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August 15, 2020 8:03 am
If you home school or are considering teaching your children at home, don't miss today's Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, one of the greatest parts of home education.
Kids get to see our Christian walks daily how maybe we handle things with patience and kindness. Or maybe we don't handle them with patience or kindness. And it is sometimes quite difficult, but it's always worth it.
Welcome to Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller "The 5 Love Languages" . Today, help and hope for homeschooling families. Jamie Ericson will join us to talk about how to squash, doubt, trust God and teach your child with confidence.
You may have missed this conversation back when it aired in January. Here we are with another summer best of broadcasting. What a timely resource for the upcoming school year. Home School Bravely is the title of five love languages dot com. Find out more. Back before my wife and I had children, I heard about homeschooling and how many parents were taking charge of the education of their kids. Gary, you remember that time, Chris, when our children came along?
No one was talking about homeschooling.
Our daughters, 54 or 55. Our son is 51. No, no, people weren't talking about homeschooling in those days.
But I do remember when it you know, people began to move into that phase and maybe are not there can tell us what year all that kind of started. But at any rate, I know that a lot of people are homeschooling today and a lot of others are contemplating it. So I am excited about our conversation today.
I am, too. And let me introduce our guests, Jamie Erich's. And she taught elementary school before becoming a mom when her first child turned five. She made the decision to homeschool her daughter for more children followed and she home schools, all five of them. Jamie is the founder of the Unlikely Home School and a popular education blogger. Her Web site, Social Media Channels and Blog, encourage and equip a growing tribe of more than 50000 homeschooling mothers around the world. She's written for a number of homeschool publications, also co-host of the Mom to Mom podcast. And our featured resource today is Homeschool Bravely How to Squash, Doubt, Trust God and Teach Your Child With Confidence. You can find out more at five love languages dot com.
Well, Jamie, welcome to Building Relationships.
Thank you so much for having me. It's a pleasure.
It seems to me that your book is going to be a breath of fresh air for every parent who has wondered if they can actually teach their children at home. Is that your vision for the book?
Absolutely. You know, I think there's plenty of really great schooling, how to books on the market, and that's not really what I wanted to do with this particular book. My book certainly offers lots of practical tips and hopefully some hard won wisdom, but I'm really hoping that it will act just like a hug flung around the neck of a fearful parent who's walking this road kind of on shaky legs or maybe just needs encouragement from the one who is the provider of the courage.
Now, you yourself have an advantage in that you are an elementary school teacher. So do you see that as an advantage in in being a home school mom?
Well, you'd think so. And I think that might be true to some extent. I obviously know how to navigate curriculum and assess academic success. But I think in many ways, my teaching background, or at least I've found it to be more of a hindrance than a help. All the things that I learned way back in college are really necessary and right and good when placed in a traditional classroom. When you're dealing with a large number of kids and different learning styles, but they become a bit of a burden when you're trying to tailor make an education around, say, the natural gifts and the spiritual and academic needs of just maybe one or two kids.
And I actually think that the better answer would be I have an advantage in that I'm a mom and that with the exception of God, I know and love my kids more than anyone else.
And that's gonna give me a whole lot more miles in there. The longevity of their education than just something I learned in college.
Yeah, I can see that. And I think also like an elementary school teacher, even in the in the school system is very different from a high school teacher. I mean, the headaches are very different. But now I hear exactly what you're saying. Makes a lot of sense. What led you to decide to homeschool your children?
It's kind of an embarrassing story to admit now, but there was a time when I said I'd never home school.
Those are my famous last words.
My husband was home schooled way back in the 90s and one day when we were just newly married and we didn't even have kids at the time and we were just thinking of starting a family. My sweet mother in law approached me and asked if I'd ever consider it because, you know, she still had a heart for home education. And I remember looking right at her with raised eyebrows and saying, absolutely not.
I was trained. Sure.
And, you know, on paper, it just seemed like I had the perfect gig for a mom. My kids would eventually come to school with me. We'd have the same vacation days and maybe school schedules and I'd be able to keep a close eye on them.
But, you know, there's this famous scripture that says we can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.
And my heart began to change the very moment the doctor handed me that little pink bundle in the hospital. I looked down at this beautiful baby girl and fell instantly in love. And then later, when she was approaching kindergarten, my heart just broke at the thought of missing out on all the moments with her because I just thought she was this awesome person to be around and I didn't want someone else to experience that awesome. And leave me with only the leftovers. And it was then that God began to change my heart and soften it towards home education.
