Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Call To Home.

I never really liked school. As a young girl I did, but by the time high school came around, my parents were divorced and I couldn't figure out how to navigate through school with a broken and shattered heart. I remember my senior year of high school my guidance counselor had to have a talk with me telling me I had to get it together if i wanted to make it in this world. Then college came, and eventually I would drop out because I became pregnant and then got married. I never went back to finish and have no degree in anything. But then motherhood came. Motherhood cracked me open in ways I never thought possible. It has exposed the very worst in me and has exposed the very best in me. 

      God has used motherhood to do for me that which couldn't be done in any school, and that is to have found my life's calling. There is no fancy degree to show for it. Most days there might not even be a fancy shower to show for it. But the sweet glory is there, and that is where I have found me. This past year, around New Year's day I felt this word laid on my heart. The word is "permission." With every nudge towards home, with every call I felt to teach my own, I would have tell myself, "you have permission to explore that... you have permission to feel that... you have permission to question that..." Because let's face it, when you swim against the tide, you are bound to face some troubles. None the less, I was being called to go against the tide, to push back against the norm, to step out of a box that was put in place by a society that we can hardly agree with, especially when it comes to the hearts and mind of our little ones.

            And so my reply would be a hesitant "Yes" at first. With the most wrestling my heart has faced in years, I began to utter the word, "homeschooling." I began to pray it over my home and heart and husband and children. I was the least of us to be able to do this. I have no degree, I never liked schooling, I barely graduated high school. Yet here I was, being asked by God to teach my own at home. So I let these words twist and entwine and go to the deepest layer of my soul, tattooed upon my heart that God does not call the equipped, but equips the called. I battle the enemy with the lie that this can't be done, that I don't have what it takes with that simple line. I fix my mind on eternity and my heart on God's Word and I set out for the day, and I do this day, after day, after day. Because that is all I really know. That is all I am really certain of. And that is what I really want to point my kids to.

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9

               And so I have been called to the home. I call myself a homemaker, I find that the most beautiful title after Christian, wife, and mom... homemaker. I am proud to call myself one. "Mothers are artist crafting beauty, color, aromas, tastes, fun, humor, love, and comfort in their homes."- Sally Clarkson
             Homeschooling feels like an extension of mothering to me. It feels natural to teach my own. We mothers feed our babies our milk, we sustain their lives with our own, we kiss every bump and bruise along the way, we catch them as they learn to walk, we cheer for them when they finally do, we read to them, color along side of them when they are young, we carry them around on our backs while we vacuum, or try to make coffee, we sacrifice our time in those early years to mend and kiss and catch every bit of these little people who are just bursting forth into the world and we wouldn't have it any other way. Mother's are magic. Yet, what I have found as a response to people asking me about homeschooling, is what they say about themselves, "I could NEVER do that." And I want to say, but you're magical, and you already are! You can do this, you could do this, it CAN be done! If you are a mama with this nudge in your heart to teach your own, then please hear me say this to you, you are probably already doing it. And that is what I saw in my own life when I finally started going forward in this response to homeschooling. I saw for the most part, aside from a set curriculum, that we are already home learners. We've already been teaching our own.

             So our word for homeschooling is, authentic. Why are we doing this anyway? I want to be an authentic mom, living out an authentic faith, pointing my children to their Creator, rather than the created. I want my children to grow up savoring real beauty rather than falling for the cheap and watered down. In a world that celebrates the things that can be bought, I want to raise children to celebrate the things that can be hand made and crafted. In a world that places value in money and cars and homes and vacations, I want my children to know their value set them apart when they were being knitted together in my womb. We want to be authentic people in a world that struggles to define what authentic is anymore. "We can best help children learn, not by deciding what we think they should learn and thinking of ingenious ways to teach it to them, but by making the world, as far as we can, accessible to them, paying serious attention to what they do, answering their questions- if they have any- and helping them explore the things they are most interested in."- John Holt


             Some helpful resources for me have been all things Charlotte Mason. We most reflect her ideas on children and educating them. We will be using many of her methods weaved in and out of our daily lives. "Teach Your Own", by John Holt. This was one of the first books on homeschooling that I read and I am so happy I did because it blew my mind wide open. "Seasons For a Mother's Heart", by Sally Clarkson. Her words are confirming to my heart. I come back to her writings over and over and over again.


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