Yes, I do think that being taught by their parents is the ideal situation for all kids to be in. This goes for academics as well as general life skills, or a trade that the Dad may work in. Imparting an education is only part of homeschooling.
Other, equally important benefits of homeschooling include a close-knit family, siblings who learn to become best friends with their family members, and who see first hand every day how much work it takes to keep this ship called "family" afloat. They learn to pitch in from an early age, and they learn to teach their younger siblings.
Homeschooling is also as much about teaching and growing us as parents as it is about the kids. A homeschool mom is forced to constantly grow - academically, spiritually, and as a mother, as well as in every area of life that we could all use growth in but are all too often happy to be complacent. There is nothing like waking up to a house full of hungry, energetic little sinners that you know you will have to spend all day with teaching and training that will drive you to your knees and ask God for His help.
Mom is forced to spend large amounts of time with her kids, instead of the internet or TV. Our modern world often looks at large families and thinks that the kids in these situations are not getting enough individual attention, when just the opposite is true for those families who choose to homeschool. While the public elementary school kids on our street get picked up at 8 am and dropped off at 4:20 pm, my kids are usually sitting down to a hot cooked breakfast when the bus rolls around in the morning, and when it comes back around in the afternoon they have not only completed their school work, but also spent hours playing with each other, helping me, and running errands.
At home, there is no peer pressure to wear the latest fashions or labels. Nobody cares if you wear your brother's handed-down clothes. Our kids know nothing about any TV shows or current movies, or popular books such as Harry Potter or Twilight. If they went to school, they would either quickly become very wise in these worldly matters, or be social outcasts, neither of which we want for them.
Another (maybe fringe) benefit of homeschooling is that kids enjoy a much better diet than the average school child, especially if they are eating a school lunch. Private schools may offer better options, but what public schools serve is literally lower quality than fast food. Add to that vending machines with candy and sodas, and it's no wonder kids are acting crazy all day and get labeled as having "ADHD".
Finally, I really feel that I would miss out on so much of their childhood if they spent the majority of their awake time in the care of others. None of us knows how much time we will have with our children, and I don't want to have to look back regretting having given up precious time with them.
If you are unsure about whether or not homeschooling is the right option for your family, you should pray for God to show you His opinion on it from the Bible.
By Kimmie: I have a question. I had my tubes tied four years ago during a c-section with my second set of twins. My husband and I are raising 5 little girls. I wasn't a Christian or even married when I had my tubes tied. I have HORRIBLE carpal tunnel during my pregnancies and decided I never wanted to get pregnant again.
Now, I'm so very sad about this decision. The cheapest I can find reversal surgery is in Tennessee with a female pro-life Christian Dr. It would cost us about $6000, we live on one small income and don't have this money. I am so discouraged. I feel extreme conviction to have this surgery done almost to the point of being depressed about not being able to conceive again. I've prayed for God to heal the tubes, but I have a feeling he wants me to save and have the surgery. My husband is not so sure he wants more children, but I want to fix myself and leave it up to God.
What do you think about reversing a tubal ligation? If it were your situation, would you save as long as you can to have it reversed.
I am sorry to hear you are in this situation. Sadly, it's all too common, and many ladies come to feel the same way you do.
While I do think that reversing a tubal ligation is a great idea for those who can afford this option, I do not think it would be a sin not to go through with it if you are not able to do so. The mistake/sin was to get one in the first place. Think of it like a tattoo - the Bible clearly says not to have one, but if someone got one ignorantly, they don't have to go and have it removed, just realize it was wrong and don't get any more.
I cannot say what I would do in your particular situation, but I imagine I would try to do what I could to be able to have it reversed, while at the same time trying not to be discontent and obsessed (not that you are either). Whenever I feel like I am in a hopeless situation like that, I pray about it. I tell God that if He wants me to be in such and so the position that I'd rather be in, to please help me get there, and if He doesn't want me to, to change my heart so I won't want it any more, either.
Also, not to scare you, but one common side effect of tubal ligation is an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy, although still very rare. It has to do with the fact that if the tubes are only tied (as opposed to tied into a loop and then cut), the man's seed could be small enough to make it through the tied part. If a child is conceived, it will have grown too large by the time it passes down the fallopian tube on its way to the uterus to pass through the same spot, thus leading to an ectopic pregnancy. I have personally known a lady who suffered this. I would guess that the risk of an ectopic pregnancy would also be higher in a tube that has again been restored, as there will probably be scar tissue in that spot.
By anonymous: Just wondering, as I remember the Border Patrol video but didn't think much of it at the time, you have made some comments about a police state.... however, I noticed you have not commented on SB 1070 at all. I am not asking necessarily about the immigrants, but about the increased role ALL police officers will soon have (to charge you with a crime, detain you and fine you - basically deem you guilty and you must prove your innocence). Do you at all worry that you might get singled out as a possible illegal (they have no real parameters or qualifications for "illegal," it is just the officer's judgment as far the text of the bill goes)?
