Homeschooling, SAHM, John 15.15, and 1000gifts {Monday Musings on 01.09.12}

On homeschooling and being a SAHM:

**Note: I wrote this as a piece of free-writing, and thus, it has not been edited and some of my ideas/thoughts have not been “checked”. Please keep this in mind as you respond in love.**

I feel as if I am about to open a can of worms. Normally, I’m one who shies away from conflict, but I feel as if I need to say something – to take a stand for my sisters-in-Christ.

Recently, I read an article that basically said that if you’re a Christian mom, your heavenly calling to to stay home and homeschool your children. No exceptions. Well, I disagree. And I’m tired of the SAHM “club” rubbing their position in the face of those who can’t or have chosen not to stay at home with their kids and/or homeschool them. No where in the Bible does it say that moms must stay home with their children and homeschool them.

I am honestly quite disappointed in my fellow SAHMs. I feel like we take for granted our privilege to stay home with our kids, and we lord it overs those who can’t and shame those who choose not to.

It’s not a biblical mandate. It’s a personal choice. Each family must decide what is best for their family in the season of life they currently find themselves in.

And homeschooling. It’s NOT the only option for Christians, and it’s not even the best option for many families – even when mom is at home.

Now, that doesn’t get families off the hook. Parents (moms AND dads) have a responsibility to raise their kids in a biblical manner – teaching them “all things [CHRIST] commanded”. But does this require homeschooling? No.

So let’s stop pushing our families’ decisions to have mom at home with the kids and to homeschool our kids onto our sisters. Let’s allow each family the grace and freedom that Christ offers to prayerfully choose what is best for their family in their current season of life.

And if you must know, we don’t homeschool out of conviction. And I’m not cut out to be a full-time SAHM (at least not in the traditional sense that is preached about from so many SAHM blogs). We are simply following God’s leading one day at a time, seeking His best for our family as we walk through life with His Spirit guiding ears, each step along the way.

Hiding God’s Truths in My Heart: John 15.15

Hiding God’s Truths in My Heart {John 15.15}

Counting 1000 gifts

#6 – a love for reading/books

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#7 – a front loading washer

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#8 – the ability to stay home with my kiddos

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#9 – puzzle time with Jenny

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#10 – a backup of my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe {I can’t find the original!!}

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#11 & 12 – a new winter coat and jeans that fit!!

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#13 & 14 – my husband getting home from work on time & being able to go to small group sans kids

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Link up your Hiding God’s Truth in My Heart posts:

***I love comments, but please remember to comment “in love.” Comments perceived as attacking or disrespectful will be edited and/or deleted. This blog operates under Ephesians 4.29.***

  • Glenna

    I am glad that we can come together to give GOD the Praise for all gifts

    • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

      Amen and amen!!

  • Lauren

    This is great ashley! Good reminder to make sure I am exhibiting grace to others. I agree whole heartedly that not all moms who stay gone should homeschool. Having grown up being homeschooled from kindergarten thru high school, we had plenty of friends homeschooled and not, and everyone has their struggles – homeschooling is a great option if you feel first able, then called. Thanks for sharing this so candidly!

    • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

      Yes – I was homeschooled in elementary school because the district we lived in was not academically up to par. By the time my mom had to work outside of our home, we had moved into a different school district, and we were able to finish in the local public schools. Homeschooling is great when the situation is right, but the public schools are not a “last resort”!

  • http://ourgoodfamily.org/ Aurie Good

    Thank you :) I don’t advertise that I work part time, since I have already seen comments that make me uncomfortable about not being a full time SAHM. I appreciate your honesty, and I hope that more people can feel that way.

    • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

      Thanks for sharing, Aurie! Helping to provide for your family {whether the income is needed or just an extra blessing} is never something you have to be ashamed of… the Bible is full of examples of women who worked to help take care of their families!! Personally, my part-time work helps me be a better mom – I have a creative outlet and I have accountability and motivation and focus that I didn’t have when I wasn’t working. My family is better off from me working in more ways than just financial!

