Homeschool is not for everyone. There are children who do better in a public or a private school environment. There are parents who have to work or for other reasons are unable to teach their children at home. I've never tried to force my opinions on anyone about how they should raise their children. I'm a live-and-let-live kind of girl in that way-I allow you to make your decisions, and you need to let me make mine.
My husband and I made the decision to homeschool before we had children. In fact, before we were even married. I was taught at home for my entire education, including some college and trade school, and so, for me, it was a natural thing. When my husband proposed, he asked me what I was looking for in a husband. I said, "I'm looking for a man who loves the Lord more than he loves me, and will support me in giving birth at home and in homeschooling." He then proposed, I married him, and we started our family with our goals clearly outlined. This is the decision we made for our family, not one we try to force others to emulate.
A well-meaning Primary teacher recently made a few comments that caused those little hairs on the back of my neck to stand straight up. They weren't spoken cruelly, but the message was clear -- as a teacher, she knows more about my child than I do. You can say a lot of things to me, but that's not one of them.
I am a mother. I was predestined to be one from the foundations of this world. When God thought about my life and the direction He wanted it to take, He decided to make me a mother. He also decided to give me four very strong, very smart, very independent-minded children who would take all my energy. Along with those four gifts, He gave me the Holy Ghost to guide me in my quest to raise these children to the best of my ability. I have felt the influence of the Holy Ghost time and time again as I have thought of ways to encourage my children along various paths. I have often felt the sweet voice of our Heavenly Father telling me what each child needs in order to feel validated and loved. I'll tell you right now, I make mistakes. But I'll also tell you, when I listen to that voice, the success I have with my children is remarkable. God knows them inside and out. He knows who they were before, who they will be after, and what their capacities are. He tells me those things as I need to know them, so He can guide me in how to cope with them and their struggles.
In addition, I carried them for nine months next to my heart. I have stayed up all night with them. I have cared for them their entire lives. You can't tell me that someone else knows them better than I do, just because that someone has a degree. Between me and the Lord, there's not one thing about that child we can't figure out.
I will admit, I don't have a college degree. But I'm educated. And what I don't know, I learn. I may not be the best person to teach my children higher math, but when they get to that point, my husband will teach them. It's teamwork. It's turning to him to supplement the areas in which I'm weak, which is how a husband and wife unit should function. I'm not so savvy when it comes to explaining calculus, but I will put my care and concern for my children, and my love for them, up against any person on this planet and come out the hands-down winner.
I am very concerned at the comments I frequently hear being made by lawmakers and educators who state that they don't feel the parents know what's best for their children. I would pit a mother's intuition against a stack of college textbooks any day of the week. If certain proposed laws ever come to pass, and we turn the raising of our children over to the government (which really sounds to me like the plot of Lois Lowry's "The Giver,") we might as well just kiss our futures goodbye. It doesn't matter if you homeschool, public school, or private school, you as the parent know what's best for your child. I've made my decision. I will fight for it. I claim my right as a mother to be a mother, not a breeder, not some clueless, helpless female who must turn to the proper authorities to get help because she'll ruin the child otherwise.
I didn't say anything to the Primary teacher. It wouldn't have done any good. But I'm raising my voice now, and I tell you this -- parents, fight for the right to raise your children as you see fit, regardless of the method of schooling you choose. Do this with the help and inspiration of the Holy Ghost to guide you as you determine what your children need, and you will be amazed at the insights you are given concerning that most precious stewardship, your children.
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