Wednesday, July 25, 2012

You Want Me to What...?

Perhaps my favorite aspect of blogging is the incredible people I meet! 

It is my privilege to introduce you to Mountain Mama.  I first met her through a weekly link-up over a year ago and have been blessed by her words ever since.  She blogs about faith, family, and life with posts that make me laugh and cry, depending on the topic.  More importantly, her words inspire me to step out in faith, to live the adventure life was meant to be.  Today, Brooke is talking about homeschooling right here at Growing Your Homeschool.  So, if you are currently homeschooling or have ever considered homeschooling, you will be blessed to read this encouraging testimony...   

I'll never forget how I felt when the Lord was leading us to homeschool.  There was a feeling of shock mixed with uncertainty and insecurity. I didn't think I was up to the challenge and in all honesty I didn't want to be "one of the families."  We tried it for a few weeks but the new Christian school across the street from our home looked very appealing.  It was just too easy to send our eldest out the door every morning in her cute little uniform with piggy tails swinging in the air.  It freed up my time, gave her new friends and put my focus on our two younger children.  But, deep down, I knew we were not obeying what the Lord wanted us to do.

Fast forward to a couple of years and we find ourselves living in the remote Idaho Mountains.  Remote as in: a single neighbor and one hour from our mailbox on a death defying road.  Not to mention bears, coyotes and rattlesnakes.  To say living there was a challenge is an understatement.  We had to face our fears head on.  But, more importantly, we grew as a family.  We were always together and we HAD to homeschool.  Doesn't the Lord have a sense of humor?  We even held our own church service on Sundays. We bonded as a family and for the first time I realized what homeschooling is all about.  I wouldn't trade those humbling few months for anything.

Now that we are home in Oklahoma we try to apply what we call "Mountain Life" to our days.  Mountain life includes a lot of family time both with just us and everyone who is in our family tree.  Mine is full of nuts by the way.  I'm only kidding.  We love our families!

Another thing we strive for is simplicity.  In the mountains the kids didn't need many toys or entertainment.  They made their toys creating their own see-saw, rock climbing "walls", swings, playhouses, etc.  I was blown away by their creativity.  Did it frighten me when they were climbing on boulders and running down mountains at full speed?  You bet. I practiced placing my trust in the One who moved us there to begin with and learned to relax and let kids be kids.  Not without a few rules on my part mind you.

Mountain life also means guarding our time.  We don't watch TV and we are very strict with the movies we watch.  Why?  We want to honor God in all that we do.  There is so much junk in the world, especially in the media.  Plus, we would much rather play a round of "Go Fish" or actually go fishing then sit and be immobile.  Making family memories is so much fun!

This leads me to a question people ask: Do I feel like we're protecting our kids too much from the world?  No way.  Our goal is to build a strong foundation for our children, one built on God's word so when they do come into contact with not nice things they will know what to do and the best choices to make.  They are learning that there are problems and issues in the world and that not everyone can be trusted.  However, we are also teaching them to serve and love people and to show them honor and respect.  We are NOT better than anyone else, period.  We are to be a light in this world and how can we that if we are too proud, afraid or never mix with the world?  {Matthew 5:16}

Guarding our time also means we don't say "yes" to everyone who asks us to do something.  We've skimmed down our schedules and are sure to do things several times a week to be a blessing to others.  Mountain life = less stress. We eat dinner as a family almost every night.

Another question I receive is, "How long does school last on a daily basis for your family?"  My answer is always the same.  Learning at home is a lifestyle.  We learn ALL the time.  When we cook together, serve at church together, run errands, work in the garden, go to the library...there are literally teachable moments everywhere.  It's not all workbook pages.

Another statement I hear often is, "I just don't think I could stand my kid for eight hours a day."  I try to laugh this statement off but it cuts deep into my heart.  For starters, God knows what He's doing when He places a family together.  He knows our personalities will clash.  He knows that at times the worst of us will come out and I daresay He hopes we will venture to learn, grow, change and rely on Him for help.  I tell the kids that learning to get along with each other will prepare them to get along with the world and future relationships.

Do I think all families should homeschool?  No way.  There are too many variables and every family is so different.  Each family should pray about the Lord's will for their child's education.

I believe there is a generation of kids being taught at home that will no doubt be world changers and that's just what we need.  It is an adventure to say the least.  If you are "crazy" enough to be homeschooling already, and I say that with love, then I want to pat your back and give you a hug.  You are going against the flow, doing something that is challenging while at the same time growing right along with your kids and no doubt making a lasting impact on them and God's kingdom. Way to go!!


Brooke D. lives in her home state of Oklahoma with her husband of thirteen years and their three children.  She is known as “Mountain Mama” in the blogging world.  She is passionate about serving the Lord with her whole heart.  Brooke recently earned a degree in natural medicine.  She enjoys exploring new places, reading, spending time with family and volunteering her time to help others.

1 comment:

Laura in Montana said...

Wonderful post, MM. You capture the heart of your homeschool - just the way I think it should be for so many. You are a great mom, blogger, and encourager. Your family is blessed!!
Love, Laurs

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