  • Theresa

    Great post!  I feel it is a gift to be able to stay home with your children–some families can’t afford it.  I work part time, not so much out of necessity as because I was working at the library when my girls were in school and they offered to let me bring the girls to work when we decided to homeschool.  God leads us on different paths and I don’t think we should judge others for not making the same choices we make.

    • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

      “God leads us on different paths and I don’t think we should judge others for not making the same choices we make.” Amen! Thanks for joining the conversation!

  • Melissa Smallwood

    Thank you so much for the top part of your post!  I needed that!  And, I love the photos to go along with your gratitude list :)

    • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

      I’m so glad God could use me to bless and encourage you, Melissa! :)

  • Anonymous

    I am so loving that you referenced our ability to stay home with our children as a privilege.  It is JUST that.  Thanks Ashley, I so enjoyed reading your views on this.

    • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

      I have to remind myself of the “privilege” that it is on the days when my kids are driving me nuts – reminding myself helps me to focus on the blessings of being home with them!

  • http://janicejohnson.wordpress.com/ Janice J

    So true… I tried official homeschooling for pre-K but found I was too scatterbrained. Had I persisted, my (now-adult) kids might still be half illiterate!

    One note: ANY TIME a child is at home, that child is learning something — whether it be about God’s love for them, life skills, attitudes, work ethic, kindness, integrity or European history. So in a sense, whether intentionally or not, every parent homeschools. That sobered me into being careful about what I was communicating to my boys through my words and actions.

    • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

      I love this, Jan! Thanks for the reminder that our lives are a constant “teachable moment” for our kids… they watch us and learn from our actions and responses to life. Praying that we live in the Spirit and they see Jesus in us!!

  • Tracy

    I agree. I homeschool now, but didn’t use to. We have a family at church right now where the husband was diagnosed with ALS. Now there are no wee little kids in the home- I think both girls are in high school or up that way but mom has to work to provide because dad has already begun losing fine motor skills and balance. There are MANY scenarios and God gets glory guiding each of his children through every unknown twist and turn in each individual life.

    • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

      “There are MANY scenarios and God gets glory guiding each of his children through every unknown twist and turn in each individual life.” Amen!! Thanks for sharing, Tracy!

  • Jen Ferguson

    I love this premise you discuss here — always operating out of grace and not judgement.  God has different paths for all of us and the goal is for us to be listening to see where He is leading us.  Even if it seems outside the norm (but of course within Biblical parameters).

    • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

      “God has different paths for all of us and the goal is for us to be listening to see where He is leading us.” Beautifully said, Jen. Thanks!!

  • http://byhisdesign5.wordpress.com/ Amy

    Thank you!! I homeschool my girls but also work part-time as a nurse. I have been shamed recently into feeling that I was wrong to work part-time outside the home. Thank you again and again!! 

    • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

      I’ve too often cared what others thought about how I was living – I’m learning to listen only to the Holy Spirit’s guidance in my life. His standard is the ONLY one that matters!!

  • http://intentionalbygrace.com Leigh Ann

    Thanks, Ashley, for sharing your heart! In the comments, you mentioned that there are several examples in the Bible of women helping provide for their families. I loved that. This last year was a year of revealing and refining for me in this area. I think people are so afraid to offer grace and admit the “grey” areas because they are afraid people will abuse the grace. Our hearts are called to be oriented toward our homes, but how that plays out for each family is different. We can’t put God in a box.

    Would love to see more posts like this from you! :)

    • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

      Thanks for the encouragement, Leigh Ann! I’ll definitely pray about the possibility of writing more posts like this!!

  • T G

    I recently started working again after 15 years of being a SAHM, homeschooling mother. As one on the other side of the fence now, I didn’t realize how blessed I was. I’m homeschooling my high schoolers using online resources, while my littlest is in school. I think most working moms aren’t out there because they need a hobby. Bills are real and they return each month. I’m thankful my husband encourages me to work hard and he even has taken over some things I didn’t really enjoy(grocery shopping).

    • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

      I know what you mean! I *had* to go back to work when my oldest was four months old {was the only source of income at the time}, and we worked hard to make it possible for me to come back home after I had our second. When I forget how blessed I am, I need only remember the days of working full-time and never seeing my daughter!!

  • http://www.4littlelovies.blogspot.com/ Lisa

    I have to somewhat disagree with your statement, “No where in the Bible does it say that moms must stay home with their children and homeschool them.”….That is quite a statement, and as a homeschooling mama myself I lovingly urge you to reflect on certain passages of Scripture. I am in no way condemning or judging those who choose not to homeschool, but I personally do have a biblical basis for the decision to homeschool. My husband and I prayerfully came to understand that Scripture does indeed support homeschooling. So upon reading your statement, I was prompted to share some verses with you. I know in fact that there are extreme circumstances that make homeschooling physically impossible, but for some moms to dismiss the idea because they don’t think they could do it, (they must put their confidence in Christ, not fully in themselves)….I challenge them to pray about this and seek God’s will. God is faithful and will provide for our needs. I cannot homeschool my children on my own, I seek strength and guidance from the Lord daily. Yes, it is a challenge and a sacrifice of sorts….but an immense honor and indeed a privilege. One of the most beautiful blessings in my life is homeschooling my children. Please know that I in no way intend for this comment to have a negative tone at all. I do hope you post it so that perhaps some moms would find strength and comfort in God’s Word when seeking guidance about the decision to homeschool. Peace and Blessings 
    Deuteronomy 6:4
    Ephesians 6:4
    Romans 12:2
    Proverbs 22:6
    Proverbs 13:20
    1 Corinthians 15:33
    Mathew 18:6
    2 Corinthians 10:5
    Hebrews 2:13

    Warmly,
    Lisa

    • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

      Thank you so much, Lisa, for sharing your perspective on this discussion. I appreciate your willingness to share your family’s decision and conviction.
      I do still stand behind my statement that you’ve quoted, though I might add that a decision not to homeschool ones children is not a “get out of jail free card” from ones responsibility to be an active participant in your child’s education {biblical or otherwise}. As believers, one of our greatest responsibilities as parents is to instill in our children a biblical mindset {Deuteronomy 6.7, Matthew 20.19-20} and teach them {with words and actions} what it means to be a true follower of Jesus Christ, as I indicated in the post.

      That said, I do believe that there are times when homeschooling is the only option that a family can/should choose in living in accordance with Scripture, but each family’s situation is different, and thus we must extend grace to all, praying that they are living under the guidance of the Spirit as they make choices on how and where their children will learn.
      Thank you for adding to our discussion!

  • Rebecca

    Oh, sweet sister…when I was working full time…I tried doing something to help people I lived near..that meant taking off of work and picking up my (then) baby.  One of the people I was helping…had a conversation with me later and I mentioned how it was hard to do that…taking off and picking up my child to do it…when others could not who were either working or at home…her comment to me…will forever ring in my ears  “OH, I am so sorry you had to take time off of work and actually spend time with your baby”  WOW….and there have been more…and then, there are the comments about whether or not you should or should not make money on your blog…on and on it goes…and I think it hinges on two things:  One…they are ignorant (I don’t mean that in a bad way….just have lack of knowledge) of people’s situations and two they are judgemental.

    Me, I NEED a part time job and anyone who looked at our finances would say I need to go back to work full time.  So, we do without some things.  For women who choose to work…that is completely between them and their husband.

    I think…that if a family feels the conviction to be at home (and even…oh my…) and homeschool..that’s up to them.  I do ‘believe’ it is best…but, that’s just my opinion…everyone has one and I am thankful to live in a country that allows freedom either way…homeschool, private school, public school, boarding school….

