Over at 4 Real Learning, I was reading a thread about why people choose to home school. There were many wonderful reasons as to why families have chosen this road less travelled. One post by Marcia, struck a cord with me. She posted this wonderful list of reasons that she and her husband put together, which she has graciously allowed me to publish here and in my kitchen!
Why we Home School.
To fulfil the responsibilities given to us upon our children's baptism.
To provide our children with a comprehensive Catholic education and worldview in all areas of life and learning.
To provide an individualised education in an environment of respect and loving parental care such that each child's strengths are appreciated and raised up and each child's areas of challenge are accommodated and or remediated.
To allow extended parental influence, particularly in the early years of character, values and attitude formation.
To protect our children from the pervasive impiety in our culture and educational systems in order to facilitate the development of the whole child.
To encourage social developments across contexts and ages.
To reverence the child by careful attention to their uniqueness.
To offer emotional safety so their energy can go toward froth and not fear.
And above all because we love being with our children.
I had tried many times to compile such a list, but I could never quite get it right. Marcia’s list included all the reasons which were close to my heart.
The boys and I have recently started reading Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, Missionary of Charity. We read how Agnes tried to discern if she had a vocation to the religious life. She ask her confessor how she would know if God was really calling her, and if so, calling her to what? The priest’s reply struck a cord with me.
“If the thought of becoming a sister and serving God and people makes you happy, then your vocation is genuine. A deep inner joy is like a compass that points you in the direction God wants you to go. This is true even if the road for you is difficult.” (page 24)
I shared with the boys that for many years I had repeatedly asked myself and God what I was meant to be doing with my life. Should I continue teaching; pursue further study; look for another career; save the world! After a few months of home education I began to realise that I no longer found myself asking what I should do when I grew up!! I knew that God had answered my oft asked prayer, as I experienced a lasting contentment which had been elusive in other ventures like paid employment and study. I knew that my vocation to home education was genuine as I too knew by my feelings.
My passion for home education has not wavered (much!), even when the road becomes difficult as it inevitably will no matter what ones vocation is.