I don't doubt there are some amazing police officers out there (in fact, I have known some). But when I moved to the Phoenix area last year, I was shocked by all the police misconduct cases in the Arizona Republic. For some reason, there seems to be a disproportionately high number of police who enjoy abusing their power. SB 1070 could easily be carried out faithfully and without prejudice up north (or even by our fellow southern neighbors west of us), but in Arizona, I don't believe it can or will be done without incurring massive lawsuits from injustices like your husband's.
For many reasons, I am 100% against SB 1070. It will, and in fact already has been, used to violate the rights of civilians of all skin color, not just those who look like "illegals from Mexico". I think our nation's whole view of immigration as a negative thing is wrong. The Bible and the Founding Fathers agree that the more people we have, the better off we are. Unless, of course, people are coming here for a free handout, which we shouldn't be giving out in the first place, to immigrants or citizens.
My husband wrote an excellent article on this particular bill, you can read it here.
By Narelle Nettelbeck: I'm a little late, but I'd be interested to hear your thoughts about depression - particularly Christian people who struggle in this area.
I think depression is real, and can affect Christians as much as non-Christians. However, I do disagree with the popular belief that all heaviness of spirit (what the Bible calls it) is negative. For example, we once had a lady in our church whose 1-year old son had died in a tragic accident. Her work made her go to counseling, who then prescribed her with antidepressants, as if she should not have been saddened by the fact that she had lost her beloved child. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:3: Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.
I also disagree with the proper treatment for depression. I do not think that medication is EVER the right course to pursue. To those who think that there are chemical imbalances that cause the depression, they are wrong because the Bible clearly tells us that the sadness is what causes those chemical imbalances, not the other way around.
Proverbs 12:25 - Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.
Proverbs 17:22 - A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
Other than in cases of obvious sadness like the lady I mentioned, I think that the true source of many people's depression stems from guilt they are feeling. Guilt about things they have done wrong, maybe even through ignorance. As Christians, we know we have forgiveness through Christ for all of our sins, but we may not feel forgiven, and thus still feel guilty, if we never confess our sins to ourselves and God. In other words, if we do wrong and never admit we did, we will feel guilty, maybe even without knowing that it is guilt that is making us "depressed".
While I have no personal experience with what would be defined as "depression", I do have emotional ups and downs simply due to the fact that I am a woman who is always lactating, gestating, or both, and these acts involve a lot of hormones. I have never suffered postpartum depression, but looking at our current maternity care system, I am surprised more women don't get it, particularly after a traumatic birth. I get particularly hormonal in the first few days after giving birth to a girl, but thankfully it never lasts past when my milk comes in and the pregnancy hormones have shifted gears to now supporting the little one outside my womb. The single best remedy for me to get in the right mindset during these times is to read the Bible.
By Julie: I do have a question, and I am not trying to stir up controversy or question your beliefs - I am asking with respect, and if you don't feel that it's appropriate to answer that's fine too.
If you got to the stage where it would be medically inadvisable to have more children, would you take the decision to have your tubes tied or use contraception. I guess the root of the question is, as a Mum do you consider your first responsibility to be ensuring your own health so you are around to look after your family, or would you continue with further pregnancies despite medical advice? Again, NO disrespect, just curiosity from a mum of 4.
Good question, and not the least disrespectful. It's hard to answer, because there are so many unknowns. Would there be a real, significant risk to my life, or just a risk perceived by doctors who may think I have too many kids already? A second (and third) expert opinion would definitely be in order. Every time I have heard about a case where the mother's life was at risk if she had another pregnancy, it was something that could either have been prevented, or could be reversed/treated. I guess what I'm saying is that I can't imagine such a situation ever truly arising. It is also extremely important that moms learn all they can about maternity, natural childbirth, and healthy living in order to prevent such a situation rather than treating it.
What I do know is that even if I knew that another pregnancy meant certain death for me, I would not condone using hormonal methods at all, since these take the life of the child. If one of us has to die, it would be me, not the baby, just as I would gladly give my life if it meant saving that of any of my other children. I do not support using NFP as a method of birth control because I believe the abstinence during the most crucial parts of a woman's cycle are detrimental to the marriage bond, but I guess in a case of certain death (again, a hypothetical that I don't believe exists) abstinence for certain days would be better than no wife at all.
It's a personal decision that a couple in that situation would have to make, and since I have never been in such a case, I have no advice or recommendations, only speculation. It is possible to put oneself in a situation (even though maybe through ignorance) where any possible option to deal with the problem is wrong or sinful.
By Elizabeth: Glad you're feeling better. Since you have now with carrying both boys and girls, do you have any inclination as to what you're having? I have one girl out of my 4 and it was so different with her. I was sick every single day until my 7th month. I was sick for only a few weeks with my boys. I also felt earlier movement with my girl, and later with my boys. Just wondering.
