So I have about literally minutes to post before waking little ones from nap and heading into the second half of our day. I should be catching my breath, but as I look around our kitchen with sticky notes on all the cabinets and piles of books here and there and bulletin boards filled with reminders of the days lessons in school ... as I think of all that I didn't get a chance to cover with the girls today ... as I make yet another list on yet another sticky note of things I need to prepare for school tomorrow, I keep hearing the end of a discussion that I heard on Fox News this morning as I drove home from dropping Kate and Olivia off at MMO and Preschool. They topic was how Obama had said that the D.C. school system wasn't right for his daughters (good enough ... I don't remember his exact words ... I had Patterson doing math drills out loud in the back seat ... homeschooling moms ... we love to multitask!!). But the discussion came down to if the school systems "just had more money." The last thing I heard was one of the hosts asking, "Is it really about the money, though? I mean there are several countries that outscore us in education, and yet they spend far less per child than we do."
We got our house tax breakdown recently in the mail. When Richard looked at it, his response was the same as mine ... "We paid over 2,000$ in taxes last year for public education and our girls don't even attend!" Someone once told me that the curriculum I use for our homeschooling is considered "the cadillac" of homeschooling curriculums. I never really thought about it until then, but yes, it is one of the more expensive curriculums. Richard says I tend to gravitate towards "the most expensive" and it's sad, but true. On any given day, I can open a catalog FULL of 49 - 89.00 shoes and the ONE PAIR I PICK is the 349.00 pair. Just the way it is, I guess. But that's beside the point. My curriculum is expensive and I buy a lot of "extra" things for the girls schooling, but it is still far less than what is spent per child in a public school. And yet, that is still not enough ... even with parents sending in paper products, etc., they still need more money. I don't get it. I do, but I'm not really going to get on that soap box. My point is this, so much in our education system is about everything BUT learning. I want my girls to know God, to be taught in an environment that honors Him and credits all to His glory. I want them to have the knowledge they need to succeed, but mostly the ability to attain that knowledge. I know they won't remember everything I teach them everyday. I know that even if I just had one child, I couldn't possibly teach them every single thing there is to learn every single day. I know this and yet I tend to be overbearing at times and stress myself out with the "I didn't do this or that today." Or the endless getting out of bed each night to write myself a reminder to work on this or that with this or that child the next day. I find myself falling into the comparison game ... without intending to. I panic at times:) wondering if I'm giving them the background they need. I'm sure I am no different than so many of you (whether you are homeschooling or not). But when I hear conversations like the one today ... when I hear others complain about the teachers their kids have or the poor facilities their kids are forced to go to for school ... I just think of the reminder on Glen Beck a while back that education is not a right, but a privilege. Did you get that? A privilege. In my hustle and bustle of "we've got to get this done" it does me well to stop and remember that. If my girls learn anything, I hope that they learn that what they have, what they know is not something they deserve others to give them, but a privilege for them to take up and learn for themselves. If they get this, they will not struggle, they will not fail, they will not quit. They might get knocked down here and there, but they will know how to find their way no matter what, and they will cherish whatever they have. Consider what effect this would have on our school systems if we would stop sending the message that, "Sorry, you can't learn because you don't have the finances." I've always found it interesting that when you really want something or need something, chances are you can find a way to make it happen. Case in point, our Alabama's football game last Saturday. I was so frustrated from the start. By the end of the second quarter I thought there was no way. Richard stood up and walked by me and casually said, "Champions find a way to win. If they are really champions, they will find a way and they will win." I know I'm a bit biased here, but it really was a great game and bottom line, he was right. They wanted to win, had the ability to win and found a way ... and it wasn't given to them.
School is in full swing here. I still owe you all a homeschool post. Yeah, that's on my list. Have I mentioned that I have five children and my husband is deployed? :) Working on it ...
If you're interested in more of my thoughts, check out my latest article here on the Faith Deployed blog.
I received an email from Richard this morning. He's currently getting settled in his tent. "Living the dream" as he puts it:). No one makes me laugh like that man! I absolutely love him to death.
To God be the Glory.