Was your husband on board with you or not? Well, you'd think so because he was home educated.
But to be honest, you know, right at first he wasn't he home school back in a time when homeschooling was really unheard of.
Like you said, he lived in a really teeny tiny town growing up and didn't really have a community with which to call his own. And I think that's really important. And we can talk more about that later. But he was lonely and he he didn't want that for our kids. So it just so happened when I saw that he was leaning more towards traditional classroom education. I just began to pray. I knew I couldn't strong arm my husband into making a decision that he wasn't ready to make, you know?
So I just said, you know, Lord, I want to be unified with my husband in this. And I feel like you're calling me to home school. And yet he feels like you're calling him to something else. So he's not convinced.
And for the sake of our marriage, you know, will you either change my heart or change his so that we can come together as a united front? And it was soon after that that I just joined a little preschool co-op with some friends. My husband had agreed to let me homeschool her for preschool simply because we weren't really planning on sending her to kindergarten anyway. So it was then that he kind of began to see that homeschooling had come a long way since those early days. And there really was a growing community already in place for us.
And now he's probably one of the biggest advocates for homeschooling that I personally know, like the idea you didn't try to twist his arm. I don't think that gets you anywhere, though, nor is a husband for that matter.
But I think, you know, God knows what's best for us. He has a way of helping us come together only when we really are seeking his his plan for us. Now, you say that homeschooling is a chance to trust God. What leads you to say that?
Well, any time we're called to do something, you know, especially something that feels big, where maybe our inadequacies and our insufficiencies are glaringly obvious to us and everybody else, it's a chance to trust him fully. And homeschooling is no exception. It certainly won't be within our own effort or our own ability to see it to fruition. So we'll have to just bravely hole it out to him. So in light of my own home schooling, each day as I'm faced with my fears and I have many of them and faults and I have plenty of those and even failures those happened to as a homeschool mom, I get to give them all to him and say they're yours now, Lord, to face and fix and forgive. And that's where the trust comes in. But I'd say that that's that's not just synonymous with homeschooling. That's just whenever you face any of the big things in life.
I'm reminded of John Fifteen where Jesus said, I'm the vine near the branches. You stick with me, you be fruitful. Without me, you can do nothing.
He includes home schooling and everything else. So, yeah, dependance on God.
That's right. Train teacher or not. I can do nothing without him.
Jamie, you said something just a minute ago that I want to go back to and ask you if it's really, really important for this united front. Your husband wasn't onboard. You were. And you really felt called by God. What if somebody is listening right now and it's that way, you know, the wife wants to the husband doesn't or vice versa. How important is it to really be together in that and not doing the Lone Ranger thing?
Right. God doesn't call any of us to be lone rangers, especially not in light of marriage. He wants us to be unified. Those children are both of our children. And when I was looking back on those fearful thoughts that my husband had, I had to acknowledge them and validate them. He certainly had walked this road already and had his own fears. I certainly had my own, but he was nursing his own fears and I couldn't just dismiss those away. I had to have the hard conversations and be willing to listen to him and do my part in acknowledging his fears. In what that looks like is, you know, maybe I had a set curriculum that I hoped that I would choose and that I thought would be right for my kids. But they're his kids, too. And so maybe he had a different way that he wanted to take things or go. And I had to be respectful of that. And to understand that he brings his own expectations to this whole thing of homeschooling and not just dismiss them.
So I hear you saying, is even the the division that you felt or the disagreement that you had, you allowed when you listened to him, that actually brought you closer together in making the decision?
Right. Although I would be the primary teacher day in and day out, homeschooling can only have success when it incorporates everyone in the home and that includes him.
I think the whole thing of empathetically listening to the spouse, you know, and affirming their ideas rather than arguing with their ideas, affirming their ideas and their thoughts, their feelings, we cease to be enemies. But when we argue about it, we become enemies. And here we're fighting about something that we need to find unity in. And so I think you made the right approach, girl.
So let me just affirm you, OK? Well, it turned out all right. So I think I know I do want to ask this, that.
Were there any surprises in the like, say, the first year or early years of home schooling for you?
I think I was most surprised by how much social pushback I received. You know, I crossed the party line, so to speak, as a trained teacher and just simply because of human nature. Oftentimes, in not choosing the way that your friends or maybe your colleagues go, they assume you're not choosing them.
