I don't blog about theology much here, as this is a homeschool blog.* But there is a theme rippling through "the homeschool movement" that bears repeating: Trust Jesus, not the system.
Over the last couple weeks, there have been many excellent Other Posts of Note about this:
- An Open Letter From My 42 Year-Old Self To My 28 Year Old Self Who Is About to Begin Homeschooling
- Women Are Scary (and other lessons modesty culture teaches men)
- When The Formula fails
- The Time An Organ-Dealing Abortion Doctor Showed Up to My Church
- You Can't Keep Sin Out
Whether it's a sin management scheme, a ploy to parent perfectly, or a confidence in your chosen educational approach, we would be wise to remember that "Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." We need to put our trust in Jesus, not a system. We definitely should not rely on homeschooling. Here are four reasons why...
First, don't trust the system because it's not the system. The system doesn't make you smarter. The system, at best, offers you a cool opportunity to learn. If you are homeschooling because of the results it will produce, homeschooling will fail you. Can homeschooling offer you excellent academics? Yes. Do homeschoolers do well academically? Yes. But does homeschooling make your child a genius? No. If your child is a genius -- or struggling, or perfectly average -- homeschooling is a great option that enables you to tailor an education program that challenges and nurtures your student. Homeschooling will not change your student into something else.
Second, homeschooling will fail you if you expect it to save your child. I know many homeschoolers who have walked away from their faith. You can't impose your convictions. And, seriously, if Jesus isn't enough to keep your kids, there's no way your educational style will do better.
Third, homeschooling will fail you if you think it will make your students better people. Homeschooling does allow you to shelter your children -- a very good thing! But if you're using homeschooling to keep your kids "pure" and away from bad influences, you're doing it wrong. The Gospel is about going out, not retreating in. Does that mean that you should have zero boundaries and embrace all things evil? Uh... no. Not at all.
Fourth, there is no utopia here, no panacea. This isn't all rainbows and unicorns. There is a world of mundane. Homeschooling doesn't ensure you "make it" in life. There are bad days. And even if things aren't to the level of bad, as Laura says in her post linked above:
the very moment you have gathered your chicks around you on the floor to learn something fabulous about the Bible or about the weather or about the water cycle ... someone will have to poop.
When we put our hope in the system, these interruptions and letdowns break us. They are disheartening and cause us to question our choices. What they should really do is remind us that we need to again throw ourselves on the mercies of God and trust Him to complete the good work He is doing in and through us.
I find it easy for me to look at something good -- like homeschooling -- and subtly assume that it is the answer. Homeschooling isn't the answer. Neither is bacon. Jesus is the answer. Homeschooling is the opportunity. And what a great opportunity it is! For just a few personal examples, check out the following "Sonlight to me" posts by
Yes, homeschooling is fantastic, but trust Jesus and not the educational method or the fabulous curriculum. May we all continue to learn to put our trust in the One who provides and not the provision He has graciously poured out.
Do you have any examples of how you have trusted the system to comedic ends? How has homeschooling been a blessing to you?
Filmmaker, Writer, Pseudo-Dad
* I've probably blogged about theology here more than I think. <smile>