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Distractions

What distractions do we face as we pursue a Home Education with our children?

Even some of the great men of the Bible became distracted/discouraged during their ministry. Moses did not think that he was capable to speak in front of God`s people. Joshua was fearful when he had to lead the people into the promised land.

God told Joshua to "be strong and courageous, do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you you go." Joshua 1:9

They had to conquer the big city Jericho, and they saw this as an obstacle, even though God had told them that He would give them the victory! Why did they still see this city as an obstacle?
Because they had fear! FEAR held them back. Fear stopped them from moving forward. Fear caused them to take their eyes off God. Fear caused them to doubt and to lack faith.
I believe that the biggest obstacle/distraction with home school families is FEAR.


Fear of what?
  • Fear of not using the same curriculum/resources as others or choosing a different home school philosophy. God created families unique! We have freedom to choose according to our families needs and interests.
  • Fear of not being able to teach my child certain subjects. As you come alongside your child in helping him with the skills/academics, you will be learning together. This is one of the things that I LOVE about home schooling! You will work together in each subject and so you will be keeping up with each skill learnt along the way. When your child reaches a certain maturity, he will begin to learn and teach himself. This has been one of our goals as a family - that our children will "take off on their own" when they are ready to do so. When you get stuck, there is always Dad to help out with subjects like math.   
  • Fear of homeschooling out of the box – we feel secure in having a curriculum to tell us what to do. And this approach suits many families but fear should not stop you from change if that is what God is showing you.
  • Fear of rejection and  loneliness – in Hebrews, Christians are told that we are strangers and aliens on this earth, we are NOT meant to fit in. If we fit in, then there is something wrong with our Christian walk! So, expect opposition, expect rejection and accept it - it is part of the journey. We are to be the light of the world and what does light and darkness have in common? The loneliness can be hard and that is why we need one another for encouragement! God has given us each other to comfort and support. Meet other H.S mums and nurture your relationships!
  • Comparing ourselves and our children with others – each family is unique and God has given us different gifts and talents. When we strive to be like someone else or try and do what someone else is doing, we place man-made burdens on ourselves that God never meant for us to do or be! Accept and thank God for you and your child`s uniqueness!
  • Fear of my children falling behind – falling behind what, who or whose? The irony of this is that we 'measure' against someone else's criteria, set by a group of individuals who have boxed in learning and made ALL learning the same for all learners! The beauty about teaching our children at home is that we can go at their own pace. Some children learn more quickly than others. They do not need to conform with what other children their age are learning. God has gifted each one differently and that is what makes home schooling so unique! 
  • Fear of failure – what is failure, what is success? The world sees success in terms of  degrees and certificates - academic success. God sees success in terms of character and who we are becoming in Christ. Are you training your children in character and teaching them Godly principles? This is our duty as parents.
  • Fear of our children not serving God or not walking in His ways. We are called to disciple our children faithfully and God does the work in their hearts, not us. Walk this journey with your children in grace and understanding. They are a work in progress! Embrace character issues and see these as opportunities for growth, both in you and your children as you work on issues together! Through conflict, God is showing us who we are. When we are open to hear from God about who we are, and as we understand more about WHO God is, we will see Jesus more clearly! Then we will grow and mature in Christ. Conflict is good.
  • Fear of our children becoming 'social delinquents.' This is the biggest misconception about homeschooling! It is impossible not to come into contact with people in our daily lives - through church, sport, communities, outreach, socials. How do our children develop good social skills? We teach them good social skills as they come into contact with other people, from all walks of life, regardless of age. We teach them how to greet people and how to have good manners. We correct them when they do not practise these things. They learn this from us - their parents, and not from other children their own age in a confined, unnatural environment. We can protect them from negative socialization where we mix with other like minded families and we get to "choose" their friends especially when they are young, immature and easily influenced. (This is a big topic and I have just touched on it here.)  