And so I had to do the hard work in friendship to show that that wasn't the case. I couldn't take it personally or waive the successes of home school around touting it as the cure all to everyone else's problems. And unfortunately, that often is a mistake that many homeschoolers fall prey to. I had to recognize that really if my identity was fully rooted in Christ, I had nothing to prove God would take care of my reputation. And I just had to learn to kindly dismiss the opinions of the naysayers and listen to the voice that mattered most. And that was the Lord's did.
Did some of those friends warm up further down the road?
Yes. And some of them are actually homeschooling today.
So, you know, I think by nature we tend to think our ways the best way. You know what? In whatever subject, you know, with entertainment, you sometimes can be adversarial. Whereas we don't need to be. Well, let me ask you this question. Is homeschooling for everybody?
No, homeschooling isn't for everyone. Even Christians. I think it's really easy to look at homeschooling and think it's a Christian dogma. It's really more of a Christian liberty because God has unique plans for all of us. And he's able and willing to use any educational path to complete those good plans that he has for our families. I think we'd all be a little remiss if we didn't at least see God in this area. Maybe prayerfully consider all the options and then willingly submit to whatever he's asking us to do, despite whatever maybe misgivings we think we have in real in light of the plan he has for us. So, no, it's not for everyone. It's not even for every Christian family. I think it's something that we all should at least prayerfully consider and weigh against what God is calling us to do.
Yeah. I hope our listeners hear that because we're not saying everybody should be involved in home schooling. Obviously, those who are most of them are very, very pleased with the results. But there are others who choose Christian schools or even both schools and are very pleased with what happened. So what we are trying to do and I think what your book is trying to do is help couples who are contemplating or thinking about home schooling get a better insight into how that works. So what would you say has been irreplaceable about homeschooling for you and your family? What's the really thing that you could not do without moments?
And it's such a simple answer, but I think it encapsulates everything that homeschooling has provided for me. Let me just put it this way. If I were to send my kids to a traditional school. I don't doubt that they would receive a fine education, learning can happen anywhere. True education is really less about a place or even the person imparting the knowledge. It's more about the desires and interest of the learner. So they learn over there or they'd learn here an exceptional education, as is often the byproduct of home schooling. But it's not always and there are other ways to get exceptional what they'd miss. And what would I miss? What we'd all miss. Is moments, time spent together, learning and experiencing life together and making memories together and seeking God together. You know, the other day we had this huge block walk into our yard and he stood on the edge of the driveway and he was just chomping on the neighbor's crab apple tree. And if my kids had been at school, they would have missed it.
And I would have missed that rabbit trail of curiosity and discovery that sort of happened right after that. Learning at home has really gifted and granted us the gift of moments. And every once in a while, it just so happens that the moments come walking up carrying antlers, as was the case the other day.
I haven't heard the term moments used in that way, but I like it because it reminds me of quality time. You know, "The 5 Love Languages" . That's one our low quality time. And you said that in all the schooling. Now, how about the tension between being a mom and at the same time being a teacher? Have you felt that tension between the two?
I think it's impossible not to. It's a really hard balance. And to be honest, there's no secret formula. I think I provide some practical tips to balance that within my book. But I think it's really important for moms who are struggling, wearing both the mom and the teacher hat to to acknowledge that sometimes your days need to be home, school, and other times they'll be home school if you catch my drift.
As with all things, you have to be able to recognize the biggest fires and tackle those first. But the hidden gift is right there. That's the hidden gift when living in that tension of both home and school. Our kids get to see how we react in that tension. And that really in itself can be one of the greatest parts of home education that that our kids get to see our Christian walk daily. They get to see how maybe we handle things with patience and kindness or maybe on the flipside, how we don't handle them with pain and kindness. But later, we have to go back and demonstrate repentance and restoration. So it's not an easy road to hoe. I'm gonna be completely honest and it is sometimes quite difficult, but it's always worth it.
Yeah. And I like your emphasis on a willingness to apologize to our children when we don't set the model that we want to set for them, because as you saying, none of us are perfect. We hear a lot today about learning styles and learning levels of children. How do you handle that in a homeschool situation when you have more than one child?
Well, I kind of liken it to serving up a chicken dinner.
