The Women Living Well Book Club – Chapter 15 {School Choices}

chapter 15 school choices

Let’s Discuss Chapter 15

If you want to start disunity in the body of Christ…just talk about school choices.  Ugh. I am aware of this, so I tread very carefully into today’s blog post ;)

As chapter 15 says, I’m a product of public schools.  My parents walked alongside me, discipling me and teaching me how to be a light in darkness for 12 years and when I graduated, I was on fire for Jesus.

My parents lived out Deuteronomy 6:6-7: “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”

I believe that school choices are not permanent choices.  I know many moms who homeschooled and then put their kids into a brick and mortar school and many moms who first sent their kids to a brick and mortar school but then pulled them out to homeschool them.  And then there are those like me, who only did public school and there are those, who are homeschool graduates.  All of us are walking with the Lord now…so it is not necessarily the school choice that determines the depth of our walk with God.

We each have our own journey – our own life puzzle and our own set of circumstances that will determine our school choices.  I do not believe in a cookie cutter – one size fits all – approach to education.

 

We are not replicas of each other

In this chapter, I share my education experience as a child, my reasons for homeschooling, the benefits and challenges of homeschooling and a day in our lives.  My conclusion in this chapter is — regardless of which school choice we make, our job as parents is to teach our children to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)

I know the drive of the culture is to try to make our kids cool, honor roll students or star athletes.  It’s the prevailing voice of today – but that is not God’s voice.

We must remind our children – you don’t have to be cool.  Be like Christ.

You don’t have to be on the honor roll.  Honor the Lord.

You don’t have to be a star athlete. Worship the one who made the stars.

And if you happen to be on the honor roll or a star athlete –do it to the glory of God!

A reminder to our children

 

My daughter wanted to join me for today’s video – it’s super short and casual – just a little over one minute…

(if you can’t see this video – click here)

Discussion Questions:

1.)  What is the puzzle God has given your family that has determined your school choice for this season?

2.)  Read Deuteronomy 6:4-9.  Are you diligently teaching your children about the Lord?  What are some practical ways you are carrying this out in the home?

For Extra Discussion go to the Forum and click on the thread that says “Chapter 15″

Walk with the King,

Courtney

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Comments

  1. My children went to elementary school through sixth grade. I homeschooled them through junior high since I heard that was when most young boys were introduced to porn. {Although I have friends whose sons were introduced to porn on a rec soccer team.} Then they went to a Christian high school and college. My sons thank me for protecting them from porn…it is even more prevalent today than it was when they were in school with the iPhones. I just know we must be very vigilant to teach them God’s ways and protect them while they are young and vulnerable to the enemy’s attacks.

  2. I was one of those people who said I would NEVER homeschool my children. Before having children I taught 2nd grade at a christian school and I know God began doing a work in my heart as I encountered different homeschool families through our school. I do not know what the future of my children’s schooling looks like, but all I know is I will NEVER say NEVER again. God is in control and I do not know how He may lead us, but I want to follow Him 100%! Thank you for sharing! I am personally surrounded by more people that do NOT homeschool than do. I, like you, feel that it’s a family choice and no two families will look alike. ;)

  3. I also was public school educated, the daughter of a public school teacher and a former public school teacher myself. And here I am, the mom of 2 young boys, contemplating homeschooling. I know no one in my inner circle of family and friends who homeschools. Thank you for pointing out that schooling decisions aren’t necessarily permanent and that there can be more than one right way.

  4. Oh absolutely GREAT that she joined you!! Love her! Thanks. :)

  5. Crystal Espinoza says:

    I would LOVE to homeschool all 4 of my kids (ages 9-1)! I actually tried one week of online schooling for my 9year old since I was not pleased on how he kept getting pushed ahead though it was very clear each school year that he wasn’t ready for the next grade level! But neither of us were mentally ready for it :( Plus, I didn’t know how to handle the 3 younger ones at the same time too! So I put him back into public school :( I’m truly hoping God will allow me to try again & this time be successful at it!! For all my children! God willing :)

  6. TandBmommy says:

    I knew I could never put my children into public school, but also felt that I could never homeschool. DD started K this year at a Private Christian school. We were only a few months in, when I started actually considering homeschooling. I feel as though I am being lead in that direction, but am very skeptical of my abilities.