I'm about 90% sure it's a boy, although I'll have a better idea once it gets closer. My boy and girl pregnancies are very different. With the boys, I only crave hearty foods and lots of vegetables, and don't have any sweet cravings. I also gain less weight, in fact, I get to a point where I stop gaining or even start losing, even if I eat to my heart's content. After having gained almost 15 lbs during the first trimester (eating non-stop was the only way to combat the nausea at all), I first stopped gaining weight, and have now even lost almost 5 lbs even though I follow the Brewer Diet religiously and eat as much as I want. I do not recommend trying to lose or even maintain weight while pregnant, but what else can I do than eat when I'm hungry? I do like moving bulk from my hips and thighs (left there by my two last girl pregnancies) to my pregnant belly without gaining weight. Yay for boy pregnancies!!
There are other differences I notice. One is that the hair on my legs grows much faster, and I have to shave every time I shower. With girls, it almost doesn't grow at all. I have also noticed that when I am expecting a girl I enjoy being cuddled by my husband and kids a lot more than when I am pregnant with a boy. Must be the hormones!
By Holly: Would you please comment on the following post? I am a non-Christian (but not hostile to religion, by any means, just agnostic).
I am very curious about how you feel about this post, given your previous statements about feminism.
I liked the article, although I can see why some women would be offended by being "compared" to a dog. Then again, the ones who would be offended are the ones to whom it probably applies, as the author herself pointed out.
Male leadership in every area of life is so lacking in our society. It extends beyond marriage into areas such as politics and the workforce. I think what is commonly referred to as "feminism" has done much to destroy families by abolishing God's line of authority: God - husband - wife - children. The current sorry state of our society, with all its broken marriages, dysfunctional homes, and rebellious children was only the logical next step.
I think the term "feminism" is a joke because it has nothing to do with being feminine. Feminism teaches that in order to have any value, women must act, dress, work, and otherwise behave like men. The Bible, viewed as archaic, patriarchal, and abusive exalts, honors and protects women as the weaker vessels that they are. Not weak as in having less worth, or being less important - just weaker as a fact of life, weaker in the sense of needing and deserving protection. Our kids are weaker than either one of us parents, which is why they are under our parental protection. That doesn't mean they have any less worth as human beings. The motto "Women and children first" was not born out of disrespect for either women or children, but out of utter respect for them, and valuing their safety and well-being above that of men, who are expected to give their all, even their life, protecting them.
Women in the workforce have to wear certain clothes, a name tag, have to give account of their every working minute, get limited breaks at certain times, are not free to come and go as they please, have to be courteous and respectful even when they don't feel like it, are often watched on camera, and generally have much less freedom than any woman who has decided that she will stay home and her husband is her boss. Few are the husbands who would require more of their wife than a boss would require of an employee. We think nothing wrong with the idea of an employee obeying their boss who does not even love them, yet we scoff at the idea that a husband should be the one to rule his own house which he is financing by his blood, sweat and tears.
By Carrie: I know nothing about you and your husband, other than what you write, but I'm curious--it seems as if you work so hard and have so very much to do, does your husband pitch in at all? I'm sure, being a pastor with another job keeps him busy, but surely no busier than you!!??
Good question. I do work very hard, and I do have very much to do. On a typical day, I rarely ever sit down between 7 am and 9 pm. Thankfully, I was not thrown into this situation the minute we got married, because kids come one by one rather than in litters. The gradual increase has made it possible to grow into this workload, that if I were thrown into from being single and carefree would probably have sent me screaming the other direction.
My husband, likewise, has gone from working 40 to 50 hours per week, to working closer to 80 or 90 hours, not counting all the nights he spends out of town on business trips. It's the natural side effect of having a growing family on a single income in today's two income world. In addition, he is the one to bear all the emotional and mental stress of being responsible for providing for this large and growing family.
He does not help with the housework unless I ask him to, which I rarely do because I see it as my realm. I'm a lot better and more efficient at it, just as he is with his job. He does help with taking care of the kids a lot when he is home, often changing diapers, getting them in bed at night, or taking them with him to the office to get them off my hands for a bit. In addition, he obviously also spends a lot of time playing with them, reading to them, teaching them things like playing an instrument or boxing, etc.
I do think that if a husband expects his wife to work outside the home, he should pitch in with the housework to the same extent that she is pitching in with providing the finances to run the family. Sadly, most women who work outside the home still end up doing the majority of the housework.
That's it for today! I am not claiming to have all the right answers on everything, only God/the Bible does. These answers are my opinions that I try to base on the Bible, but I am human and probably wrong on something I said.
My apologies if your question went unanswered - it was not intentional. There are two questions I have been asked repeatedly (disciplining children, and how I am so sure none of our kids will turn out sodomites) that are going to be answered in their own blog posts. Any other unanswered questions, please feel free to ask in the comments below.