We are reminded that we are different. We are reminded that we don't fit in. Of course we've done it to ourselves, but... This the day of the year when my kids think maybe it would be fun to go to school. Everyone is excited. The teacher's are nice on the first day. They get to wear new clothes. They have fun new supplies. There's just a feeling in the air of excitement you know? I think I could read all day, or I could shop all day, or I could go to work with my husband or I could be really "adventurous" and get a job!
Of course this lasts all of one second. Then I remember the bullying, my crying children after school, my exhausted and crying children in the morning, the name calling, the swearing, the homework, the inappropriate books that are sent home (Liberty learned about homosexuality in her take home reading one night in first grade before I caught that one), the weekly Disney movie parties or worse, (Liberty would have gotten to see the "Twilight" movies if she had gone to school last year with her friends), the unbalanced meals at lunch time, the demand that they be required to eat all their food at lunch time even if a parent (that would be me) sent a note saying that since I paid for it I'll let my children decide when they are full, the 'bathroom' conversations on the playground, the belittling by the teachers, humanism, Marxism, uniformity, cheating, lying.... I'm sure I'm missing something. We only made it through third grade though. Besides I don't like shopping and I wouldn't get a job.
My friend and cousin (okay distant-really distant- but it's still fun to think of her as my cousin) Rebecca said this on her blog the other day,
So many parents assume that children must attend public school unless they receive direct revelation not to send their children. It has occurred to me that we should be expecting direct revelation telling us that we should give up our time with our children and outsource their education to others. If we do not receive specific instructions to turn our stewardship over to others then we should assume that Heavenly Father wants us to be in charge of the children he has blessed us with.Well said.
When I was serving a mission (back when the world was black and white according to one son) I learned about home schooling. I feel in love. I saw some amazing families. That was what I wanted to do. Every area I served in (Southern California) had family after family who home schooled and recognized that they had the ability to take their kids back. It was amazing.
I said I would always home school and my husband always said he wanted that too. I was so excited for them to grow and be big. Then we moved back to my home town. It seemed like a betrayal to not send them to school. That's what all good moms did. They picked out cute clothes and packed their back packs up and sent them off. That was what I was suppose to do. I did it too. Inside I cried. I knew it was wrong. I knew what I was suppose to do but I was scared. Everyone would hate me, judge me, think we weren't good enough for the likes of them, be threatened ....
We went through the motions for a couple of years. What was I doing? My heart was heavy. My children were miserable. Dare I ask if should bring them home? I was more afraid of what the teachers (my friends) and my family would say than doing the right thing.
One night after listening to my daughter cry yet again I had a profound experience that I will not share. From that I knew I could no longer be ruled by the opinions of others, I had to take my children back. They were mine and they were being destroyed.
I've never looked back since. Except for that split second every time this year when I think we could be a normal family and fit in. But I can never do that again, there is too much at stake.
So while so many around me genuinely celebrate sending their kids off I rejoice and thank my Heavenly Father that I have my children to hold and love for a little while longer while I finish preparing them for the Great Battle they were held back for 6,000 years to fight in.