    • Kimberly says:

      Please, do not let the fear of your own abilities scare you away from doing it. If God is leading you in that direction, He will help you through. My mother homeschooled my sister and I from 2nd grade through high-school. She didn’t have very many resources due to lack of money and when we started (back in the early 80′s) it was still so very new. Now there are so many resources and support groups, that you shouldn’t have very much trouble. And take it from someone who has been an elected mayor, works as a parish administrator, and received an A.A degree with a 4.0 GPA, homeschooling isn’t harmful to your child’s future!
      Blessings, Kimberly

  7. KellyK(@RNCCRN9706) says:

    How sweet that Lexi joined you today!! Great job Lexi!! With both my husband and I working different shifts, It’s not possible for us to homeschool our son. I know I wouldn’t be disciplined enough to keep on a schedule. So I feel that he’s better off in our local public school system, which is pretty good.

  8. Abby from Belgium says:

    Hi Courtney,

    loved it that Lexi joined you for this vlog. She’s so sweet <3

    My daughters go to a Catholic school (elementary school). In september Caitlin will go to middle school. We are still searching for the right school but God will show us, as we pray to make the right choices and decisions.

    Blessings X

    A from BE

  9. I don’t yet have children, but Deuteronomy 6:4-9 reminds me that my husband and I should have God on the forefront of our minds and as part of our daily lives even before children. If we don’t now, it will be a challenge to change the tenor of our household once we do.

  10. Courtney,
    I think you presented this very well!!! Education IS a family decision- one that requires the parents seeking the Lord’s guidance on. I NEVER want to do what everyone else is doing or what everyone expects me to do. Nor do I want to NOT do something because everyone thinks I’m not following the Lord!!! I want to listen to His voice alone!!

    His,
    Shari

    PS- Your daughter is so beautiful! I love her cheerful heart and the way her eyes light up when she smiles!!

  11. Awww…loved seeing your daughter on the video – and she gave great advice! :) Our daughters were in a Christian school for a few years, but I’ve been homeschooling them for the past 3 years. We’re considering returning them to Christian school, but are praying for wisdom and direction for the best path for our family. Blessings to you!!

  12. Ruth Beechick said, “Since the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, then anti-God teaching can lead only to foolishness.” I believe this is true. There is no amoral or value-neutral education. All education teaches and shapes morality and it’s impossible to separate one’s view of God, man, truth, knowledge and ethics from the educational process.

    Kids are either being taught to know, love and obey God, or love and obey someone or something else that is attempting to usurp God’s authority. How can we teach them to obey all that Jesus has commanded if we send them off to an institution that is anti-Christian by federal mandate?

    Psalm 1 has to be one of the most poignant passages in the entire Bible in terms of the evaluation of immoral influences. Children who spend 8 hours a day with those who deny Biblical truth and morality will not emerge unscathed. It is impossible for them to be meditating on the law of the Lord “day and night.”

    We can’t ignore Biblical truth when deciding where and how to educate our children. The Bible is not silent on this issue. We will be held accountable for our obedience or disobedience to the Bible’s teaching in this regard. We must do everything in our power to place our child in an educational environment that facilitates their discipleship. We must do everything in our power to avoid the influence of government schools, which are incapable of bringing our children up in “the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4).

    I applaud men and women whom God has called to teach in government schools. These people are front-line warriors and many of them need to be right where they are. However, there is a big difference between sending “fully trained” disciples into enemy territory and sending our recruits to our enemy’s training camp. If we do the latter, we shouldn’t be surprised when our children come home wearing the enemy’s uniform and charging the hill of our home while waving an enemy flag.

  13. What a sweet girl with godly wisdom for us moms. You go girl! :)

  14. I work in a public school system, and the longer I work in it, the more my husband and I become convinced that we do not want our son attending public school. Right now he is in a child care based center with a pre-k program, as we both work and are very satisfied with their structure and beliefs. He has another year before he starts kindergarten, and we have found a private school that we love. My mind is open to the idea of homeschooling in the future , and I continue to rely on God to guide us to the right educational path for our son.

  15. Me and my husband both went to public schools, but neither of us did like it. I feel the greatest influence should be in the home . I had a positive influence from my home to counteract the negatives at school.
    Most of my friends were from the church I attended. Initially we sent our kids to public school, then pulled them out to homeschool, we find it works better for us. It’s nice that we get to spend quality time together everyday! We go thru the bible together and memorize scriptures the same as I did as a child.

