Tuesday, February 22, 2011

General Ramblings

So much has been going on in our home lately! I started a class called "Perspectives on the World Christian Movement" that has been amazing, but also very time consuming. A few people in our church took the class last year and then this year, worked very hard to organize it for the class to come to our town. It is an international college class. I always wondered if I could go back to college and now I can say with almost certain confidence that I don't really think I could right now for sure! I am learning a lot and really enjoying it, but it is a lot of work! There were three levels to take: audit, certificate, and credit. I figured I'd take it for certificate - I had no idea what I was signing up for! The timing is definitely not the best with starting homeschooling, having lots of little people at home, etc. - but I am enjoying it. I'm trying not to stress to much and I am learning I am far more of a perfectionist than I ever realized. It is absolutely heartbreaking when I turn in an assignment and "only" get 18 or 19 correct out of 20. I need to get over that - and quick! It brings about a huge amount of stress - both while I am doing the work and again when I get it back.

The triplets turned four!! (I still haven't done their birthday post - I'm getting to it!) They have their family birthday party this weekend and are very excited to see everyone. 

We began homeschooling earlier than we had anticipated. We had planned on beginning at the end of the second trimester so that Austin could get two trimesters at school finished. Originally, I wanted to pull him after Christmas break, but we decided not to. If I was ever unsure of God's plan in all of this - and I think in any huge life decision we always question whether God really told us to do this or not - I no longer do. Through a terrible situation at school, God made it perfectly clear when his perfect time was to pull Austin. We began a few weeks ago. The first week went awesome - albeit a little frustrating for me to see where he really was at. The last two weeks have been rougher. I think the change has been difficult (as all changes are for Austin) and it is, no matter how much we all wanted it, a major life change. We are adjusting and making our way and I have finally come to the point where if it takes him a little longer to graduate, then that is OK.

I have been upset with the lack of knowledge of Austin and the massive amounts of indoctrination he has gotten in his time in public schools. Austin has always been a "strong" student, intelligent, honor roll, high IQ, etc. I am now questioning the standards by which a school grades and passes students. I would understand a subject with "gray areas" being different in my grading criteria vs theirs, but not a solid, fact-based class. Austin has always struggled with Algebra and I knew he would at home. What is so extremely frustrating to me is that he passed algebra - with a C average. As a parent, that tells me that he had an average understanding of algebra and it would be reasonable to expect him to move on to Algebra 2. Thankfully, they have placement tests, so I had him do that over Christmas break. He got 3/20. WOW. I still thought maybe it mostly focused on things he hadn't quite gotten to yet. When he began at home, we started in chapter one and I was going to test him out until we got to a chapter he couldn't understand. Turns out that was chapter one. In his pre-test he got 4/20. After going over it with him, watching the DVD, doing the practice questions and finally the assignment, he took the same test again and got 78%. Seems like a huge improvement. I still don't understand why he passed in the first place. All of his classes have been the same - this was the most concrete example.

Physical science has been a struggle because he's been so indoctrinated by evolutionism and has never spent any time on creationism. As Christian parents, we always said our children would be "different" and it was OK they were in public schools because they had a strong foundation at home and knew the beliefs and were taught those beliefs. We discussed the things they talk about in school - evolution, among other things - and why that conflicted with our beliefs. I really thought he understood it. And he does, to a point. But one glaringly obvious example was the question "It is not biased for a scientist to not study a theory they do not agree with." He said true!

I could go on with example after example of ways I feel he was failed by them in the last nine years in just the few weeks we have done this, but ultimately it isn't even about that. It is more clearly about God using this entire situation to bring clarity to our decision to homeschool everyone - not just Austin. I had read a book lately and thought that maybe it was radical (I loved it) but after just a few weeks, I now realize just exactly how true it is and that it wasn't radical at all. And even if it is, am I not called to a life of radical obedience to God?? Are not all Christians called to such radical obedience?? We are!! Part of that radical obedience is my responsibility to raise and educate my children - and not leave it up to government run schools to do so. If it seems radical to homeschool - it may be because it is! If I am honest with myself, of course my children are getting a secular worldview in the public school system. They are there 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, year after year. How could they not? I even used the excuse that we are in a "Christian" district with "Christian" teachers but none of that matters. What matters is that I have, for far too long, abdicated my responsibility to raise my children the way the Lord has called me to. 

Now I know. And, like in Perspectives, once you know something, you must do something about it. The sin is to do nothing.


Anonymous said...

Great post! What was the book?

Praying for you in this - you can do it with the LORD's help!


Calonder Crew said...

Seriously so far behind....so sorry Gina! The book is "The Harsh Truth About Public Schools" by Bruce Shortt. It is excellent and I highly recommend it!

Thanks for the prayers....they're still needed!