Sunday, 15 February 2009

Why do you do that?

Since I home school I am often asked this question. "Why?" Since I am fairly new to homeschooling I also inevitably get asked, "What made you decide to home school them?" The list is so enormous that it is hard to touch on every little reason, but I will highlight a few here. First off all, I always tell people the worse thing I ever did was work in a public school. I say it was the worse thing only because a second income in our family is not going to be possible for quite a while. But, in all honesty it was probably the best thing that could have happened. God sent me a real eyeopener giving me that job. I saw things that I could not believe. Bullying, backstabbing, sexual suggestiveness by 4Th, 5Th, and 6Th graders, disrespect, lying, cheating, and just out and out immoral and unethical behavior. For these crimes students would get very light punishments if any at all and for the most part teachers would save themselves the trouble and say, "Oh, I didn't see it so there is nothing I can do about it." If I had a quarter for every time I heard that statement I would be a very rich woman. Now, don't get me wrong. Not all children I came in contact with were this way. There were a lot of great kids in the school and wonderful teachers, but it seemed as if they were vastly outnumbered. My son was bullied everyday. Every single day. I gave him coping strategies, talked with the teachers, the vice principal, the principal and was always told the same thing. This is how school is, this is how kids learn to deal with real life. Something did not seem right about that to me. Beat a kid down, get him to the point where he has zero self-esteem and he will thank you for it later as he will be able to "deal" with real life. I am sure their are bullies out there in the work force. I have come across quite a few, but let's face it school is not real life. I am very certain that when my son grows up he will go into the work place and deal with adults that are all the same age. They will all huddle in little groups and kick, spit, and shout names at my son. They will call him fat, ugly, dork, geek, gay, stupid, dumb, butt head, and push him into the floors and walls. Then the boss will respond with "I am sorry, I did not see it happen so there is nothing I can do about it." Um, I really doubt it. I am sure a lot of you who know me realize that the subject of bullying is a fiery one for me. My stance is that it is NOT normal, will never be NORMAL and if schools and parents don't start doing something about it now there will sadly be more instances like Columbine. O.k. off my soap box. But, I am sure I will climb back on soon. I don't home school simply for the bullying factor. I also home school so that I can raise my kids to love God and to be good citizens. I want to be the one to teach them about sex. Not another peer. I want them to have a great education not confined to a uncomfortable chair all day with little or no fresh air and down time. My kids learn about ancient Egypt. I mean really learn about ancient Egypt. We take our time learning things and if they need more time with something we take it. They do not get looked over and we do not move on till they really understand the subject. I have found deficits in both my children's education. So those out there that take the stance that home schoolers will have "holes" in their educations, I would like to say that they would have "holes" if they attended public schools as well. My children however do know that Africa is a continent not a country as most of the children they know insist it is. They know the sequence of mitosis of a cell. They know how cavemen made cave paintings and they have made their own. They know that God wants them to be good people and they learn about him daily. I am not trying to say that my way is better then anyone else's. What i am trying to get across is their is nothing wrong with homeschooling. home schoolers are not "weird" or all religious fanatics. We are parents, that for me by the grace of God, have taken control of their child's education and said Enough! I have always done things differently anyway, Why not this? ;)

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Um, WOW!

Part of my journey in learning to be grateful has been finding God again. They just both seemed to have gone hand in hand. I have been "saved" as a lot of Christians refer to accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. I truly believe without a shadow of a doubt that God wanted me to come to him again. I have received many "messages" to this effect but none as bold as what happened to me yesterday. I have long suffered form depression. IT comes and it goes and it seems to have reared its ugly head stronger and with more frequency since we have moved to England. There are many things I can blame it on, the long dark winter, the absence of sunlight, the list can go on and on and on. At the core though, the problem lies with me. All of my family members have dealt with depression or are prone to it. I have found that if I fully rely on God though he can help me through even my darkest hours. Yesterday, this was completely affirmed. I was at the library looking through the free book section and I happened upon a book my Corrie Ten Boom. Jason had to read her biography for a curriculum he had been using and I read it as well. Corrie was a very brave woman who helped Jews hide during WWII. She even went to a concentration camp (for her actions) where her sister and father died. I saw the authors name on the book and picked it up. I loved her biography, surely I would love this book. I really didn't read the cover or peruse the inside until I climbed into bed last night to have a look at the books I had selected. I was delighted to see that the book was a collection of daily inspirations written by Ten Boom and supported by scripture. Then I opened it up and right on the inside cover, written in red ink some time ago was this message:

Dear Jenny,
I hope you will find strength in these messages. They have spoken to my heart and my needs these last 2 years and maybe you are at the low point where I was when I begin to read these.

There were also dates that the message writer wanted the reader to concentrate on. The funny thing is my name, or nickname, is Jenny. I was flabbergasted. I read and reread this message over and over again. I do not believe for one second that it was purely a coincidence that this message was in this book. I do not believe that it was a coincidence that I picked this book up. I believe God placed it there for me to find. I do believe with all my hear that he was sending me a message. That I must always find my strength in him and fully rely on him for everything. I am still in shock over this. God is such an awesome God!