Now What? A Practical Guide to Home Education – Getting Started (Part 6)

Okay. So you and your spouse have agreed to home educate and to do so by rethinking the educational status quo. If you are an Alberta resident, you have even found the provider, or shall we say the best way to proceed legally without abdicating authority to others.

Most importantly, you have determined to base your family on the foundation of God and you are aiming for heaven, through Jesus.

I am assuming, of course, that all the above are true and that, furthermore, you have determined to trust in God rather than put confidence in man. But, now what? Persecution! That’s what!

I have seen a lot of biblical promises come to reality in my life, but none greater than the assurance of being opposed for standing on truth. Jesus said many things regarding truth, including that it would set us free to be who God wants us to be and that offence caused by living and speaking it would lead to persecution.

My experience has also shown that this persecution, while coming from a single source, is manifested in two ways. Aside from our own internal struggles, external persecution comes from inside as well as from outside the system.

In the home education world, for instance, external persecution may take the form of government opposition, which is likely easier to handle than the internal opposition coming from family and friends, which can often be far more sinister and destructive.

Please understand that, when doing something outside the status quo, you are, without saying a word, making the statement that you are not in agreement with it and by extension, that those still a part of it, are in error.

This is so, even when you insist on using the “live and let live” or “to each his own” approach, or carefully avoiding any talk about the “prohibited” topic. However, avoiding the issue or pretending there is no issue, is not the best approach.

We were instructed by the apostle Peter to always be ready to render an account for the hope that is within us. I suppose that I may be taking a bit of license in this interpretation, but I take this to mean that we should be ready to defend our decisions, especially when they go against the grain.

In fact, that may be the only time we have to do so, since we are not likely to be questioned when doing what everybody else is doing.

Although the decision to train and teach your own children at home is becoming more accepted, it is still a “radical” decision in the eyes of most people. Radical decisions make others nervous for two reasons.

Firstly and understandably, others may be genuinely concerned for your welfare and that of your children. This is often the reason grandparents, who may not have your understanding respecting home education, or who unquestioningly endorse the “normal” way of doing things, sincerely express their concerns. This is usually, eventually resolved as they see the positive growth and progress of the children.

The second and likely main reason for opposing your “radical” decision is that it causes people to be uncomfortable with the decisions they have made. This is especially the case within the dichotomous “for Him or against Him” Christian world view perspective. From this perspective, if you have decided to do the job of educating your children yourself and others have decided not to, you cannot both be right.

This reality is often buried erroneously under the banner of choice. Clearly, we are all free to choose what we want to do and nobody is going to hell for making “the wrong decision” regarding the education of their children. However, it is fair to say that every decision brings the applicable consequences or results and it is also fair to say that some decisions are simply better than others.

Still, when confronted with either having to endorse your decision, or disagree with it, you will find that most people would rather “shoot the messenger” than admit a potential for error on their part. You may think this to be unfair, especially if you have not been vocal about your decision, but, as previously stated, your decision speaks volumes, even without using words.

Really! You will likely find it hard not to talk about your home education program because it will occupy nearly your entire life. So, what else is there to talk about? Weather gets old, fast.

A more dangerous form of internal persecution and likely the greatest source of discouragement, fear and self-doubt, will be your fellow home educators who did not determine to leave their school indoctrination behind when choosing to bring their children home.

This is made even more sinister in Alberta, where funding follows students. An industry has been created around this funding and those involved have long understood that the very reason the government made that funding available was to maintain control of all educational platforms. They also know that the more school they offer, the easier it is to please the average home educator who has not thought about what home education is or should be.

Now what? Be prepared to have to remind yourself every day of the scripture, “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” and be prepared to be tested almost daily by those who would have you put your confidence in man, as they have.

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