement for many.

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