I have five kids and I'm not a short order cook. So when I make dinner, I make one meal and I expect everyone to eat it. But because they're all different ages, they're going to eat it a little bit differently. So when I had a baby, I had to pure ray that chicken up and spoon feed it to them and they might only take a few bites. My toddler, you know, I cut it up into tiny chunks and let them eat it with their hands. My elementary school kids, maybe I had to cut it up, but they could eat it properly with a fork. My high schoolers were probably in the kitchen with me making that chicken dinner. So we're all eating the same thing.
I just serve it up differently. And that's the same with homeschooling. You know, I for many, many subjects, I tried to combine as best as I'm able because I'm only one person with a very limited amount of time and energy. So I have to divide and conquer. And as much as I'm able to, I combine subjects, but I have to serve it up at the level of that child and not expect too much from my little ones. But expect quite a bit more from my older ones.
You mention the whole idea of we all have limitations. And, you know, I think for many homeschool parents in their early stages at least, this is overwhelming. So why is it necessary and healthy for homeschooling moms and dads, for that matter, to acknowledge their limitations? And how do you deal with that?
I think it's important because in acknowledging your limitations, you're actually acknowledging your need for God in attempting to spin all the plates, which is really easy to try and do and to try to do it all. You're really missing out on the miracles that he can create out of your five loaves and two fish. And and secondly, you're kind of modeling surrender for your kids and in modeling trust and you're welcoming others into their community. And God is going to use those people and their talents and their gifts to grow and refine your children in ways that you aren't able to.
Jamie, you alluded to this earlier in our conversation, but some people are critical and kind of look down on home schooling. How how did you handle that? How do you recommend folks who are homeschooling handle that?
Nay sayers are always gonna be there. And no matter what you're doing, if you're following what you believe is the call from God, there will always be naysayers shouting from the curb while you're kind of down in the trenches doing the work. And let's be honest, the world doesn't understand or accept so work. And that's really and truly what homeschooling is and should be. And the devil is going to try to use all those negative voices to distract you from the calling of God in your life. But you have to make the conscious decision that you're going to let God take care of your reputation. You're just going to put your head down and do the knee bending work of home schooling.
And your children will one day be the proof that this was the right path.
I wonder if, as an educator, you know of a teacher yourself in the school system, how you respond to the constant drumbeat. This is all we ever heard when homeschooling came up and it was socialization. You gotta get your kids. How are they ever gonna learn, you know, to be with other people and they're just gonna be loners all the all their lives. And at the same time, you see. Well, we need to combat bullying in school or meet, you know. What what do you say to the people who you talk about socialization.
Right. That that nasty s word, as we call it, in home schooling, is something that we just haven't been able to shake in the last 20 or 30 years. That's been the banner cry for so long, even though we're in second generation status and we can see the proof that, you know, home schoolers turn out OK. But because I was a classroom teacher, I really have an advantage and can say that, you know, weird is not synonymous with homeschooling.
Socially ungrazed is not synonymous with homeschooling. I was in the classroom and I saw the gamut of kids, the shy kids, the extroverted kids, the socially awkward kids, the gentle kids, the meek and mild kids, the bullies. I saw it all in the classroom. And yes, there are some very weird people in homeschooling. But you know what? I'm a weird person, too. You know, weird is not equal to one particular education path. And and I think because we are in, as I said, second generation status, you know, my husband can be lumped in with those.
He was homeschooled back when homeschooling was really weird and no one had ever heard of it. But he is a functioning member of society with lots of community circles around him. He follows God faithfully.
And I think he's one of the good proofs that this turns out. OK.
Jamie, the other s word is shelter. You're sheltering you're sheltering your you're afraid. You know, you're afraid to get your kids out into the into the world. What do you say to that?
God calls himself a shelter. So we shouldn't look at the word shelter as a four letter word. We should embrace it. We're called to holiness and there will be a time when my kids will go out into the world, but they will have deep, firm roots ready to stand for God's kingdom.
Jimmy, there have been legal challenges across the country to homeschooling families. Where are we at this juncture, in this regard?
Well, we have many watchdog groups. I'm thinking of like a homeschool legal defense association, an even smaller state associations that are looking out for us. And because of them and the work that they have done over the last 20, 30 years, homeschooling has been legal in all 50 states since 1993. And that's not to say that every state makes it easy to homeschool. Each has their own unique mandates that we must follow. But because we are in the second generation status of homeschooling, people can see that a lot of those initial fears that society had for homeschooling 20, 30 years ago have fallen away. And so consequently, many of those unnecessary policies and legislation has fallen away as well.
