Monday, March 22, 2010

Happy to be Homeschooled

As a homeschooler I am asked questions like; “Can’t a busy household get distracting?” “What about a lack of socialization?” “How are you going to get your diploma?” and “Do you want to go to academy?” I have also heard from peers my age, “Oh I wish I was homeschooled” and “You’re so lucky!” Whether others think that we homeschoolers have the day spent leisurely doing our own pleasure, I don’t know. But what is being homeschooled like, and why am I content to be homeschooled?

One reason why I love homeschooling is because I can choose what I study. If a curriculum isn’t a good match for me, I can switch to another one that, for example, is more of a challenge. I can be creative, and explore areas that catch my interest. I can also go at my own pace, going faster – or slower according to my abilities, without being pressured by and compared to my peers.

I do not suffer from a lack of socialization, and I have many opportunities to interact with people of all ages. Best of all, I (and my parents) can choose who I want to associate with, and our families get together and we build friendships.
Because of the savings due to staying at home, my family can afford music lessons, and I love the opportunity to learn and practice music.

I also love homeschooling because I’m learning not only the academic work, but how to keep a home, take care of the animals, watch the children, clean the house, and prepare lunch. These are valuable skills that will aid me in keeping my own home someday. I have freedom to spend more time with my family, and to cultivate lasting relationships with them.

This month I will be joining a Bible Worker, and going door-to-door to plant seeds for an evangelistic series. I am very thankful I can adjust my schedule and not miss out on great opportunities like these.

Because of the busy household revolving around me, I have learned to focus with distractions of younger children, etc., going on around me. If for some reason I can’t handle the distraction, I can always go upstairs to my room and study in solitude.

As other young people are enrolled in academy, my mother asks, “Would you like to go to academy too?” but my answer is always the same. I am happy and content with my life now, I love being homeschooled, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.

“[Jesus] education was gained directly from the Heaven-appointed sources; from useful work, from the study of the Scriptures and of nature, and from the experiences of life, - God’s lesson-books, full of instruction to all who bring to them the willing hand, the seeing eyes, and the understanding heart." Education pg. 77

Monday, March 15, 2010

Because I Didn't Know

Birds twittered and trilled, perched on the flimsy branches of the poplars. The brook had swelled with melting snow from our property, gushing from the culvert and eventually creating a quiet pool under the shade of a few trees. I felt like I could soar to the treetops and sing with the birds as I went skipping down the driveway. Spring was in the air, and then summer would come. There was no limit to my excitement; what would the summer hold? I didn't know, but I wished that I did.

If I could have gone forward in time, I would have experienced mixed feelings over the summer of 2009. I would have seen myself tenderly caring for a sweet little bird, fallen far from the nest. Yet later I would witness the cruel results of sin as I pitied an injured creature, dying. I would witness ten beautiful baptisms bringing inspiration and encouragement to my heart. Yet I would feel frustration and worry over the life of a friend. I would experience joy never felt before, yet feel sorrow to see others filled with hate. Our family would travel to an old country farmhouse for a family reunion - little did I know that it would be the last one. My brother and I would puzzle over a mysterious "bear" and run for our lives when we ended up in a swarm of angry yellow jackets. I would have to let go of some friends that were bringing me down, but with joy I made new friends that are very dear to me. My heart would soar to the sky as I hiked up in the White Mountains and I would learn many valuable lessons that I never wanted to forget. Even though my heart would be filled with joy, I would still experience the pain of sin.

That is why God doesn't always show us the future. How easily I could have gotten discouraged if I had seen all the trials ahead! But what would trust and faith be if there was never any uncertainty, any trial, or any situation where we couldn't exercise them?

Here I am, a year later from that spring day. I have learned much, and that is partly because I didn't know. I would have lost half of the lessons I learned if I had known in advance exactly how situations would turn out and what I had to face. I learned more about myself - how I naturally reacted to certain situations - and I learned more about God - and His grace. My faith in Him has been strengthened because no matter what happened, God never failed me, and I could say that from experience.

My future holds a lot of blanks right now, but I don't need to know what the next summer holds - or the next for that matter. I am happy to live each day with the knowledge that God is in control, no matter what happens. As the time passes, and I experience the winds of change, I know that God will strengthen me to face whatever the future holds....