differences

Okay, here’s my whole-hearted life, including a current trend in homeschooling. One I that didn’t bother me at first, but has been increasingly annoying. We’ll get to that later. Two days ago I had a  CT scan because one of my incisions has a dense mass underneath it and it ‘s not supposed to be there.  Results came back and there is a hardened ball of tissue under the incision, and it is painful. I could have it removed, only more surgery would probably just create another problem and my body will absorb it within about 6 months without surgery anyway. I have gallstones again, but I had them before and they are not as bad as surgery either. My body’s been through three abdominal surgeries, all laparoscopic (that means they didn’t cut across my belly, but went in through 2 or 3 small incisions). They all hurt bad, especially the hysterectomy. I ended up with internal cuts, burns, and stitches and had trouble managing the pain with medicine. Also, after this last surgery my body didn’t recover well from the incision or the anesthesia. That’s what happens the older we get. Surprisingly, the surgery which cut across my neck, which was a 2 inch incision rather than a centimeter one was probably the least painful of all my surgeries, most likely due to the location of the cut and the lack of neck muscles needed to get up and down. I don’t think God likes me removing organs if I can help it. There is a reason I have the organs I have and if they are not diseased with cancer, I’ll keep them. The only exception to another surgery would be if my bladder sling broke apart and perforated something. But I don’t want to get into that here… that’s a much longer blog. One I will write after July 5th.

We begin full-time homeschooling in a few weeks. My oldest boy is in Florida right now visiting family and I miss him like crazy. His brothers already have a million and one things they want to “show” Big Bird when he comes home. I love home-making. It’s an art and a set of skills I love to work on and hone. I am using the small amount of extra time, while my boy is gone, in order to cook and work on projects around the house. I also went on my first post-op walk the other day. I was really tired when finished, but could feel a small piece of me coming back. I LOVE to exercise and get my heart rate going. It’s like a daily Prozac for me.

So, when I was researching homeschool conferences last year I looked for specific speakers and was willing to travel to where the best homeschooling veterans were speaking. I found that one of my all-time favorite speakers in the homeschooling circuit was taking a break from speaking. She wanted to spend more time with her family, work on other projects, but her final reason is where I really sympathize and agree with her and I am going to share a piece of what she wrote straight from her blog (www.susanwisebauer.com)…

“Third, I’m discouraged by the conference scene, which is becoming increasingly polarized. Those of you who attend home education conferences may have noticed this.

I love to teach; I love to help parents and teachers teach. That’s part of what I do. But conferences seem, increasingly, less focused in education and more on lifestyle: whether that’s back-to-the-earth, drop-out-of-the-system, or build-God’s-kingdom-through-home-schooling. Check out the workshop offerings at your nearest conference, and look at the percentages: how many of the workshops are dedicated to teaching and learning? and how many focus on parenting, marriage issues, family dynamics, church matters, theology, bread-baking, organic gardening…?” End quote.

My family and I are very happy and secure in our lifestyle, our relationship with the Lord, and teaching our kids love and acceptance towards all people. While reading one of my homeschool magazines (not gardening, parenting, or Christian magazines), 99% of the articles were about how to love the Lord, how to raise our kids to love the Lord, how important it is that we homeschool our kids to know more about the Lord than academics. There were also other articles about lifestyle that had little with do how to teach my child to read. That was the last straw. The Lord’s heart as I know Him to be, is a big reason why we homeschool. I want my kids to find their faith without the distraction of worldliness or trying to fit in to a system that’s not worth fitting in to, the public school. Done. I am secure in that decision and I don’t waver in that. But it seems that article after article in this one magazine focused on lifestyle and devotions, which is fine. Except that I subscribed to a homeschooling magazine and want to know as much as I can about academics at home. I may be in the minority here, but our relationships with the Lord are a part of family life, which includes homeschooling. But so are academics. I know the Lord and I am grateful for Christian books and magazines. My husband loves gardening, composting and yard work, and I love cooking from scratch and arts and crafts. But when I go to a homeschool conference and read a homeschool magazine I would like the bulk of what I read/listen to, to encourage me on how to get through to my kids in their academics; or a better way to teach academics. Sometimes I use gardening or cooking to do that, but we use curriculum as an intregal part of our homeschool lifestyle. My life as a Christian is already infused into everything I do so at this point in my walk with the Lord I don’t expect a homeschooling mom to teach me how to be a Christian wife when I read a magazine about homeschooling. It seems like many have forgotten the word “school” makes up half of the word “homeschool.” My kids want to go to college and want to learn to do things that will require a higher education one day. I need to know how I can best teach and guide them along their educational path. When I want to know how to better my marriage, I will read a book about marriage. Everything affects our homeschool, but everything affects the families of public schooled kids too. I hope we can find our way back to realizing that academics are an important part of homeschooling.

We also need to remember that there are families in the homeschooling community who are not Christians. They are genuinely kind and awesome people and if they were to go to a homeschooling conference and hear about the speaker’s plan for making their kid an evangelist, it would seem a little brain-washy to me. Christian homeschoolers are not better than non-Christian homeschoolers. And not all homeschoolers can their own jam and sew their own clothes.

That’s my whole heart this morning. Thanks for reading.

Love,

Jackie

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