Our family lives in a fairly conservative area with lots of other homeschooling families around. Many moms stay home. Generally people understand that having mom stay home is a normal thing to do, not some strange, alien idea that makes no sense to their secular mindset. However, I still often encounter people that look at me strangely or often times in awe when I explain that yes, I do have four children and yes we do homeschool. They say things like "You have a BIG family" or "Oh, I could NEVER to that" or "Oh, bless your heart, you must be so tired!".
Why would anyone stand in awe of me for doing what God has commanded me to do? Since when is hard work that bears amazing fruit something to be shocked about?
Ephesians 6:4 says...
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
And by the way... why do so many people think that 4 children is a BIG family (and what's wrong with having a BIG family anyhow)?
Psalm 127:3 says...
Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
God has given us a duty to raise and train our children. God has entrusted their lives to us and we are to nurture and grow them. I personally don't think that sending them off to a government school is fulfilling that mandate.
Here are some misconceptions that many people (yes, even other Christians!) hold about homeschooling and my response to them...
Your children will not be socialized - My children are much more social that most children I know. They are not afraid to socialize with anyone, not matter their age. They can hold an intelligent conversation with any person and they take great phone messages as well. They love people and socialize quite normally.
I could never do that, it's too hard! - Wrong! Listen, I am NOT a trained school teacher. I am not even a GREAT teacher. There are many methods, curricula, books, forums, etc. available to any person wanting to homeschool their child. If you can do enough research to decide which cell phone company to choose, which car to buy or which neighborhood to move to, then you certainly can find a way to homeschool your child that will suit both your personalities and help them learn to their optimum level.
Don't you want your children to be "salt and light" to the world - Yes! Of course I do! And they have plenty of opportunity to be just that without us sending them out into the world when they are not yet fully mature in their faith. We give our children every opportunity to witness to to others and when they are adults and have been properly taught in their faith they will certainly have even more opportunity to be salt and light.
I wish I could AFFORD to stay home and teach my kids but we need my income - I beg to differ. There are many ways to cut corners and live on less. Often times the choices we make determine how much money we require to live. I personally know many families that make less money than we do and have more children and still "afford" to homeschool. The Internet is a wealth of information on how to save money in every area of life.
No, homeschooling is not always easy but unfortunately our society is often so very enamoured with what is easy or what makes life more enjoyable or fun. Self serving ideals reign supreme and selflessness is unheard of. What happened to laying our lives down for Christ? What happened to putting others before ourselves? It is rarely done any more, at least not without whining and complaining and a "poor me" attitude. To honor God is to crucify our flesh and do what is best for others, especially the children that God entrusted to our care.
Trying to prove to others (especially working mothers) that we as homeschool mothers "work"... this is not something that I try to do. Whether your work shows any fruit in your life or the lives of others will reveal the true value of your work.
If I leave my home to go to a job so that we can afford more THINGS which sending my kids to a public institution every day then those THINGS that I am working for have become my idol. They are more important that my children. I am blessed with an able bodied husband that is more than able to go out and earn a living to support our family (as God would have him do as the head of our home) so there is no reason for me to go out and work so that we can afford to have the American Dream while someone else educates my children.
Here are a few more verses regarding teaching your children...
Isaiah 54:13 And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.
Jeremiah 10:2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.