When Homeschooling Doesn't Work
I am clear on my objectives in homeschooling. I know why I am doing it. But I don't have those clear, measurable objectives that I learned about in the School of Ed.

I am not so worried about academic objectives. I feel adequately prepared to give my children at least as good a start as any public school. And if I fall short? If they aren't prepared for college level work? They will be adults, and if I have ingrained in them the benefits of hard work, accepting responsibility and seeking assistance when necessary, they will apply themselves and look for the help they need to fill in the gaps.

I am not so worried about "socialization." Already, all three of my children display signs of being quite outgoing. They have no difficulty interacting in a social setting, although my daughter perhaps is a bit too talkative in such situations.

My concerns deal with faith, independent thought, character. They deal with issues of the heart which can only be measured by God. What if I fail in this? All the academic and social skills in the world will not draw my children nearer to God if they reject His teaching. What if I lose my children? What if I'm too hard on them? Or not hard enough? What if I preach too much...or too little? What if the life I display before them is too far from what I say to give the words any meaning?

I wish there were a clear curriculum choice that would guarantee the results I want. Except if they claim that, I would put it back on the shelf, because even in my moments of desperation, I know it isn't that easy. Calacirian relates a recent experience at a homeschool convention in which she ran into a friend whose children had walked away after homeschooling them:
"Well, I'd like to go in there," and she gestured toward the Vendor Hall, "and tell them that they're selling lies. None of it works."
I appreciate companies that stand behind their products and I appreciate churches who stand behind homeschooling. But no method of education will guarantee that our children will live by the principles we teach them, whether that is Christian or not.

I am not perfect. And I see my sins replicated in my children. I know the only way to correct this is through better modelling. A closer walk with Christ. Becoming like Him. But I am not perfect. I will always fall short. And my children will always see that more than anyone else.

Right now, my children exhibit a sort of blind faith in God. They have a love for him compatible with their age and understanding. My seven year old prays for her friends and family and that we will have enough food. My three year old's prayers recently have reflected a great concern for God. He prays for God's safety, that He will go to heaven one day and that He won't get hit by a car. My one year old states emphatically, "Ayeeoma!" which I think is what she gathers from, "In Jesus' name, Amen."

And if they leave that? I will naturally blame myself. My imperfections. My lack of proper training. But they aren't clean little slates adopting only what I write upon them. God himself created two perfect human beings and placed them in a perfect environment. They chose to walk away. It certainly was not the fault of their creator, nor of their education. Sometimes, the hardest thing about faith is recognizing that it isn't about me and my plans and my abilitiy to carry them out.

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