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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Parenting 101 from Comedian Steve Harvey

by Courtney

I laugh everytime I think about this Steve Harvey comedy act I saw on DVD. It was one of his first performances after being saved, and I believed it was taped at a big Christian event.. It was called "Don't trip, He aint through with me yet".. well - Steve was talking about how people have kids that they can't make behave at their OWN house... yet bring them into church and drop them off at the nursery with those poor unsuspecting ladies, when they should be bringing those children into the pew with them to correct and keep and eye on.

What does this have to do with homeschool? Well, I had an experience during the summer that reminded me of this part of Steve's act.. I was checking out books at the library and was asking the librarian for certain books.. so the conversation turned to the fact that I homeschool. I get the same usual questions - do you like it? What curriculum do you use? Etc etc etc.. then the librarian proceeds to tell me that she wished she could homeschool, but (and please read carefully so you don't miss anything) her daughter WOULD NOT LISTEN TO HER!! To which I said "Oh... ok" I mean what do you say in return that is polite and Christian-like.. Now I will tell you how the dialog in my head went - "Are you serious? Your child doesn't listen to YOU, her parent - so you drop off your child and her issues to someone else to deal with?" I'm sorry, but if that reason is true then that sounds like laziness to me. I hope not to offend anyone, and I am not suggesting that every parent that sends their child to public school is lazy, but in this context - it is.

Isn't it our jobs to discipline and raise up our children to be polite, respectful and obedient to their elders? Why should the teachers and staff have to do what you didn't do with your child? Why should they be allowed to disturb the classroom or events that are going on? While my DD was in public school they had a handful of kids that were notorious for causing trouble - and it took a good portion of the teacher's day dealing with that. I believe that it is our duty as parents (and the Bible says so too) to raise our kids in the ways of the Lord.. we can't decide it's too difficult and expect some poor teacher (that definately doesn't get paid the salary to have to deal with that) to pick up where we left off. Not to mention, it's not their job. You then have to wonder what are the morals and values that are really being taught to your child when it doesn't come directly from you.

With the way their day goes with public school - it's easy to let things slip. When my dd was in public school she left at 7am.. got off the bus at nearly 4pm.. after chores and homework it was off to bathe and eat dinner.. read the bible.. and go to bed.. She spent a majority of her day in the care of other people - so her behavior issues were mostly dealt with by the school staff. Perhaps I read to much into this, but the Bible says for us to raise our children - not the staff of an elementary school..

It's this conviction that helped lead me to homeschooling..and the help of Mandy who was my first contact with a homeschooler - and obviously a positive one because it was shortly after we met I decided to homeschool too. So to hear someone say they put their kids in public school because their children don't listen to them, is not so much an indication of the child's issues, but the parents and their lack of attention to parental duties. I guess I am hoping that wasn't REALLY her reasoning, but on the fly it sounded like a good enough thing to say...

Mandy has said it before - be honest about why you don't want to homeschool.. a lot of people have the ability to homeschool, but don't realize it or just don't want to.. and there are some that fall into that category that TRULY can't (like single parents or families that must have more than one income to survive).. if God gives you the desire to homeschool, be sure to check out all the info you can on the internet, at the library, on homeschooling message boards.. and be honest with yourself. But if your reasoning is that you child misbehaves, therefore they have to go to public school, then perhaps you should reexamine God's blueprint for us as parents.

Courtney is a "deschooling" mother to three. You can visit her blog here.

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