And it seems to me that the results that we've seen coming out of home schooling have affirmed that and has caused a lot of thiers to drop by the wayside. What are some of the typical lies that parents who homeschool could be tempted to believe that might hamper their abilities?
Well, in speaking with, you know, thousands of home school moms, specifically all across the world in the last eight or nine years, I can kind of lump the fears into three main categories. Number one is I'm unqualified. And I think the natural retort to that is just you are the mom. You are fully qualified because if God has called you, he will also equip you and you serve a very big God who will fight those battles for you. And then they often think, you know, like we had talked about before, that their kids will be weird or unsocialized. And I think we're seeing that that's just an unwarranted, unfounded fear. And then they often think, you know, I'm I'm going to miss something. There's going to be some sort of irrepairable gap in my child's education. But, you know, I was publicly educated. I went on to be at some of the top ranks of my graduating class in college. In fact, I was asked to speak on behalf of the elementary education graduates. And I can say, without a doubt, there were obvious gaps in my education. I walked out of that graduation hall some warm day in May with a paper, a certificate saying that I was fully capable and qualified to teach other people's kids. And yet I knew so very little. But gaps get filled in over time. You know, somebody once said necessity is the mother of invention. So when your kids need to know some important something, I guarantee you they'll find a way to learn it. As we all do.
I'm sure that there have been days along the way in which you may personally have experienced what we might call a dark day, a hard day. Does something come to your mind when I say that in your own experience?
Oh, I can think of many, many stories. You know, I. I can tell you all about the normal things. You know, the baby tips over the science project that the elementary kid had been working on for weeks or or maybe the dog throws up on the carpet again or the computer fizzles out right in the middle of a really hard math problem. I can recount lots and lots of stories, but those aren't really synonymous with home schooling. They're just synonymous with life. Those things are going to happen.
It just so happens that they happen during the school day at my house. I would say that the real darkness comes when I allow those inconsequential, momentary things to steal my gaze away from the kingdom, work of readying my kids for God's plan, for their life.
And and when I allow those things to take precedence in the day, that's when the darkness comes in those situations, which, as you say, happened to all of us in every area of life, for that matter, we cling to the truth that we believe that we're doing what God has called us to do and that God is going to overcome all of those sort of what what might appear to us to be obstacles.
Right. And at the end of all of that, we'll see the steps that he's ordered from us and we'll be able to firmly see that immeasurably more that he had for us even in those really shaky days.
Now, there are many names for God in the Bible. One of which is to hoeben this sea. Tell us what that means and how this has helped you in your own home schooling industry.
Well, Giovanni Si means the Lord, our banner. And it's first unveiled in Exodus, Chapter 17 when the Israelites face the Amalekites. So it was after a great decisive victory that he instructed Moses to build an altar of remembrance so that people wouldn't forget what happened there. And he called it Giovanni. So if you think about what banders has been throughout history, so if the Lord is our banner, Bandera's declare victory. They go before and behind during some of the most difficult battles declaring victory. And God is our banner set high on a hill for our home school, declaring victory even before we ever call the day to order.
He really is the victory in our home school.
So is it the deep assurance that, you know, God is with you in this that hope this he brings to your mind?
Right. Because I know my limitations. I know that if left up to me and me alone and whatever I'm able to bring to the home school day, the homeschool day might be a total flop. But God is there in the midst doing the work, even in spite of my inadequacies and sometimes the things that I feel were a total flop. Later, looking back, I see how God used that incident or that happening in our day to mold and shape my kids to be more like him.
You know, there's a lot of talked about, Jamie. Separation of church and state and and what can and can't be done in public schools. But in a homeschool situation, you have the ability to stop on a dime and go a different direction than the math of the English or whatever you're studying. Has there been at a time when you like the book Walking in the Yard? Has there been a time when you've been able to go toward a spiritual lesson with your kids that comes to your mind?
I think it would be harder for me to find the times that I wasn't able to do that, to be honest. I can filter all of our life through a gospel lens. Those unplanned lessons of character building get to be sprinkled all throughout our days. In fact, here's just one simple little example. My youngest son and I were reading through a poetry book not too long ago, and we came upon a poem called Hearts Like Doors Will Open With Ease, and it's just a simple little no nothing poem. But I remembered as we were reading it, that that was a poem I had to memorize. Back when I was in kindergarten, because I had lied to my teacher and that was my punishment.
