11 November 2011

SACHS Blog Carnival #11 - Philosophies of Homeschooling

My homeschooling journey is currently at a very challenging place!  Four boys between the ages 2 and 6 years old - a challenge in itself; a child in primary school - who needs a lot of attention; two children in middle school - who hunger for knowledge; and a young man, who I desperately want to get through school, while he is exploring the world and experiencing the favour of the Lord on His life.

Many days, I have no idea what I’m supposed to do, but one thing I know, this is exactly what the Lord had instilled for the Lues family and I will never turn away from this road the Lord has placed me on.  
Our homeschool philosophy is very much based on personally taking responsibility to give each individual child life skill opportunities within a Bible believing environment while teaching them how to search for information in a culture saturated with information, but hungry for knowledge.  We believe God will make a way for their future, we only need to work passionately and diligently with them every day.
Over the past ten years I experienced and observed a few interesting things:
  • Commitment 
The most important decision Christo and I made as parents, were to commit ourselves to our homeschooling journey and never looked back or looked for a way out when things got tough. I constantly remind myself where I’m coming from - When and How the Lord called me to homeschool the children He gave me.  
I’m homeschooling, because God appointed me to homeschool.  There is no two ways about it.  

These children are His children.  God only gave them to me for a short period of time, during which I should train them up in the way they should go.  Without commitment I would be like a wave on the see, unstable in all my doings.  In particular my homeschooling doings.  

In the beginning I constantly searched for new curriculums, until I realized I must get settled in my homeschooling approach. The Lord appointed specific curriculums with a purpose, with my children’s personalities and learning approaches in mind, I just have to put my mind on making them work for our situation.

Over the years when things got difficult, it never appealed to us to put our children back in school, or even get a tutor.  This was God’s calling on our, but more specific, my life. And I somehow knew that through the hardships, He would make a way.  As long as I stay committed and obedient, He would lead me in wisdom.
“Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” Ps 37:4-5
  • Unity between Christo and Me;
I cannot thank the Lord enough that Christo was the first one convinced to homeschool. There is no way I could have kept at it through the hardships and doubt in myself as homeschooling parent, if Christo was blowing in my neck all the time, checking on the children and even threatening to put them back in school if I (and they), didn’t perform to his expectations.   

Whenever I got discouraged, Christo would be there to uplift my spirit. He would remind me why we were homeschooling, and who my only Hope was and just put me to ease in the circumstances.  Unity between husband and wife is of the utmost importance.   Christo constantly reminds me, we only need to fulfill God’s expectation for our children, not our own, or the World’s expectations.
“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.
 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.
 ... and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
  • Never Compare My Family or Children with Others
When we started homeschooling years ago, we were in the “privileged” situation that we knew nobody who homeschooled.  We were just a family whom the Lord miraculously prompted to homeschool in a certain way and we had nobody to compare ourselves with. By the time I got to know more homeschooling families, I was secure in the way God intend us to homeschool.  Oh, I did listen to other homeschoolers every now and then when they talked about their amazing curriculums, and even tried out a few, with no success. My husband kept my feet on the ground, when it came to comparing my family and children, curriculums and extra murals with others. 

I’ve said it so many times, no two families are the same. Even two families who do the exact same curriculum, will have a different approach and different outcome.  There is nothing wrong with observing and learning from other families, but never get discontent because your family ‘doesn’t perform’ like another families.  Over the years I’ve tried to install certain habits in our family, which I observed as great habits in other families. Interesting, when my motivation was from the flesh and not from the Lord, it only drained my energy, put me and my family in bondage and we got stuck!
“...be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5
  • Stayed out of the system, but now what?
Over the years I observed an interesting phenomenon in homeschooling families.  Families will start homeschooling, because they don’t want their children in the school system, for various reasons. For better education, or because they don’t want their children to be conformed to this world, or their child had special needs, etc.

For years they would then homeschool their children ‘out of the system’. They will teach their children to think out of the box, believing their children needed more than head knowledge to make a success out of life.  They needed life skills and real life situations.  They believe God has a purpose for their child’s life and through the homeschooling approach, real life experiences, personal involvement of parents and installing Godly character in their life, they would be more equipped for the calling on their lives. 

Then all of a sudden at the age of 13, parents would get anxious because their children isn’t in the school system! Deep inside they fall for the lie that their child will not be able to get a job or make a success of their lives, because they weren’t in the (real) school and wouldn’t have papers to proof it.  It appeared that all the reasons why they homeschooled their child for years, suddenly was no longer valid. They believe they need the approval of the exact same ‘system’ they rejected for years, to give their child a future.  
The anxiety, stress and turmoil caused by this is tremendous. Homeschooling needs to be a deep conviction or else you will hit a place where your morning and afternoon thoughts won’t match and again you will be like a wave on the sea.  (A double minded man…)
“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.” James 1:6

  • Our Homeschool Philosophy: 
Commitment and a deep conviction, in the sweet harmony of marriage, to teach our children through real life experiences and then leave the rest to God, to make a way! He has a calling on each of my children’s lives, and though I don’t have the full picture right now, God knows the history of the future. Each of my children’s names are written in the palms of His hands and He will make them shine for His glory! 