Home schooling is about living and choosing to live a Simple life!
"It requires effort to be at rest.  Pondering that thought got me to thinking about how we have chosen (and been blessed) to live a simple life.  But in order to live that simple life, we have to exert the effort not to do too much.  We have to keep channels closed that many think we should keep open." Linda Miller (friend)

 
Why do we place man-made burdens on our lives that God never meant for us to carry!

Who are we actually fearful of?

Man! We follow man instead of allowing God to direct us.

Job7:17 “ What is man that you make so much of him, that you give him so much attention.” This is the same man who was created out of the dust of the earth, this is the same man who will wither and die one day - and we serve an eternal God who created all things - even MAN! Yet, we are still fearful of him!
 Josh 2:9-11 When the spies, whom Joshua sent out to check out the promised land, met with Rahab, she told them how terrified the inhabitants of Jericho were of the Israelites! For 40yrs they had been a "defeated foe, their hearts were melted!" God`s people already had the victory and they didn’t even know it! (or they failed to believe it because of fear). 
Proverbs 2:7 "He holds victory in store for the upright, He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless."
Listen to God, not man! Noah and the ark always comes to mind here. He was the only one who believed that there was going to be a flood. Even his own family did not believe him! He was on his own! I`m sure he must have had days where he would cry out to God and say, "God, did you really mean for me to build this ark?!" What do you think would have happened if he failed to believe God and listened to man?! (Would you and I be here today?)


Maybe you are saying, "God, did you really mean for me to home-school my children?" You ask this question because you are feeling discouragement perhaps because you have been fearful?  
Fear causes us to doubt! When we doubt, then we have lack of faith and we give Satan a foothold in our lives.

What is causing you to doubt in your homeschool journey? Is it fear? What is causing this fear? 
- Determine the root cause
of this fear - e.g is it comparing yourself or your children with others?
- Acknowledge that you have been fearful because of ............. (comparing with others)
- Repent as this (comparing) is sin
- Pray and ask God to help you to stay focused on where He is directing you with your children. Look to Jesus and the finished work of Christ. Keep your focus on eternal things.  

Homeschooling takes FAITH, COURAGE and CONVICTION!  We need to be in tune with God, not in tune with man otherwise we will become distracted and doubtful and be "swayed" by man.
We need to accept life as God gives it to us, and adjust our expectations to life’s limitations! If it is Gods will for me to home school, then he is NOT asking me to do more than I am able (1Cor 10:13) and he is not withholding from me anything that I truly need!
The problem comes when you do not adjust your expectations to life’s limitations – you want more than you can have, you ask for more than you need, you strive for more than you can do and you expect God to just bless your work, thinking that He is serving you but you are serving Him!

Too many Home schoolers also focus on DOING! They get so involved with church, communities, outreaches, sport activities, academic pursuits, and then they wonder why they are feeling burnt out or why they cannot hear from God or why their children are not performing or being 'successful?' Because of all the DOING and busyness, they have lost their eternal perspective.

We fail to do what is the most important! We try and DO things to become better, more obedient, more involved etc. Instead of all the doing, we need to be ABIDING in Christ! We need to focus on BEING IN CHRIST and not focus on DOING for Christ. When we abide (in the vine), we will enter REST because we will be relying on the finished work of Christ and not relying on our own miserable efforts. We have a new sense of freedom, free from guilt because we SEE JESUS now and He will do the work in me.


"Learning never ends, even through eternity.  It's why we don't need to be so overly concerned about educating our children.  If we keep their hearts throughout their growing-up process, they will move ahead with their own independent education in due time." Linda Miller (friend)


Math 11:28-30 "Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yolk is easy and my burden is light."

 
Here is Charlotte's counsel when faced with opposition: "State your theory and practice, but attack nothing. Be indignant at nothing. When people's minds are put on the defensive they have no room to receive new ideas" (The Story of Charlotte Mason, p. 106).
Read an article about facing opposition and how to respond, click on this link:
http://simplycharlottemason.com/2012/04/25/state-but-dont-attack/

3 comments:

  1. Thank you! I loved writing it!!

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  2. Are you living in Zimbabwe? We are looking to home school with A Beka and would love to talk to some one who is doing it here.


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