I had wanted to play Goldilocks in the kindergarten school play because I had blond hair and I just had visions of being Goldilocks up there on the stage. But instead I had to memorize and recite that poem for the kindergarten school program. And so I asked my son and I were sitting there reading that not too long ago. I remembered that memory. And so this simple little poem became a chance to teach my son about the destruction of life and the consequences of sin. And he got to see me for who I really am, just a lost sinner who needed the redemption of Jesus just as much as he did.
Can you recite that for as I. I'd love to hear that little poem.
I will give it a try. I probably don't have to think of something like this.
Hearts like doors will open with these two very, very little keys. I thank you, sir. And if you please.
But that's all I remember. You know, I still remember this day because it was such a powerful lesson I had to learn at five years old.
You can't forget that.
I think the opportunity that reading that poem gave you to share with your child. Yeah. A memory from your own life that probably you would never come to your mind if that poem had not surfaced in your teaching.
Right. And, you know, he could have heard that poem and learn that poem in a traditional classroom. But that really wasn't the point.
The point was, you know, I could grab that simple moment in our day to do some deep character building and training in his life.
Which traditional teacher just wouldn't have been able to do quite as well because of a lack of that moment shared, you know, some of the most powerful parts of your book.
Jamie, are where you recount how the Lord has been faithful to provide, you know, what you needed in home schooling. And you talk about to your friend Jackie and how God used her to help you. Could you share that story?
Well, way back in 2008, when I first started homeschooling, I harbored this secret hidden fear and it was named algebra.
I have always had a blood feud with math. We have never gotten along.
And as a young mom facing putting my child in kindergarten or homeschooling her, all I could think about was the fact that some day later on down the road, I'd have to teach her hard things like algebra.
But I knew that God was calling me to do this. And I didn't know exactly how it would all work out.
I didn't know how algebra would come to pass someday, but I knew that I had to step out in obedience. You know why?
My fear was not a sin, but my lack of hope of obedience would have been because I knew God was calling me to do this hard thing. And so I just had to step out in faith. Kind of like the Israelites stepped out into the Jordan River.
And then God, part of the waters, I had to step out knowing he was in control and that he would somehow work out algebra.
Well, two years later, I met this woman named Jackie, and she was a homeschool mom by day and a financial advisor by later in the day. And so she had a love and a half math. And when my daughter was approaching eighth grade, Jackie and I had been friends then for a few years. And when my daughter was approaching eighth grade and around the time that she would have to start learning algebra. Just out of the blue, I received an email from Jackie and she sent out this invitation to a bunch of homeschool moms that that read something like, I'm thinking of starting an algebra class for homeschool families. Would your daughter be interested?
And I ugly cried as I was reading that email because I remembered sitting in fear just a few years earlier thinking, God, how am I going to do this thing called algebra? But he already knew that one day there would be Jackie.
And she really was my abundantly more that God had for me, you know. And if I had caved to my fears and my insecurities way back when my daughter was in kindergarten, I not only would have missed out on this great friendship because I probably wouldn't have met this homeschooling mom, Jackie, but I would have missed out on seeing God work out that plan. And, you know, as the cherry on top, my daughter got an A in algebra.
Well, I can personally identify with you, Jamie. Algebra was not my see there. I only took Algebra War and I didn't go to college to switch to geometry. Okay. Smart man. Smart man. Is it true?
It seems to me locally that this is true in my own city, that there are courses like that where home schoolers are coming together and having someone who really is good in that area. Teach children a particular class. Is that true nationwide or is that something that is just that I'm just observing locally?
I don't think it's a local thing. I think it's an international thing. And one thing I think listeners need to hear. Homeschooling doesn't mean that you have to teach all the things, because let's be honest, we're not all equipped to teach every single thing. It just means that you get to decide how and where and when and by whom. That important thing needs to be taught. So I outsource a lot of things in my home school, whether that be, you know, finding a class online that my children can take. Or just recently I launched a co-op in my city where 25 families get together in each of the parents take turns teaching courses that they are gifted at teaching. But they're their parents have like binde to share my same faith and have sort of the same educational goals that I have. I have hired tutors in the past and asked mentors and even family friends to come alongside me. So don't feel like the entire weight of your child's education is solely on your shoulders. It actually is just such a privilege to be able to partner with others to form a very unique educational course for your child.
