I am SO excited for this guest post.
Jon and Rachael were my youth leaders at one point in time. Back then, they were young newlyweds and had just graduated from Cedarville. Cedarville wasn’t even on my radar and I didn’t even know them that well, except that they were married and cool and all comfortable in life.
Fast forward a few years and I started going to Cedarville and the Orens found themselves in Indiana. When they began their adoption journey, I started taking a great interest in their lives. Basically, Rachael was who I wanted to be when I grew up! No, seriously. Cue a beautiful biological daughter, and then a third who was born at home. UMMMM, who are these people and why do they live the life I’ve always wanted? THEN, these people decided to go and buy a hobby farm and move into a gorgeous home in the country. Now, they are adopting again from Ethiopia! Trust me, friends…you do not want to miss out on the passionate, gospel-focused way this family lives life. It’s absolutely amazing to watch God’s hand unfold a path before them. It’s so clear that it’s not an easy life to follow God’s calling…but it’s worth it and it’s beautiful and it’s the right place to be.
Rachel blogs at Our One Piece Life, and you can be sure to find challenging posts, inspiring posts, and God-glorifying posts.
Rachael will be guest posting today about why they chose to homeschool their children.
Homeschooling! Eeeek!!! There, yep, I said it! We are homeschooling! If you know us well, you already know this. When our oldest started kindergarten last year, we had gotten the question of, “Where is he going to school?” SO many times. Often, when we say we are homeschooling we get a wide range of responses, and then more questions. It’s one of those words that carries so much weight for a variety of reasons. So, I figured I would write out some blog posts about how and why we’ve grown to be passionate about homeschooling.
Disclaimer: Before I go any further, Jon and I have both experienced homeschool, public, and private schooling and have had good experiences in those options. We are in no way saying that homeschooling is the best and only option, but for us, for this year, it is the best option for our family. Please don’t read our passion for homeschooling and classical education as us saying it is the only way and that everyone should do the same. We’ve also learned “never say never” (did I really give birth to my daughter in my house, and do I really live on a hobby farm?!?!), so we are not putting our foot down and saying we are never going to consider other schooling options. But at this point, we are choosing to educate our kids at home.
As our blog title states, and as I’ve blogged about before, we are seeking to live a “one piece life.” Families today are so fragmented. Most of their days and activities are spent separate from each other, gaining most of their perspectives, beliefs, and likings from other people (peers, teachers, coaches, etc). Children spend the majority of their waking hours at school, away from their families, and then the majority of evenings are spent ushering kids all over creation to activity after activity. Meals are rushed, if eaten together at all, and it seems as though children prefer the company of their friends rather than their siblings. Even the way churches are often set up, families walk in the door to worship on Sunday morning, and kids and parents go their separate ways, only to regroup in the parking lot afterwards and drive home.
We are messy, fallen, sinners and we desire to gather around our children, living out this crazy and glorious mess all day, every day, together. We strive to model the supremacy of God and the Gospel to our children and feel we can’t do that properly if we are time-torn, fragmented, and living most of our days apart, rather than together. For us, at this point in time, traditional school means we are missing out on the best hours of their days. We would be giving the best hours to someone else.
This is one of the biggest reasons we are homeschooling. Sending my six year old to school means that he spends 40 hours a week in the care of someone else, during the best hours of his day. Christian or not, he is being discipled by someone for 40 hours a week that are not his parents. Yes, educators are trained to teach, and most of them are great with kids. However, they don’t know our children, and they certainly don’t care for and love our children the way we do. No one has more of a desire to disciple, teach, and care for our kids like we do. We have intimate knowledge of each of our children’s physical, spiritual and mental needs. We know where they are at, their strengths and weaknesses, where we need to speed up or slow down. We know what motivates them and can evaluate what they are truly understanding…and that doesn’t mean in just the academic realm. We can give them the individual attention we know they need.
We do not want our children growing up and seeing life as a dichotomy, where family, faith, and learning are separate from the rest of the world. We want that “one piece life” where we do family, faith, learning and everything else as a complete whole, together.
With each new stage and season of life, we are learning what that “one piece life” looks like every day. It doesn’t mean our kids aren’t going to do sports, and doesn’t mean that our kids won’t participate in age segregated church activities, it doesn’t mean we won’t send our kids to co-ops and part-time schooling opportunities, and it certainly doesn’t mean we will homeschool indefinitely. We will tackle each road and season of life as it comes, and who knows, some day that might mean our kids attend school away from home. We know many families who don’t homeschool but still live by these values. But what it does mean, is that we will pay close attention to our own hearts and the hearts of our children, and constantly look for ways to nurture the whole being of our family as ONE- not time-torn and not fragmented…living out a one piece life.
So please hear our hearts when we talk passionately about homeschooling and classical education…we are not declaring a certain kind of schooling option as better than the next, we just know that this pursuit is where God is directing our family., and it is the best one for us. A certain kind schooling option does not fix our sin soaked problems and does not change the condition of our hearts, or the “tune” of our family… only the grace of the Gospel can do that.
We have really been enjoying educating at home and we are excited to see how God uses it in the life of our family and children.
If you have any questions for Rachael, don’t hesitate to hop on over to her blog (Our One Piece Life) and email her there. Or you can comment below.
If you have an additional post on this subject (why you chose private school, why you chose public school), PLEASE feel free to shoot me an email at [email protected]
As always, you can feel free to submit your guest posts there anytime!