I find myself hundreds of miles from home missing my parents, sisters and extended family. Here in the midwest it is Me, my husband and our 3 children. It is hard to go at life with no support system around, no one to call to watch the kids so you can go to the Dr. or grab lunch with friends.. well babysitters but let's face it they aren't FREE and they aren't family :). No one to share in the joy of seeing your child in their first piano recital, no grandparents or cousins at birthday parties, or to share in the sadness of putting yet another pet down or just the daily woes of everyday life. I have the phone, I have Skype, I have this blog but it does take a village to raise a child and it would be great if that village consisted of my family. Unfortunately it does not.
When I say it takes a village to raise a child I mean that in these terms. The people that are in your child's life no matter what in ways start to influence, shape and mold them, whether you like it or not, thats "the village" They end up influencing things like religion, world view, self esteem all the way down to clothes, friends, sports, general attitude and everything in between. Not having my family around has changed my view of what I want my village to be, because we rely on the people in our lives for friendship and relationship. Though I have not lived near family in such a long time I have been beyond blessed with GREAT friends every where I have lived. Husbands and wives that love each other, love the Lord and love their families. God has given me family every where I have lived and for this I am most grateful. At this point in our lives I am still able to choose friends for myself and my children it won't be this way forever.
I get to choose because they are young, they are my responsibility to protect, raise and guide at this phase. Too many people in my opinion let their children make decisions that they are not ready or capable of making, or just plain shouldn't be making. It really doesn't matter if my child agrees with me at this time or not. We are making decisions about and for their lives after prayerful consideration and 100% out of love for them. I can not say that my 6 year old would do that, therefore she does not yet get a say. She is told what to do and she does it because she knows we love her first she trusts us to protect her and steer her right. We are her guide at this point. That doesn't mean we will never mess up or will never be wrong.
This is not a put down of public school or parents that send their children, I LOVE public school! My children will most likely at some point attend a public school. I have felt after prayerful consideration however that this is the avenue God is leading us down for now. We have been blessed again with a fantastic village! Some of who are homeschooler' s some who are private school kids and some who are public and where we fit into that is under homeschool because of our life right now. I would be blindly sending my daughter to school to be with people I have never met 7 hours a day at age 6. You can't tell me that their influence would not begin to take root. While most of it I am sure would be positive I do not yet feel that my daughter is ready for certain decisions at this point. So we choose our village... her village to have the home and parents as the main influence and when we are not home we are surrounded by people who will help us, pray for us and support us. You may say well that's not reality, well it is our reality right now, not forever but for now and how cool is that?!
I speak for me and my family only. I do believe it is possible to do all of this without homeschooling just not for me right now at this time in my life (my disclaimer) Children grow where they are planted and watered. I just need my little girls roots to grow a bit deeper and stronger before sending her out. Training so that when she faces influence she has the ability, strength and knowledge to handle it. Not that she and my other children will be perfect because of this (they surely will not be)but I believe the Bible and what it says. Train your child in the way they should go and when they are older they will not depart from it. That is all I am trying to do. At this point in her life she is literally still learning right and wrong. Just like a solider I am training her and with her my other children so that when the time comes and they have to stand on their own they will have the faith and knowledge of God rooted in them. Then my job will be to pray the Lord guides their steps and that they will hear His voice and obey.
I will not always be my daughters best teacher but for now I feel I can be. It excites me to think into the future, when she and my other children are able to make their own life decisions. I am excited to see how God uses them. They will mess up and they may try to pull away from where they were planted but those roots will be strong! I hope from this you understand our families decision and support us. It is all out of love for them and wanting God's best in their lives.