I can hear some of our listeners who maybe have been considering this, but feeling I've got to know things that I don't know in order to do this. Taking a deep breath and say, oh, yeah, that makes sense.
And that's such a myth because not a single person, you know, a trained teacher or otherwise can say they know everything about everything. And really, that's not the goal of education. The goal is not to spoon feed every bit of wisdom onto your child. It's just to ignite a passion for learning in them. And then the sky's the limit if you can teach them to read and give them just a love for learning. You've set them on a course for a lifetime of learning and discovery.
You know, I was driving through the state of South Carolina some time ago and there was a huge billboard that had these words on it. Children who read will live happily ever after.
I thought, whew, pretty powerful.
And they may be stretching it, but I think there's some truth to it. Yeah.
It opened up because reading does open up the world to people, you know. And if you give a child an interest in a heart for reading not only the ability to read, but a heart for it, it does open the world to them. What about the parent who has a child that's really a rather difficult child and they've been thinking, I can't wait to get them in school, school.
I have a little relief during the daytime.
What would you say about that parent in terms of home schooling?
Well, I think all of us are that parent. I think, you know, one hundred and seven percent of home schoolers have one of those kids. But I would say to that mom or that dad who's maybe sitting in fear, thinking about, you know, am I going to spend every single day in an arm wrestle to get this child to sit and do school? Let me just say this.
It's not by accident that God gave you this child. And there's something about you that he needs.
And dare I say it, there's actually something about him that you need to. So in sending him off or her off for someone else to deal with, you're really only putting duct tape on the problem. It's it's obviously easier to mask a problem instead of actually digging in and doing the hard work. But in doing that, you're really only obeying a gospel of convenience. If God has in fact called you to home school and there is some real work that will need to be done.
But like with everything, it will be a refiner's fire to help mold and shape not just them, but you into the person that God has designed and created you to be for his glory and your good.
Jamie, as we come to the end of our program today, let me ask you this what do you hope parents are going to take away as they read your book?
I really hope that in reading my book, they'll learn to trust God with their children and and not just with their eternal forevers, but with their here and now, as with the moments that they have available to them. This side of eternity.
Jamie, there used to be this public school home school fight that was going on, and it seemed like every time you'd bring up home schooling, there would be, you know, people coming out of the woodwork and it's either or. And I think where we where we are now in the culture, especially in the evangelical culture, there is a lot more acceptance of do whatever you need to do with your children to find the best thing for your children. Is that what you're sensing to?
I actually would agree with that, but I would take it one step further and say that it's not even within the evangelical realm, it's just with parenting in general. We've we've veered to this sort of organic parenting style and that has its successes. But it also has certainly a level of struggles because with that comes a lot of, well, do whatever you want with the home school day and your kids can be wild and explore. And they don't actually have to sit in and learn because they'll somehow learn through osmosis or whatever.
So, yes, I do believe that that with the success of home schooling and maybe the more mainstream forms of homeschooling, it has lost a lot of those bad stigma.
But I also think that they that there is a level of lack of intentionality that sometimes comes along with that.
Well, it's been a joy to have you on the program today. And I'd really do hope that the many who are considering home schooling will read this book. I think they'll find great encouragement. You know, I have to say this because as I move all across the country, I meet a lot of home school children. And I want to say how impressed I have been personally with those children. They tend to carry on conversations with adults. Look adults in the eye and have conversations with them. You know, I'm speaking now to the opposite side of lack of socialization. Seems to me that they're more social than than than many children who go a different route.
So at any rate, it's a decision that every family must make for themselves. But it has been interesting to see the growth of the homeschool movement over the last several years. So thanks for being a part of this. And thanks for the encouragement you're giving to parents who are considering this. Thank you so much for having me.
Well, jumping into the homeschooling pool can be a little scary if you've never done it. And I think Jamie Erickson's book is going to be a great resource to help moms and dads that have five love languages, dot com. You can find out more about homeschool bravely, how to squash, doubt, trust God and teach your child with confidence again. Go to five love languages dot com.
And next week, Miriam Neff and Valerie Hogan will talk about women and their finances. That's a great topic, Carrie. Looking forward to it.
Now, before we go, let me thank our production team, Steve Wick and Janice Todd.
Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman is a production of Moody Radio in Chicago in association with Moody Publishers, a ministry of Moody Bible Insta. Thanks for listening.