Today feels a little like old times. I mean the times when Eli and Brynne were little bitty and it was just me and them at home.
Eli woke up with a fever today, so it's been a day full of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and video games.
I had such a busy day planned for both today and tomorrow, and this sickness threw a kink in both of those days. But, I quickly stopped and reminded myself that this is why I stay home during the day. All of those other things .. volunteer opportunities and such are secondary to being available to my children when they need me.
So, with that theme in mind, I thought this would be a perfect day to post about what's really been on my mind for a while.
I'm planning to homeschool my children ....
.... but not in the way you might think.
I'm actually a huge fan of formal education, either in the public school system or in private schools. I think there are so many benefits to that. Plus, I get over-stimulated easily and am very orderly, so teaching my children full-time would likely not be productive for any of us. So, yes, they will still be going to school as normal.
But I still love the idea of teaching my children in addition to their regular school work. So, I guess I am thinking more along the lines of Enrichment Homeschooling ... teaching them skills in addition to and in conjunction with what they learn at school.
You know .. I don't know how to sew. I really didn't learn how to cook until I was married. There are many skills I wish I had, that I could pass onto my daughters. And, I still want my daughters to learn skills that will carry them through their lives. With the craziness and busyness of this world now, I would love for them to learn how to live more of a life of days of old (maybe without all of the hardships).
For myself, as a mother, I long to " ... teach the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of god." Titus 2:4-5.
As a man and father, Rick is to teach his sons " ... to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In [his] teaching, [to] show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose [them] may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about [them]." Titus 2:6-8.
We are to teach these things, among other things.
But, how often do we ... I ... rely on the schools, or church, or youth pastors, or childrens pastors to be the ones to teach the things of God to our ... my ... children? For me, that answer would be quite often! It's not that I don't love the Lord and try to infuse Him into our lives on a daily basis. But, just being transparent here, it's not something I do with intention. Really, I bring God into situations most often when someone is doing something wrong and I use God to tell them how wrong they are.
But I want more for my children than that. I want more than to bring God into our day only when it benefits me.
Oh, and here I go. Here is when I am likely to step on some toes and make some people (people who are really close to me) raise their eyebrows with disapproval. I would like to make a disclaimer .... I am not saying I believe that what I am getting ready to say is right for every person or every family. I highly respect any decision any family makes regarding the spiritual upbringing of their own family, if God's the one telling them to do it. I truly feel, we truly feel, that God has been speaking to us about this for a long, long time. And we know that He loves us enough that even if we haven't heard Him clearly, and we make a mistake, that He will be there to guide us back. We are listening to God every day on this issue.
As a family we have been extremely unhappy (I use that word with caution) in an organized religious and church setting for a very long time. Even though we made a change recently, we do not believe we are where God has called us to be. We have been attending for the sole purpose of our two little ones going to church.
I feel like all we have been teaching our children is that we need to get up on Sunday morning and go to church so we can worship, see and/or have an encounter with God. I am tired of going to a building to meet with God, instead of bringing God along to every place we go. We've used the fact that we receive a Sunday morning instruction about God's ways as an excuse not to do it at home. So we talked about just having church at home, with the kids on Sunday mornings, alone. So, I did what I always did, I got right to planning it! I started looking for "curriculum". And then I read an article that asked why, even in our spiritual and religious upbringing, do we assume it has to be done in a "school building" setting? And that really got me thinking.
We have lots of places we want to go! And to go anyplace and do anything, we always count out Sundays because we have "church". For several months Rick has been saying, "I just want us to live!" And I've had a difficult time wrapping my mind around what he has meant by that.
I think God has finally revealed it to me.
I want to take what my children are learning at school, and the things they are interested in, and even the things they don't know they are interested in yet, and learn more about those things! And to go and actually experience it! And while we're doing it, as a family, to bring God along and talk about Him in what we are studying. Talk about the stories of old. Actually read them, and experience like things within them, with a modern day twist, so that they an see that the Bible is alive today in our lives. I want us to live God in our lives!
I don't really know what this looks like, exactly. That's what's so great about it. There's no agenda other than a intention to do it. It will involve everybody's input! We'll have fun! We'll talk! We'll experience! And that will more than likely take us out of a pew on Sunday morning. And those around us will say, "uh oh .. here they go!" And, we won't concern ourselves with that.
Does this mean we will never sit in a church pew again and worship with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ? I sure hope not! I love to do that .. at times. And, God may lead us back to that regular Sunday morning pew soon. But, for now, I get the feeling we will be absent for a while. The funny thing is, though, that God will notice our presence more than he probably ever has.
Dawson and I have some plans for a family outing, and Rick and I have discussed several more. So, now it's time to get some input from the kids .. to talk about school and what they are interested in, and get to planning some God-led adventures. Doesn't that sound exciting???
We're heading to the homecoming parade today. I thought candy therapy would be good for Eli later this afternoon. So, I'll have a "lighter" post later today.