“How in the world do you expect your children to function out in the world once they leave the bubble you’ve created for them?”
This is honestly a statement that was said to me a few years back.
And to be honest…it stung.
One of the most common questions I hear as a homeschooler is how am I preparing my children for the “real” world. From topics of socialization to missed opportunities, there are literally hundreds of different opinions on whether homeschooling has benefit, or if it actually hinders children from real life.
Let me tell you something that may shock you: The public school system did not prepare me for real life.
Not for my real life.
There I said it….it is out. I can breathe.
This is not to say that the public school system didn’t help me out, or that homeschooling would’ve helped me more. I’m just simply stating that the things I learned in school didn’t prepare me for being a stay at home mom of five kids. Being involved in extra curricular activities didn’t prep me for my day to day tasks either.
Yet, I see parents everywhere trying to rush from dance, to piano lessons, to the tutors house, to hockey practice, to swimming lessons, and to everything and anything else in between. To prepare their children for everything that they might ever want to be.
But there’s some things very few parents pay any attention to at all.
Compassion for the less fortunate.
Because while sports may keep you fit, and school may prepare you for your career, it doesn’t account for the most important values in life: God, family, and our responsibility to others.
There’s a push out there to drive children to dream big. From as young as three we ask them such huge, life driving questions: What do you want to be when you grow up?
As if they were capable of making that decision…still it’s cute to hear their answers!
But…can I just say that it’s a shame that we focus so much on career when a far more important question would be to ask, “what kind of person would you like to be?” And if they want to get married, “what kind of person do they want to spend their entire life with?”
Happiness doesn’t come from money or careers, we all know this, yet we raise our children to believe that those are the most important life goals. My question is why?
Why do we do this?
You know what brings misery? Marrying a miserable person. Going through life without a thought for anyone else. Riches without friends to share them with. Working endless hours just to watch the numbers in your bank account go up.
And yet we push and push our children to a single goal: Dream big and follow your dreams!
But…what if they’re like me?
What if they are like the millions of women around the world like me? What if they just want to stay home and raise a family?
What good does all of your rushing around do then?
And maybe it comes down to an even bigger question: What if they are content with raising a family, being a stay at home parent? Will they have let you down?
It’s not a waste, dear friends, to just raise a family. It’s a gift. A tremendous gift to the world; to raise up people who know they are loved.
There’s SO more to being a parent than just driving from place to place, and putting food on the table.
Now, do I have to homeschool to raise my kids well?
Of course not!
But it sure allows me more time to do so!
Let me ask you, if your children are at school eight hours a day, then at extra curricular activities for 2-3 more hours each evening…When do you have the time to teach them how to work? When do they do chores?
When do they learn about the importance of volunteering, or how to care for the less fortunate, or think about the needs of others?
When do you have the time to do devotions with them, memorize scripture with them, pray with them?
When do they have time to ask you questions about life, about morals, about sex?
When do they have time to just “be still”?
Are we so afraid of silence? Are we that afraid of stopping our lives and just letting kids play creative, made-up games?
Parenting well takes time…lots of it!
So going back to the first question that was asked: “How will my children function in the world?”
I except that they will be godly, hardworking, respectful, responsible and unselfish individuals, which quite notably, is rare in the world today.
But will they “fit in” with the rest of the world? Looking at millennials today… Nah, that’s not too high on my priority list.