  • Other Homeschool Philosophies

But how do other Homeschooling families define, formulate and came to the conclusion of a homeschooling philosophy? 
What do they use for their specific needs? 
What do they look out for as distractions to their homeschooling philosophy? 

This week the South African Carnival of Homeschool Bloggers focuses on Philosophies of Homeschooling.   Click on any of the following links to inspire you, guide you in your Homeschooling philosophy.
  • Karen from Karen's Clan share in her post Philosophy of Homeschooling, what they do on their journey and a little touch of insight as to why!
  • Taryn from Hayes Family share in her post Our homeschooling journey  ...  the philosophical framework how organized, methodical people would gather lots of information, read through various philosophies of education and come to a conclusion.  She came to a conclusion and worked backwards. The conclusion for them? Literature-based education with a Christian worldview is the way to go." This post details how they came to their conclusion and how much they enjoy using the Sonlight curriculum for their Christian focused, literature-based education.
  • Olivia from Easy Upstream share in her post Kids and Schooling Upstream a more general comment… making people aware of the fact that the choice to educate at home is, in fact, a philosophical one.
  • Shirley at Under and English Sky wrote about the heart behind homeschooling, as God has convicted her, in A Vapour in the WindIt's Simple... They Belong To Jesus... and Homeschooling for Homeschoolings sake? She have experienced the distraction of to many curriculum choices, too many tried and tested methods. Each one of them distracting her from the 'WHY' they home educate. She took a look into homeschooling that goes beyond method, curriculum or style, rather into their families heart, the true reason why they educate their children at home.
  • Trys from Trixi's HomeEd Academy share in her posting Home Educating a Struggling Learner their experience, as well as the teaching methods they’ve used successfully, after removing their very active, yet highly intelligent 7-year old from private school in August 2010. Their son was struggling with reading & writing due to his gross & fine motor skills foundation not having been addressed properly at a Gr. R level, hence the learning problems. He is a Right Brain Kinesthetic as well as Visual Spatial learner & his learning styles are not catered for in most of our schools today. 
  • Esther from A House-A Home and Learning got inspired by the theme of this blog carnival to formulate a homeschool philosophy for their family.  In her posting Formulating a Home Schooling Philosophy, Esther share what they have formulated so far and the website that guide her to do so.
  • Lindy from Homeschooling in South Africa loves the Unit study approach to homeschooling  since live is so interrelated and that naturally subjects are not separated, except at schools. She also favour hands on curriculum, as children remember so much more of what they do. In her post A Bible Centered Unit Study, The Weaver Curriculum, Lindy shares their unit study approach with a difference - The Weaver Curriculum.

This is the 11th SACHS Blog carnival under the theme "Philosophies of Homeschooling" which is part of the South African Carnival of Homeschool Blogs. To join the carnival or visit past carnivals visit the SACHS Blogs page. We hope you enjoy browsing!

Much love
“And do not be conformed to this world, 
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, 
that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Rom 12:2


Kathleen Bosman said...

What a wonderful article Linnie. What an example you are to homeschool such a large family on your own. I love your philosophy to not compare with other homeschooling families. It is so much the flesh that wants to - the pride of life. And the striving for our kids future instead of leaving it in God's hands - those very things are dear to my heart because I've struggled with them before.

Linnie said...

Hi Kathleen,
I'm glad you could relate and thank you for taking the time to comment!

Anonymous said...

Amen, Amen and Amen to that!!! I completely agree. The commitment to homeschool cannot be dependent on how it goes or how we might feel. When there is no other option then we make it work! Homeschooling is such a wonderful challenging blessing :) Such an encouragement to hear more about your journey. Keep trusting God for His best. Much love, Karyn

Taryn @ Hayes Happenings said...

Loved this! Thx Linnie for hosting the carnival (love that it was the 11th carnival on the 11/11/11!) and thx again for your honesty both in your struggles and in your encouragement. Love it!

Shirley Ann said...

Thanks for hosting such a great carnival Linnie. I loved the way your wove your thoughts into this carnival. I found myself nodding a agreeing all the way through ;o)I especially found your comment about when you impliment what works for others in your home how you do not experiance God's peace. Wonderful reminder to go to God for guidence and advice and not to man!
Blessings in Christ

Anonymous said...

Love your blog Linnie, and your wisdom just flows out from your words. Thank you so much. I really enjoyed that post and am now off to read some more of your blog. X Lindy

Trys (Trixi) said...

Thank you for such an inspiring post. Wish I'd read it sooner. I could halve saved myself the stress, frustration & tears today over trying to get kids to conform with a curriculum just so the would be socially accepted. e removed our kids from school because they hated it & yet ended up teaching the same method that they hated because dad felt it was important they received recognition by the "system" we all hate. You've given me some insight int where I should go from here...

Linnie said...

Hi Trix,
I'm so glad this post was of help to you! May God guide you in the choices you have to make, also in submission to your husband.

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