Posted by: mamaamy | March 13, 2008

The Big SNAG

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Hey sisters,

I was asking the Lord this morning what I was to do today in the Kingdom and guess what He said…”There is a big SNAG. Tell them about it.” I knew exactly what He was talking about, so I looked up snag and this is it:

Main Entry: 1snag
Pronunciation: ‘snag
Function: noun
Etymology: of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse snagi clothes peg
1 a: a tree or branch embedded in a lake or stream bed and constituting a hazard to navigation b: a standing dead tree
2: a rough sharp or jagged projecting part: as a: a projecting tooth; also: a stump of a tooth b: one of the secondary branches of an antler
3: a concealed or unexpected difficulty or obstacle
4: a jagged tear made by or as if by catching on a snag snag in her stocking

OK… the definition for the word He wanted me to talk about is mainly number 3: A concealed or unexpected difficulty or obstacle.

Public or Private School is the BIG SNAG. Now I will explain and share my experience in this area. First let me say that I have nothing to gain by promoting home school except maybe some personal validation for my choice, but let me say that though this is nice, I really don’t get into telling others that they should do what I do so I can feel better about doing it. I BELIEVE with everything in me that it is the best of all possible options. And I am sure of His word to me this morning. Sending your children off to school, especially little ones is a concealed or unexpected difficulty or obstacle. It could eventually be a decision that will bring regret and even perhaps remorse in the long run.

Almost everyone that I have met that is in the process of making this decision has placed their child in some sort of daycare or group childcare session and their biggest argument for continuing it is, “Oh, Johnny just loves school. He loves playing with the kids. He asks when he can go back.” Etc. Well, here’s what Mitch said when I told him this, “Yea, and they love candy and soda, they love movies, video games and TV, and they will love pornography, too.” In other words, this is not a valid reason to place you’re child outside of your care. Just because he likes it, doesn’t mean it is good for him. We are the parents. We control, by God’s guidance, what our children should and shouldn’t do whether they like it or not–at least while they are at home with us. God has given us the wisdom and the patience and the guidance to do this.

Here’s the difficulty. Here’s the deception. While our children are young, age 2-6, we are in the most difficult and time-consuming years of training. It is tough to day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute train those demanding little tykes. It is exhausting. Yes, it is constant. We are growing their brains to understand that this means “no” and that means “obey”. Like teaching the multiplication tables, it has to be said over and over again until the connections are made. It seems like we are going to go batty before they get it. Wow, wouldn’t it be great if we could have just a few hours a day to think for ourselves and not have someone demanding something from us? Maybe Mother’s Day Out would be ok…just a few hours a week. That can’t hurt. And we will be better Moms, we’re sure.

This is the SNAG. Just a little time away, then “Johnny loves it,” then comes pre-school and kindergarten and elementary school and Jr. High and High School.

Well here’s some testimony from those very close to me:

I know a woman who struggled with whether to send her kids to school or not, but finally she decided to put her boy in school…just a half day. Well that boy is having a blast when he isn’t having a breakdown because Mom left him behind. He loves the other kids and is having fun for the most part. He has little girl friends and boy friends that he thinks are great. Now the second boy is in Mother’s Day Out. He is away from her at even a younger age than the first one. They have to go to every birthday party of every other kid in the class and to all the special events that the school has to offer, so the woman is running between the 2 schools and to different kid’s houses and trying to grab for herself just a few moments to herself to do her own thing. The kids are very often sick because so many go to school sick because their parents work and have no other option. Is she living it up since her kids are away? No. She is still not satisfied. She wants more time to herself, so she is trying very hard to find other things for them to do away from her. Her children are not trained because no one loves them enough away from home to train them for her. Since they are not trained, when she is with them she is exhausted and looking forward to her time alone. Her marriage is suffering because she is so self-focused and full of self pity for her life that she can’t love her husband. She has said that she doesn’t feel like she is a good mother and is not happy. (Since writing this originally she has divorced her husband and still struggles with not having enough time for herself.)

I’ve seen this happen again and again.

OK, you say, “I went to public school and I’m ok.” Here’s another recent experience that I can share. Mitch gave a presentation at a high school a few days ago about some Math program. He presented to 2 classes, one of them was a freshman class. He was sharing a bit about himself and among other things he mentioned to the class that he had married his high school sweetheart. He told them that we had dated for four years before we married…four years with no fooling around! They were all in shock and said, “No way!” Mitch said, “You can do it! It’s your choice. It’s your life. What kind of person do you want to be?” One of the young freshman girls dishearteningly said, “But all of us in this class have already done “it.” Mitch of course said, “Well you don’t have to any more, it’s up to you.” Point being, it is absolutely common for a 14-15year old public high school kid to have had sex. School is not like it was for us. It is so much worse. Every time Mitch gets back from visiting schools for work he has stories to tell. He calls high schools Sodom.