  16. Hi, Courtney! I just want to say that you are such an example and an inspiration for me! I love your book and you blog. Your daugther spoke so beautiful about you! She is soooo sweet!
    I live in Italy and here homeschooling is not an option but I admire you so much for doing it!

  17. For some reason I had a really hard time accessing this. It kept saying the website didn’t exist any more etc, etc. I so love and enjoy this book club! I’ve been working at it all day and I finally got here!

  18. Courtney-you are a brave woman for broaching this topic! My thanks to Lexi for joining you & reminding us about faith like a child. I really appreciate this chapter in the book and reading the posts from the other mamas. Our kids are 3 1/2 and 9 months so this is a topic we have been discussing and praying over. We are concerned about the direction our local public schools are going in, we aren’t in a position to send two kids to private school and I don’t know about my own abilities in homeschooling! Thank you for the reminder that whatever schooling choice is made, it isn’t permanent-this can and may be a fluid part of our kids lives. What works for one family, may not work for another! Thanks to everyone who shared their viewpoint.

  19. My husband and I were both public schooled. My husband did well at serving God and witnessing to his school mates while in school…I did not. The voices and relationships at school were so much louder and so much more important to me than anything else whether it was church or parents. I really only went to school to socialize. I was one of those kids who should’ve truly been homeschooled.
    We have 4 children, 1 girl and 3 boys. They all started out in pre-school and then into public school. We always felt safe sending our children to public school because we’re in the Air Force and military communities tend to have better safer schools…not always but mostly. The one thing I didn’t like about our kids being in public school was that the teacher always knew better and was smarter than we were. As well, evolution and mythology were being taught as ways that creation and the world came to be. That didn’t fly with us. I always wanted to homeschool our children and one day God opened the door. We went to a congregation where every child there was homeschooled save one. Our kids started asking us about being homeschooled. We talked with other homeschool families, did a lot of praying and research and then re-engaged with our kids. We allowed them to make the decision. All 3 of them said yes, they wanted to come home (our youngest was only in pre-school). So they all came home. My oldest had just finished 7th grade. We’ve been homeschooling ever since! We have never looked back and are so very very happy and grateful to God that we get to homeschool!!!!:)) There have been so many benefits and blessings!
    As far as Deut. 6:4-9…everyone is human so there will always be holes or something we don’t think of in regards to training up our children in the scriptures. That was a mistake we made when our kids came home. We were more worried about academics and sports than God. We purchased christian curriculum and had a few little short bible devotionals here and there. One day while looking through curriculum for the next year God really got a hold of my heart and spoke to me about equipping my children for His kingdom. Academics are great however without personal relationship, bible study, etc. my children were going to fail. Since then, over the years, lots of prayer goes into homeschool decisions, bible curriculums and making sure that we are making just as much time for God as we are academics! It’s SO important!

    • Crystal Espinoza says:

      What’s a good Christian curriculum to look into?

      • Throughout the years I’ve used a couple of different kinds of curriculum. I started out with Abeka..http://www.abeka.com/ and Bob Jones..http://www.bjupress.com/page/HS%2BHome.
        I like them both however I will say Bob Jones was/is a bit heavy on the academics. Let me see if I can say this right, it really challenges you to think and work at learning. It was a curriculum that was really good for my daughter as she was considered gifted while in public school. They use workbooks, flashcards and textbooks. They’ve even gone digital now with downloads and dvd’s. I used both of those for about 2-3 years. Then I discovered Winter Promise…http://winterpromise.com/. I have used Winter Promise for 7 years now and I love them! They’re a literature based curriculum but also have websites you can explore to learn and see more as well as hands on projects. That was something I REALLY needed for my boys! They love to read however they also love hands on projects. As well, Winter Promise has already typed out an entire schedule for the year which is SO helpful for me! Sonlight curriculum… http://www.sonlight.com/ is a lot like Winter Promise. I’ve never used it but know families who have and they are very happy with it. For math I use Saxon…http://saxonhomeschool.hmhco.com/en/saxonhomeschool.htm and for science I use Apologia…http://www.apologia.com/index.asp?proc=pg&pg=1. I really like this for science because it speaks directly to the student. It’s easy to understand and there are hands on projects as well as notebooking which my boys love. As far as grammar goes….grammar of all kind I use IEW….http://iew.com/shop/shop-category/iew-writing-courses?f%5B0%5D=im_field_category%3A15. I don’t think they’re necessarily faith based but they do have a few faith based writing curriculums. I use them because they are the best in their area and it takes you and your child step by step through the process of writing and grammar. You do a little each day but learn so much. There is also Alpha Omega…http://www.aophomeschooling.com/. I haven’t used this but know families who do and are very happy with it.
        There are SO many different curriculums out there….. http://www.homeschool-curriculum.org/. The thing is this…..pray, pray, pray and allow God to lead you into what HE has for your homeschool. Also, it’s important to know what kind of learner your child is…..http://www.schoolfamily.com/school-family-articles/article/826-what-is-your-childs-learning-style.
        Well, Crystal there’s a long answer to your short question. Sorry about that. Homeschooling is such a deep and vast subject. Many blessings on your journey!