    Love ya!  Thanks for linking this!
    Rebecca

    • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

      Thanks for sharing your opinion, Rebecca!! Like you said, it’s a matter of opinion between a husband and a wife {as they seek the will of God for their family}. :) So glad to have the freedom, like you mentioned, to choose in this country!!

  • http://twitter.com/jenniferajanes Jennifer Janes

    I completely agree with you! I have had people get defensive with me when they ask me and I tell them I am a SAH, homeschooling mom. I quickly tell them that I’m doing the same thing they’re doing—what I feel God is leading us to do for our family right now! We take it a year at a time.

    As far as I’m concerned, we’re all on the same team—all of us mamas, whether we work outside the home or stay home, homeschool, or send our kids to private school or public school. We all need to love and support one another!

    • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

      “we’re all on the same team—all of us mamas, whether we work outside the home or stay home, homeschool, or send our kids to private school or public school. We all need to love and support one another” – yes… my point EXACTLY!! :-D Thanks for sharing!!!

  • Audrey

    Very well said. Thanks for your boldness and openness.

    • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

      Thank you, Audrey!

  • http://theemptynestexpress.com/ Ms. Kathleen

    Who the heck wrote that article? I am so with you. Homeschooling is NOT for everyone.  Being a mother is NOT for everyone woman. There is nothing in the Biblical that says we are to homeschool our kids. In the OT Jesus most likely went to school — Rabbi school or whatever its called where all the boys were sent.  I don’t blame you for being angry. I was a stay at home mom. I did homeschool for 3 years but my health didn’t permit me doing it longer and I never had any intention of homeschooling high schoolers. In fact, the Lord sent me back to school! Stand firm in your faith. You are a great mom and teaching your child about the Lord and loving your family are what you are called to do, in your own way — HUGS!

    • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

      Thanks for commenting, Ms. Kathleen! I love the freedoms that we have in Christ and in this country. :)

  • Denise Oldham

    Enjoyed this.

    • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

      Thank you, Denise!

  • http://profiles.google.com/lenaherrington Lena Herrington

    Great post, Ashley! I completely agree with the first part of your post! Not only was there a time I thought I would never stay home, I have been telling God “NO! NO! NO!” to homeschooling because I am just NOT cut out to do it. He, however, disagrees and says I can do it. I admire those of you who do it (umm…I think that’s those of us?) and am praying for His guidance every step of the way. Not all of us are cut out to do either and we should all remember that and show our sisters in Christ the love and grace that God shows us. 

    I also listed puzzle time as a thing to be grateful for this week. God is good to give us those peaceful, quiet times with our children!

    • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

      I know that homeschooling is often a daily struggle for me – I’m so tempted to just “give up” and send my daughter to the public school across the street. But then, I remember to rely on God’s strength and wisdom, and He empowers me to continue on. For us, our homeschooling journey is more about academics than faith {because faith is a focus of our home regardless of the means of secular education}.

  • http://www.weirblessed.com/simply Tania

    You are right!  I truly believe there are some that are staying at home, home schooling… that really need to get OUT and let their children live a life!  Don’t even get me started there!  And there are so many that are beautiful SAHM’s that do a wonderful job!  But… I know just a many are working mom’s and they are just a great at taking care of their families.   Speak truth and don’t feel bad for doing it! 

    Tänia of Simply God’s Girl &
    Christian Bloggers

    • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to encourage me, Tania!

  • http://www.reallyareyouserious.com Krystyn

    What a great point.  And, a recently resigned teacher, I don’t think I would be a good homeschooler for my kids, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t teach them important things like God’s love, and how to act as a Christian, etc.

    Love the new coat, too!

    • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

      “that doesn’t mean that I can’t teach them important things like God’s love, and how to act as a Christian, etc.” Precisely! And, as their mom, that is what you SHOULD be teaching them, regardless of where they learn the academic subjects! :) Thanks for adding to the discussion, Krystyn!

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