So you say, “I would never put my child into public school, but private school isn’t as bad as that.” Well, here are a few testimonies about private school:

A friend of mine that isn’t a believer has four kids. The oldest 2 she home schooled until high school. The 3rd kid, a boy, she allowed to join a private Jr. High school for 8th grade because he wanted to get involved in sports. (This is another common reason for placing boys in school.) Well her 4th kid, also a boy, she let join Jr. High school in the 6th grade, for the convenience of the mother to finish her teaching degree and the pressure by the older son to influence the younger. Once her kids were all in school, she was free to finish her degree and begin teaching. She chose to teach at a private Catholic school, because she was hoping to get a higher caliber of young people to teach. When I asked her how her year was going, she was sober. She said she was absolutely appalled at the disrespect of these kids. They had absolutely no reserve in talking about sex in front of her in the most unashamed ways. Not only their sexual escapades did they share but the perversions. She couldn’t stand to work there and she sure got a taste of the fruit of religion. She left that school after the first year and taught younger grades at a private Lutheran school. Again, she was looking forward to a better breed of kids and adults. She was thoroughly disappointed again. When I asked her how this year was progressing, she talked of the hypocrisy of both the adults and the kids and said that she was considering Buddhism as a religion, because the Christianity she saw was so disappointing. Here is a woman searching for truth and not finding it in the religious institutions that she was apart of. Then I asked her how she felt about her son in the private school, since she could see what it was like first hand. She had so much regret and remorse in her countenance that it was heart-breaking. She wished that she had never succumbed to the pressure of putting him in school at that age. She feels that now that she has done it, she can’t turn back. She also said that she feels that she has lost her older son and is now loosing the younger one. She kept telling me how glad she was that I was continuing to home school my children. She continues to encourage me to keep it up and tell me how impressed she is that I am still doing it. She says that she knows that it is the best thing I can do for my kids. This is coming from a professional teacher.

Now, I have another dear friend who is a strong believer in the Lord. Though she is trained as a teacher and taught school for years, she chose to home school her two beautiful daughters for many years, but became very ill. She had to stop home schooling because her husband didn’t believe she should continue to school when her health was as it was. She placed the girls in private school. They are wonderful girls, of solid character, and yet they have had to experience the ways of the world first hand. As 11 and 13 year olds, she had to explain to them what oral sex is.

(The good news is that the mother’s health has improved so that she can home school again.) They are still solid in their faith and will be fine, I’m sure. God’s grace is sufficient for them. Still, it is evident what private school is like.

Now I did not go after this information, these are just examples of what people are sharing with me. I am certain that if I spent some time asking people what they think about public and private school these days, I would get an earful.

I don’t feel I need to go into all the pros of home school like the flexibility, the one-on-one custom instruction, the ability of the boys to spend time working with their dad when opportunities arise, the ability to travel as a family anytime of the year, etc., etc. But here are some very personal experiences that we have had that make me so glad to be home schooling:

Joshua is very dyslexic. He struggles with reading and math due to this. I have been able to customize his learning and maintain his confidence while teaching through this challenge. Mitch has talked to many teachers that he comes in contact with at work and they unanimously say that they are so glad that we are home schooling because he would be labeled and put in special ed. courses if he were in the system. I have read that genius is common with dyslexics if they are allowed to see it as a gift and utilize it to their advantage. (Many brilliant people were dyslexic like Einstein and Leonardo da Vinci.) My goal is that no matter what he does on tests or for a career he would love learning and know that he is intelligent and God has made him this way for a purpose. (I just spoke to a lady last night who said that she and her sister were both put in “special ed” for a time for some reason and that both she and her sister have lived with a lack of confidence and a feeling that they were stupid all their lives. Also, my sister had a speech impediment and was put in with the speech therapist at her elementary school when she was very young. The therapist happened to also be the “special ed” teacher, so my sister was in the class with retarded children. She and I were talking the other day how this labeled her for life and she has been struggling with self esteem ever since.) Our children’s self esteem is fragile in these early years, and once they are labeled it is a life-long fight to get beyond it. We didn’t know that Josh was dyslexic until about 2 years ago. I am sure he would have been labeled and would not be the confident, creative person that he is if we had put him in school. My other children actually view Joshua’s dyslexia as an unfair advantage in some ways. I will hear them say things like, “It’s not fair, Joshua is so good at chess because he is dyslexic!”

The other great thing that we are experiencing now is a great joy in having teenagers. Our 14 and 15 year olds are such blessings to us. I know they are barely teenagers, but knowing them, they are only going to become more mature and more fun to have around. They love God in the most matter of fact way. God is real and their faith in Him is solid. It’s not religion—it’s life. They have great character and are an incredible help to all of us. They are wise beyond their years. When I told the oldest about a year ago that at some point we needed to talk about more personal stuff (meaning the birds and bees) he said, “I know, but I don’t need to worry about that yet, we can wait.” So he has learned the basics in science and he gets the worldly and spiritual part as he is ready. When he has questions, we have such a great relationship that he asks me what something means and I tell him. It’s no big deal. What a blessing this is.

I know that home schooling is not possible in some cases. If your husband will not let you home school or there is some medical reason why it can’t be done or God may show you not to do this for some reason, I am sure that God’s grace would be sufficient in those cases. But don’t just do what is easiest right now. You may think that right now it is OK to place your children in school, but as with many things in the Lord, the ideal over the long run is not the easiest for the moment. It is laying down your life. It is dying to self. It is loving your children with your life– more than you love yourself. But the long run blessings are so incredible!

I want to say in closing that this doesn’t come with judgment. If you choose to send your kids to school, I still want to be friends! I will not judge you or look down on you. You and your husband must decide together. This is not something that I want to push on anybody. It is a tough job, but not too hard for you. The Lord’s word to me was not that it is a sin to not home school. He wanted me to reveal the SNAG so that you are fully aware from the start. I am bringing the difficulty into the light so that you can truly count the costs. I encourage you to do whatever the Lord shows you to do. I know that millions that have gone to school are terrific Christian people now. I don’t believe this is a mandate from the Lord. I just needed to share what the Lord told me to share.

I love you—each one dearly. Mama Amy

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Responses

  1. Hi Mitch and Amy! This is Rachel from the home group. Thank you so much for your site…it is like having and intimate conversation with you guys, which is nice because time is so precious and limited right now! I really appreciate the remedies and the discussion about home schooling. May the Lord continue to bless your work and I look forward to reading more.


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