      • Crystal, A quick P.S. For bible curriculum I use Bible Road Trip…..http://www.thinkingkidsblog.org/. We use this together. Also, Heart of Wisdom….http://www.heartofwisdom.com/homeschoollinks/ has a lot of great homeschool/bible curriculums. I use Heart of Wisdom from time to time as well. She has a great bible series on ancient Israel, ancient Egypt, Adam to Messiah and on and on. You’ll have to check it out. Also, I have books I read and discuss with each of my boys for more one on one devotions with them. In the Apologia series I use the author does talk about evolution and what it is and why people believe it however the curriculum is strictly God, scripture, creation based. It’s important for our children to know what other beliefs are out there and why people have those belief systems. This curriculum has really helped my oldest son debate creation vs evolution with a friend of his. She is an atheist and believes in evolution (she was homeschooled). She and my son have had a few discussions on the matter. They eventually agree to disagree but he can hold his own and has a firm understanding of both sides. Ken Ham has helped a lot in this area too.

        • Crystal Espinoza says:

          Thank you sooo much for taking the time to give me your opinion!! I truly want to homeschool my kids but face the obstacle of having little ones while trying to teach my older one (4th grader)! Only attempted one week & waved the white flag! Much prayer is needed in this area!! My daughter will be going into Kindergarten next year & wants to go to public school, not homeschooled ;) I don’t blame her! I can’t even teach preschool!! I get overwhelmed with all the different curriculums & teaching ideas out there!! I’m a very indecisive person!

          • Homeschooling isn’t for everyone. Maybe when your children are a little older homeschooling could be manageable. I understand the struggle. When I started I actually started with my middle son because he has autism and there weren’t any schools that would take him and actually teach him. I was told by the teacher that the best they could do was sit him in front of a tv all day. I knew I could do better so he stayed home. I had an infant at the time as well. My 2 oldest didn’t come home for another couple of years after that so over time things became manageable.

  20. Lexi is such a cutie :)
    I do love your video posts- but I’ve watched them all so feel free to make more ;)

  21. 1. I was public schooled K-12 and my husband was private Christian schooled. (I also taught in a public school before having my sons.) I loved how Courtney talked about this being such a personal decision; I think it’s so important to assume the best about other parents’ choices as much as possible. We are planning to start our children in a public school setting, but I definitely want to reevaluate year-by-year, child-by-child.

    2. We try to talk about God as much as possible with our kids, working Him into conversations as situations arise. We also do morning and evening family devotions, which was been such a special time together. I think it’s also important to talk about how God is working in my life (I could do a better job o this.)

  22. We are fortunate that we live in a very good school district area within Orange County, CA. My older daugther completed all 13 years in public school and is in her first year of college. Last year my two daughters had their “1″ year of high school together (senior & freshman) & they said it was the BEST year of their life together. This year as a 10th grader my younger one is attending a private high school for academic reasons, but we had no issue or concern on why we left the public high school. I was really shocked that we could afford it, it was all of a sudden an option to consider & that she wanted to go leaving her friends she had grown up with. Parent involement is KEY no matter where you live, what type of school your children go to & what age they are. Even with my oldest 400 miles away at college I have a strong bond with her, boundaries changed once she became of adult age, but we talked throught it together. I strongly believe our biggest job as a parent is to prepare our children for the world NOT protect them from the world. Thank you Whitney for all you share.

I love hearing what is on your heart.

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