Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Seven Major Blindspots of Homeschooling and Parenting

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Have you seen the newest article to go viral on Facebook?

Which one, right?

The article written by Reb Bradley sharing the seven major blindspots of homeschooling.

Most of you know that we don't homeschool - for several reasons - but I was intrigued to read it since my cousin (who also doesn't homeschool) shared it.  I am so glad that I did because Mr. Bradley shares from his heart blindposts that all Christian parents need to be aware of - whether you homeschool or not.

The points of this article hit right down to the heart.  It would be foolish of me to try and reduce the wisdom in this article down to a couple of sentences.  So I am not going to try.  Instead I will share key points and then add a few thoughts that were powerful for me.

Point #1 - "One of the reasons parents homeschool is because they want to accomplish something good in their children. ...  It is only natural for parents to have high hopes and dreams for their children. However, when we begin to see our children as a reflection or validation of us, we become the center of our dreams, and the children become our source of significance.  When that happens in our home it affects the way we relate with our children, and subtly breaks down relationship."

I see this in myself so many times when my children disobey in front of others.  I have dreams of the image our family is going to portray.  My kids don't have the same dream.     

Point #2 "It was a rude awakening for me when I saw that even the best parenting could not exempt a person from making the wrong choice when faced with temptation. I do believe that by our influence we can greatly increase the likelihood our children will love and follow Christ, but I see nothing in Scripture that guarantees well-trained children will never succumb to temptation."

This is a hard one to stomach.  My husband has told me several times that with four children the odds are that we will have at least one child stray away from God - for some time.  It is hard for this momma to hear because I don't want my babies to hurt.  And there is a part of me that doesn't want my pride as a momma to be tarnished because of the mistakes my child will make.

Point #3 - "We can model for our children outward changes and easily fall into molding their behavior and/or appearance, while missing their hearts."

It's about the heart.  Training and molding.  Impressing the heart of the child (the theme of this blog).  It is more than training my daughter to manage a house - cook, clean, and decorate.

Point #4 - "We have gone the way of the Pharisee...when we believe we have achieved results with our children, we become proud of our accomplishments."

My child was quiet during church.  My child has chores.  My child can write his name.  My child can read.  My child can quote the entire 23rd Psalm.  My child...  Oh how I can fall into this trap!  This was eye opening for Mr. Bradley to point out that I am just as a Pharisee when I take credit for something my child has done - because God allowed it.

Point #5 - "We look upon our children as if they are roses that can be trained to grow a certain direction by constant pruning and binding. Subsequently, we rely heavily upon our authority in an attempt to bring our children under our total control. We assume if we give them the Word of God, shelter them from harmful influences, discipline them consistently, and maintain high standards for their outside, that their inside will inevitably be shaped. ...[But,] children are people – self-determining individuals – and they ultimately choose how they will respond to parental influence.  ... There is a great difference between intimidating children into subjection and winning their hearts into submission." 

Have you seen the reoccurring theme?  There is not a magic formula in raising our children. But my goal needs to change from turning them into obedient children to winning their hearts for God.  In this, obedience will follow.

Point #6 - "I remember saying to people, 'I am controlling the influences in my children’s lives, so I am going to control the outcome.'  I was absolutely certain that my children would be exempted from significant temptation and from developing particular bad habits because I was controlling what touched their lives.  ...Sheltering our families from bad influences is critical for their safety, but it is possible to become imbalanced and rely too heavily upon sheltering."

My boys {love} Star Wars.  They talk about it like they share our recent family activities.  The catch?  They have never seen Star Wars.  We would never let a five-year-old boy see such a movie.  Yet we find that they know (or they think that they know) all about it. 

My point?  I want to keep my children with their noses in the corner.  Not because they are in trouble but because, I want to keep them innocent.  But in writing this, I realize that I also want my job as a parent to be easy.  Because if they aren't exposed to tough issues, I don't have to deal with the difficult issues.  I can leave that for another day...or maybe let them deal with it when they are older.  This could be called "passing the buck!"

Point #7 "Our responsibility is to obey – God’s job is to produce results (1 Cor 3:6). Our success in raising children to be lovers of God and others, is not going to be contingent upon achieving perfect sheltering or using the best Bible curriculum. It is going to be based on doing what we must as parents, but trusting God for the outcome.  Do my best, leave the rest to God!

Point #8 - "I have observed that the best and most lasting fruit is born in families in which the gospel is genuinely believed and lived. Parents who daily depend upon God, and not their methods and self-working principles, are most likely to pass on their faith. I am convinced that the most contagious parenting is living a heartfelt faith before your children.  ...The best thing we can do to break away from a formulaic mentality and become a person of influence is to really grasp the grace of the gospel and live it out in our homes. For our children to see the beauty of the Savior in us we will need to find his beauty first."

Aiding moms to begin a personal quiet time has been a passion of mine.  So much so that I wrote a free ebook entitled, "A Quiet Time, Worth the Time."  We also have a Facebook Group called SISTERS at ABCJLM to encourage you in your walk with the Savior.  I am reminded time and time again...values are caught, not taught. 

Personal Point #9 - For the past few weeks God has been bombarding my life with one word.  Love.

I Corinthians 12 "Love is patient and kind.  It does not envy or boast..."

Mark 12:30-31 “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

John 13:34-35  “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Luke 6:35 "But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. "

John 14:15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command."

I Cor 16:4 "Do everything in love."

And the key verse...

I Cor 13:1 "If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal."

I realize that I have thrown a lot at you in this post.  But, these are the things that God is teaching me right now.  Opening my eyes to my own issues and leading me to wisdom from the Scriptures and others.  So, before you head over to read the full article, "Solving the Crisis in Homeschooling:  Exposing the 7 Major Blindspots of Homeschoolers," let's recap.
  • No matter what I do as a parent, my child will make mistakes.  
  • I must reevaluate my dreams for our family to make sure that they are not personally driven.
  • Impressing is about the heart, not the outward appearance.
  • Are we sheltering our children from the correct things or are we sheltering to make parenting easier?
  • Am I living the Christian walk or is Christ in every step I take?  
  • Is everything that I do motivated by love or pride?
Thank you, friends, for walking this road with me. 



I can't wait to hear your thoughts!

6 comments :

  1. Thank you for this heart check. Awesome!

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  2. Teaching the ten commandments has convicted me. Rather than losing my temper after saying no six times, I am reminded by the Holy Spirit to be patient and lovingly reinforce the commandment of honoring parents. Its amazing the difference in my daughter when I focus on her heart attitude instead of just the symptoms of disobedience. I believe her "symptoms" have consequences, but the results are so much more fruitful when my heart is obeying God...which is unfortunately not as consistent as it should be. Thank you for this post!

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The Our Out-of-Sync Life blog focuses on encouraging women to deepen their spiritual life, simplify daily tasks, and impress Jesus on the children around them.