The battle lines have been drawn. Once committed to a side, there is no changing for fear of being called a traitor. Even lines within the same side are drawn with questions like Are you a lifer? Or caveats are given like Well, she was so interested in…that we felt it best to enroll her at…
Isn’t there more to a child than where they are (or are not) enrolled?
While I was studying the Charlotte Mason theory of education, I was struck by the blurred line between the home education environment and the brick and mortar school. I know a lot of homeschool families who value her work and apply her philosophy in the home, but Home Education was not written primarily to/for home educators. Not in the way that we define home education today.
It became clear that there was something more fundamental than education in the philosophy, and it is the home.
Everyone is homeschooled.
Learning is a mysterious process. Researchers examine and describe it, scholars attempt to understand and explain it, and teachers try to stimulate and influence it, yet no one except God knows exactly how we learn. He has created us with an innate ability to learn, yet we know very little about such an essential quality of our being. – Clay and Sally Clarkson Educating the WholeHearted Child
Human beings learn.
It isn’t a matter of whether you stay home full time, or go to a brick and mortar for 37 hours a week. Home is foundational for all of us. It is the environment where we learn the most important things in life.
I had this thought months ago, and the idea was set on my mental back burner. I want to make sure that through my writing I intentionally include those who choose to be involved at whatever level with the educational system. Parents, children, teachers, volunteers – their identity is not that they equal their educational system, neither is my identity that I home educate. It is a fact, but it is not my truest foundation.
Our family. Together we build values, standards, priorities, and activities. And together we practice what we have been taught or have learned on our own. We succeed or fail in everything at home.
Your family does too. I want to cross the battle lines, take down my shields, and respect the humanity in your choices. Because there is something far more important than enrollment and environment – it’s the soul of the learner. The little, unseen person within the body of all people who was given the gift of learning, not by their parents but by their Creator.
I want to promote a view where we see each individual family as a miracle, an un-replaceable, never-to-be-seen-again combination of unique individuals all joined by blood and/or name for such a time as this.
May we all promote this view and shake off the fears that our choices won’t be good enough.
The beauty of recognizing that home and family is the foundation underneath education should inspire us to embrace the freedom to each work out our discipleship with respect and honor.
I long to see a development in community where the home educating family and the public educating family can collaborate to encourage the continued work of home discipleship.
Even within the homeschooling community, there exists the need to collectively encourage the fundamentals. Curricula, routines, sports, and the like all come after discipleship. Each of these things may mark and define our family in specific ways, but they do not add or subtract from the worth of the eternal soul within each person.
What a sacred thing to consider: every family is unique.
Homeschooling should not be a means of reforming the home and to make all participants look the same, rather the philosophy of home education is in part to honor the God-given miracles of family and learning.
Different children within one family may need different decisions as to what educational system is best for them. And it is important to apply Jesus’ teaching that we must not judge other peoples’ choices. – Susan Schaeffer Macaulay For the Children’s Sake
I aim to extend this view of the home as a sacred place for the family to those who choose not to formally educate their children at home, if they will accept it. If families who don’t home educate and families who do, can join together in mutual understanding that the home is the best environment for the child’s mind, body, and spirit to be shaped then we can all better obey Jesus and love our neighbors as ourselves.
As fall approaches like Walmart’s “Back to School” display boldly announces, let us not fall prey to making decisions based on feeling – fear, envy, and discontent hide in the pockets of new backpacks.
Rather, let us search for ways to support one another in getting back to honoring the fundamental of home and family.
Because everyone is homeschooled.
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