Homeschooling in the Heat

It’s just about to be summer here. We’re up north, where winter is really winter (double digits below freezing), and summer is really summer. It’s good to remember that learning goes on no matter what the season, but this post is not about the temperature, it is about homeschooling in the heat of opposition.

Homeschooling, and having a traditional, large family, is an invitation to conflict with our culture. I means taking a stand and withstanding the consequences of holding to the truth even if we lose some things in the short-run.

The story of my own life illustrates this point.

I was brought up in the Scotch-Irish tradition of taking stands for things. From the time I was little I was taught to take up the cause of the helpless and defenseless. We took great pride in standing on the side of right and truth no matter what it may cost.

In my elementary years, I found I was often coming to the aid of the lonely and misunderstood. But when I reached middle school I developed kypho-scoliosis, which meant my back was crooked and I had a hunch that invited ridicule from other students. I actually became one of the outsiders that I had been trying to help.

It was a good plan that God had for me. Although I was in the “A” tier of classes (bound for college), my inability to participate in P.E. class landed me a stint as an assistant in a special education class. Because I looked different, the kids in this class accepted me as one of their own. It humbled me and prevented me from becoming arrogant. It also gave me some lessons in keeping firm to truth no matter what.

By high school my back was much straighter, even “normal.” We had moved by that point, and no one knew that I had ever been “handicapped.” But I still had to take a stand, this time for my faith.

I was attending an overseas school that was much more like a private, college-prep academy. The graduating class was about 70, and the teachers were top-notch. There was a definite lean to liberalism and humanism, and I found myself at odds with much of what was being pushed. My convictions were being solidified, and my muscles were being strengthened, for the long road I would be traveling the rest of my life.

Eventually, I married my husband and we decided we wanted to live as traditionally as we could. He became the breadwinner, I became the wife who valued him as the head of our home. This was the first cultural hurdle we fought.

Next was the size of our family. Things became intense at times as we fought to keep to the truth over and over as we welcomed one precious person at a time into our lives (until we had welcomed 15 precious persons!)

Homeschooling further put us crosswise with culture, but by this time we were totally immune to outside interference. Nothing anyone else said moved us in any way. We knew the truth, and the truth set us free to have as much fun as we wanted!

Over the years I have learned these principles for taking a stand and facing the heat:

  • Make sure it is God. There are some hills worth dying on, and other hills that aren’t. If God is leading you to do something, then fight on, but if it is a fad or a whim, you are in danger of defeat and shame.
  • Check yourself. Is this a hidden way to prove yourself? Are you simply wanting a way to be belligerent or contrary, perhaps to cover some of your guilt or shortcomings in another area? Ask God to shed light on your heart’s true intentions.
  • Know your subject. Learn everything you can about what you are doing and why you are doing it. Dig deeply and come to know it inside and out. Then, when someone is hurtling accusations and arguing with you, you can stand erectly and peacefully. No need to blast someone with all of your knowledge, but your inner confidence will keep you from stooping to the level of your enemy. You can walk away more convinced than ever as you watch them run out of steam and turn to unfounded insults.
  • Run into God. He is our secret hiding place, our strong tower. He keeps those safe who are standing for THE Truth. He is the Father of Mercies and the God of All Comfort.
  • Forgive. Remember, the devil is our enemy, people are only his pawns. Forgive others because God has forgiven you. Don’t allow offense to keep you in the death roll of bitterness.
  • Remove yourself. Sometimes we get stuck in situations where people have access to us to berate us and discourage us. Other times we have a way out. Whenever possible, take the way out. Jesus told us that if we are persecuted in one city, we are to flee to another. He is not asking you to suffer for suffering’s sake. He is compassionate and caring, and if we can get out of the range of fire, we should run!
  • Don’t let the detractors steal from you. You have an amazing race to run that requires all of your focus and endurance. Don’t waste them on the hecklers in the stands. In the end their input will not matter.
  • Learn how to move from shame to joy. It doesn’t matter what or who you have been. Allow God’s grace to cover you so that you can go on to fulfill the plans He has for you and your family.

Ultimately, the best revenge on our detractors is to live a joyful, hopeful, loving life. If we can face each day knowing we are free in God to nurture our children and build a family that glorifies Him, then we have already won the battle!

For a more detailed treatment of this subject, be sure and listen to and/or watch my podcast by clicking on the links below:

Powered by RedCircle


2 thoughts on “Homeschooling in the Heat”

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.