Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Parents Struggle

I write this today with a heavy heart. It has become apparent to me that we are not immune to criticisms of our parenting, or our choices of lifestyle even in the homeschooling community. I am finding that the older my children become and the longer we home school prejudice runs deep.

I find it sad that among Christians/Christian homeschoolers there seems to be a gap between not Christian enough and Super Christian and each thinks the other better! I'm pretty sure our family would fall into the eyes of "not Christian enough" because of our "liberal" choices for our family. We home school because we believe it's the best choice for our children...not because it will guarantee a perfect christian student or to protect them from the evils of world. I do want to protect them from the evils but if you believe by homeschooling you'll completely avoid girl drama, teenager attitudes, or even bullying you would be wrong. I truly believed that by homeschooling we would avoid all of these situation but we live in a fallen society. Many of the parents who now home school were products of the public school system and like it or not we have that mentality of the strong eat the weak. There are I'm sure, exceptions to that but I am finding it few and far between.

I will admit to being a more liberal homeschooling mother in the aspect that we (gasp) allow our 13 year old son to "date", choose his music he listens to ( for the most part, as long as it's in his room and not blaring throughout the house), our children have all watched the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and Transformers, we've read all the Harry Potter books and own the movies! I choose my battles and allow far more freedoms than some homeschoolers yet other homeschooling parents might think we are completely over protective. I try hard to let my children fight their own battles. If they are fighting with another person I do my best to stay out of it and let the kids work it out on their own. I want my children to learn how to work out their own problems on their own without me. I will offer advice and hugs though!

I realize that many families homeschool to avoid the worldliness of the public school realm and I also completely understand not having your child yoked to an unbelieving child/fool but wonder if we are building a community of people who won't be able to stand against the world. Will our "sheltered" homeschooled child be able to handle the "worldly" choices they will be bombarded with when they leave our homes? Will they have their own faith or just the faith of their parents? Could this be why so many homeschooled teens are turning against their faith and values they were raised to have?

I do not claim to have the answers. My oldest has recently become a teenager and I admit to having no clue what I'm doing. I am in uncharted waters. I'm just trying to "make it through". I would love nothing more than to force my Christianity upon all my children and keep them from making the costly mistakes that I made as a teenager! I've only recently come to the realization that I cannot make or force my children to live a Christian life or choose Christ. I can only give them a moral compass and ensure they know about a living Savior. I can bring them to church every time the doors are open and ensure that that they have been "churched" and know the truth even if they chose not to believe it.


Andrea said...

I hear this story a lot. Though I don't homeschool, I have several friends who do and from what I gather, there's as much division in the homeschooling community as anywhere else. My friend "A" is always telling about how one clique in her co-op pushes international adoption and if you don't support it, what kind of Christian are you? Another friend "L" has been completely rejected by the homeschool community though she is "very Christian". Don't sweat it. Parenting is hard enough without some self-imposed morality-Nazi leaning over your shoulder, critiquing your kid's book choices.

Jennifer said...

I found the same thing when we homeschooled. No matter what I did, there were people who thought we were too strict/not strict enough, too religious/not religious enough, the list could go on and on. You just have to do what is right for you and not worry about the other people. parenting is hard! We are all just doing our best.

Mish said...

I ran into your blog from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures. I have two small daughter's .. 6 and 8 ... and I have to say that this parenting stuff sure is challenging! :) The world today is big and bad...but along with that big and bad, there is some good and gracious. I think most of us do the very best we can and we have to pray it's enough, regardless of what other's think behind our backs. I respect and commend you for doing what you do and teaching your children to think for themselves. I don't know you or your children, but someone needs to tell you every so often: "You've done good lady".

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