I promised myself I wouldn't let words hurt as much as they did that day. I promised myself that I would not let others question my faith or how I raised my children. I promised myself that this blog would represent me and all that I am, and everyone else can suck it. I allowed myself to be bullied into a corner, a corner where I question my beliefs and my parenting skills. A corner where everything I once knew as true, I all of a sudden questioned. They verbally shoved me and I justified verbally shoving them back via their comments box. That, ladies and gentlemen was uncool on my behalf and I instantly regretted the horrible things I said to her in my head, because YES, I had enough sense to keep the majority of how I felt IN my head and not ON the internet. I would not have said those things to her in real life to her face because a.) I'm a chicken shit and b.) they're just not nice things and I would have felt HORRIBLE if someone had said them to me... oh wait... she did.
My entire life I have grown up with at least one VERY religious person in my life, mainly, my Grandmother. I went to church with her every Sunday as a small child. I have various memories of being saved or taken to strange homes in Atlanta to be anointed. She instilled hope and faith in me as well as the amazing power of prayer. She also showed me how blind faith can be just as much of a curse as it is a blessing. Once I got old enough to notice that things were contradicting themselves and that I was NOT to question her religion of choice (think Pentecostal, KJV only or you're not really doing it right) I stopped going with her on Sundays. She, however, did not stop loving me despite the choice I made. I continued to go on Holidays with my parents and sometimes we would get into a pattern of going more than once a month, but I still didn't feel right. I grew up here in the Bible belt. This means that I can have a foul mouth and keep it classy at the same time (but not always). Seriously though, it means that I am surrounded by churches and for the most part, knowing what church someone goes to will give you an immediate idea of what that person is like. And maybe it's just me, but isn't that judging a book by it's cover? Unfortunately, YES. Does this mean I don't believe in Christianity? No. And strike me down or take me off your blog list if you must, but my faith? Is none of your business and the one thing my Grandmother instilled in me was that LOVING one another and TREATING one another in a Christ like way trumps throwing scripture in their faces in an attempt to "win souls." Maybe I'm wrong, maybe I'll find out once it all fades to black in (hopefully a long LONG time from now) the end, but if all this time I'm wrong in what I believe and this "faith" of mine isn't the "right faith" to have, wouldn't this mean that my entire life I haven't known wrong from right? Doesn't it say somewhere in the Bible that just as my Grandmother taught me, loving one another as you love yourself as God made you is His law above all else? Oh wait, THERE IS...
King James Version (KJV)
8Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
9For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
10Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
I owe not one person an explanation as to how I worship or how my family and I serve the Lord. I WILL live my life in an attempt to do right by my family and those around me. Do my children go to church? Yes. Do we teach them about the Bible? Yes. Does it matter to me which version of the Word it comes from? No. Do we practice aspects of both Christianity AND Buddhism in our house? Yes. And before you start scratching your heads, THIS is the one explanation I'm throwing out there and I'm not getting into it again: no matter which translation of the Bible you read, you are STILL reading a translation. It is a good book, a great book even, BASED on facts no less and I will raise my children up with the morals and values instilled in me from that same book. We will pray to Jesus when we pray and/or meditate. We will strive to be as Christlike as we can, but... my children are welcome to question as we have done ourselves. I firmly believe that it is useless at this point to worry over having all our questions answered because we will never TRULY know the answer till we get to have that chat with God himself. Until then, I want my children to have the faith that God is everywhere and in everything. I want them to treat every person they cross in life with the respect they would give to their parents. I do NOT want to be assaulted and made to feel dirty and sinful because I am raising them otherwise, as I have yet to feel at peace when I associate with churches and practitioners firm in the KJV.
So, where is Homeschooling in all of this? It's not. We're taking it one year at a time with our (DUNH DUNH DUUUUUNH) public school system. It is 3 hours a day, 3 days a week. If they weren't in school they would be spending that same average amount of time at a Grandparent's house without me. This gives them time to make friends in their age group, allows them to use resources I can't financially provide them, allows me time to help my Grandfather without my attention being all over the place. And when the old man doesn't need my immediate help, it allows me time to do something for myself without my attention going elsewhere. Do I love the idea of Homeschooling my kids? To be truthful, yes and no. Yes, I love the idea of not forcing my children to spend 8 hours a day with 30 other children fighting for 1 teacher's attention. Yes, I love watching my children grow and change as they learn. Yes, I think our school system is literally going to Hell in a (very small) hand basket... BUT, the school system we have available to US personally has not failed me yet. Selfishly, I will admit, I like my 3 hours a day 3 days a week. I like that they are learning from someone other than myself and that I am constantly hearing praise from their Teachers for their behavior and intelligence. I like that they love school and are surrounded by 20 other kids (and at least double that in student teachers) whom they can't wait to see every day. YES, there are bad days where one child or the other isn't in the mood to go (or come home for that matter.) YES, there are days where I question if Lillie specifically, is ready for a school setting. NO, I do not regret our decisions in the grand scheme of things. Will they still be in public school in 5 years? I don't know. Will we continue learning at home outside of any school setting? Yes. We will continue to take it on a year to year basis and that is what's right for us as of right now.
So, if you're a Homeschooler and you're reading this, high five! I'm excited for you and I do NOT think ill of your choice. If anything else, I am in awe of you and your decisions. While trying to decide what was best for our children this year, I discovered just how hostile people can become over one tiny little educational choice. There were moments when my own family made me shake my head and/or second guess my reasons for even thinking about it. Y'all aren't all crazy psychopaths or agoraphobics. If anything else, I've discovered that the majority of Homeschooling parents AND children come out on the other side of the education process better prepared for "beyond school." Shoot, even my favorite doctor at our pediatrician's office was Homeschooled. I have a favorite little ratio that I learned during Flight Attendant training to describe pretty much any situation. If one person out of ten people are angry about something, you are only going to know about the one angry person. Most people who are even barely satisfied with an experience will not speak up... you better believe though that the one irate person is going to go to the mountains with how dissatisfied they are. The same thing can be applied with nearly any bad review you read online or any negative comment made in your blog feed. The same thing can be applied to Homeschooling. If one parent completely messes their children up by Homeschooling them, chances are there are nine other success stories. Will you hear about them? Maybe... most likely not... And more than likely if you research into that one bad parent, you'll find that it wasn't really the educational choice that messed the child/children up but something else entirely.
I'm pretty sure I'm rambling at this point so I'll take this opportunity to go find some focus elsewhere. I'm glad I wrote today, even if it will end up blowing up my comments box with differing opinions. Bring your opinions here, I welcome them, so long as you're not just taking advantage of being an anonymous yet opinionated voice fueled by the fact that what you write in the comments box is not what you would say to my face if you ever met me. Love you!