the great debate: education for your child

last week i posted on my personal Facebook feed soliciting opinions from professional educator friends their views on common core.  my prayer has always been that the Lord would bless us with enough finances to send our kids to great schools, private christian ones, that were exactly how we would teach out children ourselves.  and He has, and while that was working out for us, now that i am a stay at home mama again–we wanted to re-evaluate our budget and long term goals.  we’re pretty supportive fans of dave ramsey’s financial peace university and his baby steps to eliminating debt.  after months of prayer, and fighting with our own desires, we withdrew our son from the local private christian school where he attended pre-k.  the school was fantastic, and we throughly enjoyed our time there–but to live like no one else, so we could live like no one else–we knew we needed to allocate those funds elsewhere for the time being.

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so…that left us with a 5 year old who’s super ready for kindergarten and loves to learn…but no school.  we missed all the registration deadlines for the secular public magnet and charter choice schools, but most of them had wait lists like nobody’s business.  then we heard about one of the magnet schools re-opening their application window because they still had a few spots left, and guess what? he got in.  but–there was still something this mama couldn’t shake.  i started digging into our local school system’s overviews, government, feedback, etc…and it just seemed so painful and convoluted, and honestly…a bit scary.  some of the policies and codes of conduct that are in place…imply that situations have arose before which required such conduct to be addressed.  i have both friends and family who have taught and are teaching in the public school system, and i’ve heard horror stories.  however at the same time, its the teachers like my dear friends and family, that make public schools such a great place for the kids who want to be there.  my flesh and spirit have been going at it over this for quite some time…could we send our son into a secular public school?

we could and can afford to send our son to private school, and eventually our daughter–but at what cost?  the money we could spend on their primary education could essentially pay for their full college tuition as well as give them a leg up entering the workforce.  are we really teaching them to be good stewards of their money when we have even a penny of debt attached to our names?  what was driving our decision for private school?  could we have faith in the public school system?  and most importantly how do we educate, train and guard our children simultaneously?

during the Facebook conversation I mentioned earlier, a friend said this: “And when I am monitoring the exposure I affect the impression.”  that really hit me.

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i was guilty of living in the entrapment of fear, but probably not for the reasons you might think.  one of my strongest passions is ministry thru fellowship, but i don’t want to travel to far off lands, etc, etc..i want to meet people where they are.  i want so badly for people to see that the love of Jesus doesn’t mean I have to quote scripture at you like a ‘Bible thumper.’  i was so eager to be in the world, to be exposed to the world, that i missed something.  my children aren’t ready to take on the world.  there are things out there that i genuinely need to protect them from.  when i read my friend’s statement, that if I was the one monitoring the exposure, then I was the one affecting the impression…what was I relying on a public or private institution to do for me?  now, let me be very clear—i have absolutely nothing against putting your child into a brick and mortar school setting.  in fact, i am beyond grateful for  the experience T has had in all 3 of his schools.  but this is something that the Lord was working personally in me.  if He has given me this season to train my child, why am i looking for a scapegoat?  and why am I even considering a scapegoat that gives my stomach knots?  not that this potential school was a bad school, because i don’t believe it was…it seems amazing, but nothing is amazing when you can’t find peace about it.

i think for years I have struggled with the whole “how do we be in the world but not a part of it’ mindset.  what does living like Jesus really look like?  how to we love on those who need to be loved and shown love without being removed?  i guess i should have mentioned that before T’s time at the private christian school he attended a full on private secular school in Kentucky for over a year, as well as a private secular school in Brooklyn.  we were so excited to finally put him in an environment where we didn’t have to worry about improper exposure as much, but let’s be real–we are all fallen.  in my head, allowing T to go to public school meant we could be the light…but is he ready?  and yes, i do believe the Lord’s provision would be there, but if there was and is another option that i just don’t feel like doing or worse, was refusing to do…is there still blessing in disobedience?  (again–i just want to be clear—this is my personal journey–i believe all parents have to prayerfully consider what works best for them and their family, and the outcome of that is always specific to where the Lord is calling them.  no solution is better/worse than any other. )

needless to say, we are very heavily considering homeschooling.  and while playing teacher used to be fun when i was kid, it kind of scares the crap out of me being responsible for another human’s educational development.  but, the Lord is faithful and I know He will guide us.  i never thought i could be this excited about something, but its like i feel empowered.  empowered to love my children even more, to fully take on the responsibility of training them for the future.  (and if you made it to the bottom of this post, then you are probably already praying that i find someone to help me teach them proper grammar ;).

for any other parents out there who are considering homeschool, i would love to hear some of your favorite resources and curriculums.  it definitely has been a whole new can of worms…but its pretty tasty.

i’m just starting out on this journey, but here’s a few links that i’ve found pretty helpful…

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