One surprising side-effect from reading Hannah Anderson‘s book was a renewed consideration for homeschooling. Now, to be clear, Hannah does not mention homeschooling, nor do I have any idea how she chooses to school her children. Made for More has nothing to do with homeschooling and most of you could probably read it and make different applications which I think is totally fine.
Homeschooling has been in the back of my mind for the past few months. I’ve been mostly terrified to approach the subject; I have more questions than answers and honestly, it all sounds quite terrible to me. I do not fit the mold of a “homeschool mom” (as I have come to imagine it), but little by little my thoughts of “I can’t,” and “I’m not,” and “I won’t” have been subtly (and not so subtly) challenged.
It all started with a road-trip conversation with a friend. She asked about our experience with public school and I shared some of my concerns that have come up over the last couple of years. We have been fortunate to be a part of a small school district and I have gotten to know Hadley’s teachers well and overall we have had a wonderful experience. But when we chose public school for Hadley a couple of years ago, we also hoped and planned that we could be very intentional with the time we got with her in the afternoons. We didn’t have a realistic picture of the nature of those two hours after school–the pre-dinnertime “witching hour” that rarely sees a moment of peace. We didn’t think about how fast the evenings fly by with suppers and baths and bedtimes. We didn’t think about how full our evenings and weekends can be. And so, as it goes, that time slips away week after week, and I’m beginning to feel a growing distance between Hadley and I. I’m beginning to feel a growing distance from her education and my calling to train her up in the way she should go.
Homeschooling is not the only solution to this problem, of course. I know many public school families who are very intentional during the time they have with their children at home and who are very involved in all aspects of their education. It’s quite possible the solution is for me to repent of my selfishness and laziness and pray for the grace to step up my game as a mom of four littles. But. It got the ball rolling in my mind.
Then, I’ve been thinking about these ideas of the God who generously shares himself with us and what it means for me to generously share myself with my children. What it looks like to embrace what I love and who I am and see that as a gift to my family, just as their unique gifts and interests are. What it means to live my life holistically, not trying to achieve some elusive balance but also not living in extremes.
As it turns out, I love to learn and I love to teach. And these are aspects of myself that I have yet to really share with my children. I can come to life in front of a room full of women teaching them the truths of God’s Word, but has Hadley ever seen that same light in my eyes as I teach her?
When Hannah Anderson writes about education, she added points for consideration to my ever-growing list of Should We Homeschool questions.
She writes of a college professor who said that, “the goal of learning is to become fully human…Because education is the process of making us fully human, true education must, by definition, be Christian because becoming fully human means being conformed to the image of God through Christ.”
“In a word,” she concludes, “education is about finding identity as image bearers.”
“And it is from this Logos–from the very mind of God Himself–that all knowledge flows. And it is through this Logos–through the very person of God Himself–that we pursue knowledge in order to image Him.”
I love the idea of all knowledge being God-centered, and I know homeschooling is not the only way to approach education through this lens, but I am beginning to see our tendency to separate wisdom from knowledge. You go to school to get knowledge and come to your Bible to get wisdom. But, as Anderson writes, “Scripture does not differentiate between sacred wisdom and secular knowledge.”
“At its root, imago dei knowledge is the capacity to wonder–to look for God’s fingerprints everywhere and then to stand in awe when you finally see Him. Imago dei knowledge means searching for Him with childlike curiosity, wide-eyed and eager to discover who He is and the world He has made.”
I wept when I read that the first time and again reading it now. I want to be a part of that process with my children! I want to be the one running down the path in joyful curiosity yelling over my shoulder, “Children, come and see!” I want to be the one saying, “Oh children! There is a God in heaven – he is glorious and marvelous beyond description! Life is found in knowing Him! Oh children, you must know the Lord!”
Homeschooling may or may not be the answer for our family. I’m sure I will have more to share as we continue to ask these questions. But I wanted to remember this thought process, especially on the days when even considering it is more than I have the energy for.
To learn more about the book that inspired my series, visit Hannah Anderson’s blog.