It was one of those moments I would like to go back and re-do. I would have said, “There IS something wrong with home schooling.”
I met a fellow parent at a children’s event the other day. I was waiting for Eden. The woman’s girls were next to her, ready to leave. The “school” question came up. It always does, not that I mind.
“What school does your daughter attend?” she politely asked.
“We home school,” I said, matter of fact.
“Oh! Well! There’s nothing wrong with home schooling! Is there girls? No! You’d like it, you get to stay home with your mom all day! There’s nothing wrong with home schooling! Right girls?”
Huh. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with home schooling. Did someone say there was something wrong with home schooling? Why would she act like that?
“Yup. Alright, well, nice to meet you,” I smiled. Thankfully it was time for all of us to go.
My son asked me later, “Why would she say there is nothing wrong with homeschooling? She must think there is something wrong with it! It’s like she was trying to convince herself, not the girls.”
Ya, that’s exactly what I was thinking. It was really bothering me. I was starting to get angry. Why was I getting angry? Now I was bothered that I was so bothered about what she had said. It has been weeks since this conversation and I’m still trying to get to the bottom of why I am so bothered.
Since our short exchange I have read several articles and listened to several sermons, all of which seem to focus on the same concept, constructing morality. That’s the problem. There’s no doubt about it. I was angry because this woman had questioned an area of my life that I had begun to use as a measuring stick of morality. Ask me and I would tell you that I, in no way, use home schooling to judge my level of morality, but there it is. I was angry. I wasn’t fuming and stomping and throwing things angry, but I was tell my husband and call my mom on the phone to vent about it angry. The ugly truth is that I also began to pick apart this woman whom I had only just met. There it is again, I was trying to pick apart her faults so that her judgement didn’t bother me any more.
Now, before you think I was jumping to conclusions about this lady’s intentions, I will tell you that you are right. I was jumping to conclusions and this was also part of the problem. See, if I didn’t use home schooling to judge my morality, why would I be so touchy? Why would I jump to that conclusion? I was sensitive to her response because I use home schooling to prove myself. I might say, “My house isn’t perfectly clean and I don’t always do a good job of getting dinner every night, but I home school.” Or, I might say, “I don’t reach out to others as much as I want, but I home school.” While these responses may reflect a legitimate account of how I spend my time, there is more there under the surface. It has become something that I use to make myself feel better about my sinful condition. It has become my way of constructing morality and it happened slowly, it snuck up on me. I didn’t start that way, but over the years it grew until I became bothered by a stranger who may or may not have disapproved of the way I am educating my children.
I should have said, “You know what? There are, actually, plenty of things wrong with home schooling. We certainly don’t have everything figured out, even if we act like we do.”
Boy, I really wish I could go back. For one thing, I would love to see the look she would give me. I think she’d probably agree. We’d both probably laugh a little and I would walk away remembering that home schooling does not justify me and I would praise God for the reminder. I am justified by Christ alone.
Romans 5:1Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, wea have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2Through him we have also obtained access by faithb into this grace in which we stand, and wec rejoiced in hope of the glory of God.
Here’s a list of articles for your enjoyment. I know they have been good for me, hopefully they can benefit you too, or at least make you think.
Why I Do Not Home School Tim Challies
The Weaker, The Stronger, The Home Schooler Tim Challies
Education and Division Tim Challies
Do you use home schooling or something else to construct morality? How do you keep your heart in check?