Wednesday, November 19, 2008

For My Non-homeschooling Friends

After writing about homeschooling yesterday, I had a few pangs of--something--wondering if I had been the cause of any hurt feelings or division among friends who don't homeschool their children (assuming, of course, that any of them read what I wrote. Just in case...)

Anyway, I did some thinking about how I should address this delicate topic in a Christlike way. Here's what I came up with.

I like to write, and the thoughts that spill out are about things that I am interested in, amused by, or passionate about. In the latter category, those topics are God, marriage, parenting, living the Christian life, and yes, homeschooling. We each have the responsibility as Christian parents to honestly ask ourselves if we are doing the best we can for our children. Spiritually, first; then in all the other ways. (And really, all the other ways are encompassed in the spiritual, aren't they?) Kevin and I have determined that the best thing we can do to fulfill the commandment to train and teach our children God's ways is by homeschooling them. However, a funny thing has happened to me in the past year or two. The Lord is graciously teaching me something that is incredibly freeing. Let me explain.

We have one particular child who is the police-er of all the other children. Bad manners, hitting, mean faces, stinginess with a name it, and this child has informed on his/her siblings for the offense. (Bear with me here. I'm trying to protect an identity.) Our constant refrain to this little one is: "Just worry about yourself. Trust us. That's a big enough job for you. "

You see where I'm going here. My job is not to judge anyone or make them feel guilty about their educational and parenting choices. Kevin and I do think homeschooling is best; that's why we do it. But I'll leave your family's decisions between you and the Lord. I'm just going to worry about myself.

Trust me. That's a big enough job for me to handle.


Anonymous said...

Dear Candice:
I appreciate your tender heart for the Lord,and your tender heart for all of us as one Family of our Lord. God has given to you a Spiritual gift as teacher,(among other gifts); and you are lovingly using that gift from Him and for His glory. Your words remind me of Paul's writings in Ephesians 4: "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." "...speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is Christ."

Your love for His Word and your love for us (your fellow family in Christ)radiates in your writing, Candice. You are very precious. God bless you.
Debi S.

Liz said...

As a non-homeschooling mama, I can tell you that I wasn't the least bit offended by your post. My older sis homeschools her children and many of my good friends do as well, so I definately "get" the way you felt about the comment that was made to you. I think you're doing a great job with your kids and that's really all that matters!

Anne said...


I came across your blog via Jenia's and I am struck at the way you so eloquently put your's as if I'm having coversations with you. Thank you for your encouraging words and thoughts. Being a "new" mom with 2little ones sometimes makes me forget what my role and responsibilities are. I have so many things to work on, but the first thing I'm going to do is to cherish every moment with my children. I'm amazed at quickly time flies by and your comments about being grass after seeing the stepstool with the footprints really struck me. I'm looking forward to getting to know you better, personally and through your blog. :)

Candice said...

Hi, Debi! (I keep thinking 'Aunt' Debi 'cause I hear Dawn say it!) Thank you for your encouraging words. Any good thing in me is Christ. That's all there is to it. I am so humbled and filled with gratefulness to God when I think of who I was and contrast it with how He has changed me and is changing me. I will boast in Christ alone! 2 Corinthians 10:17

Candice said...

Anne, I, too, am so excited to get to know you more! Thanks for your very kind words!

I love having friends in different stages of life; I look at Barb and see her kids growing, and think, it really will be us someday! Some kids in college, some at home...Helps me avoid stay-at-home-homeschooling-mom-tunnel-vision. :)