Edu-ma-cation

School has officially begun at our house and we’re off to a better start than last year.  My daughter and son are busy at work at the dining room table working on their Old World History and Geography and Classical Literature schoolwork.  Math and Science are the tricky ones for me as those subjects were not my strong areas, but we’ll work through them.

My first choice of homeschooling this year would have been the YouTube way 😉 (check out the Periodic Elements song), but we’d be on YouTube all day, probably watching Weird Al or Star Wars Robot Chicken or other funny videos.  We’re pretty eclectic, though, using materials given to us, books and videos we’ve checked out from the library, resources online (interactive timed math tests) and books purchased through the CBD catalog and elsewhere.  Our daughter’s Classical Literature class put us back the most financially, as well as our teens’ music classes, but for the most part, we’ve kept costs down compared to what could be spent on curriculum.

homeschool-day.jpg

How do you educate your children?  Do you homeschool with a pre-fab curriculum (sounds lovely to me)?  Do your children attend many outside classes?  How do you incorporate science into your school year?  After all these years of homeschooling, many of those years without hardly any money to work with, I still do not have a clue as to how to do it effectively.  Every homeschool parent I meet seems like they have it all together, and so much resource at their disposal than we do.  It almost seems like a big competition, and we’re at the tail end of the race.  But we continue on and my teens’ test scores just show me that they understand and comprehend the things they are learning.

In the late 1980’s there was a popular Christian comedian who described how he and his wife were called to their child’s school teacher’s office to discuss his academics and some concerns about his achievements.  This comedian responded coolly to the teacher, “We don’t really care.  We just care that he loves Jesus.”  That response made me laugh but I really can relate, too.  I want my teens to “know Him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death …”(Phil. 3:10)  My job is to help guide them and watch God sanctify them through His Spirit and His Word.  I look at everything else as a means to this end.  The ultimate result and goal will be to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. 

So, how are you going about glorifying God and enjoying Him in your home-schooling experience?  If you don’t homeschool your children, how else are you sharing the love of Christ in your life? 

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12 Responses to “Edu-ma-cation”

  1. CD-Host Says:

    Kate —

    This is somewhat off topic (though in a deeper sense on topic) to the question you are asking.

    I wanted to ask you a question about a comment you made 7 months ago on Common Sense regarding woman in the home schooling movement and clothes link
    https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=38723194&postID=660006658967456115
    I’ve been mulling over that comment you made, and I want to try and get details from you about those conversations about clothes if you are willing.

    So we can do this here, since the answer to your question above may involve modest dress. But this is gonna be a little more deep (hopefully) then the tone you may want here. You don’t have an email address associated with this blog (at least as far as I can tell). I can set up a thread on my blog or we can do it in email (my address is attached to the message) or you can turn me down flat and we don’t have to discuss it at all.

    So are you game and if so where?

  2. choseninhim Says:

    Okay, deep. I can definately do that 🙂

    For the reference to what I said on CJ’s blog,

    “CJ,
    Yes, you are conveying my sentiments on this subject, too. The idealism that tends to motivate many people in christianity can leave some out of the loop.

    For example, many young women I’ve met in the homeschool movement love to read Jane Austen’s novels. They also would rather emulate that era in their modesty and really seem to glamorize the era. Some have even designed clothing patterns after the Sense and Sensibility genre. I have taught my own teenage daughter (who is studying English Literature in her homeschool class) that it was not all that it was cracked up to be during Jane Austen’s time. For example, there was no effective treatment for diabetes and people just died a horrible death back then from various diseases we can treat now. Praise God for modern medical treatments!

    Another thing about the “Sense and Sensibility” era: Some have wondered if some of Jane Austen’s novels were commentary on women’s position in society during her time. Interestingly, in the movie, “Emma”, which my daughter and I watched, there’s a scene where Emma lashes out at Miss Bates, a woman who never married because of her lower social status and caring for her mother. Emma is then rebuked by Mr. Knightley and reminds her of Miss Bate’s position in life, that it must be very difficult for her. It just seemed that Austen had some insight into the deeper issues maybe. She herself had a career, I might add.”

    Modest clothing, as far as I can tell from scripture, is a conscience as well as a common sense issue, not just a cut and dried interpretation of Scripture from people such as Gothard and those who go to his seminars, for example.

    Scripture is of no private interpretation (2 Pet. 1:19-21) and God has written His words on the hearts of His children. We have the written Word of God preserved by His Spirit, through His servants of old and recent and what we have contained in that Word is His thoughts toward us. God re-emphasizes those thoughts by giving us His Spirit to guide us into all truth — and that would include how to dress so as to not cause another person to fall into sin, or our own selves into sin.

    If we choose to dress modestly (interpret THAT across the globe of traditional dress of other cultures) it should be a reflection of care for others as much as an expression of who we are, our artful tastes, etc.

    If it was acceptable for the apostle Paul to wear a long gown-type attire, think of how that would translate today in post-modern America! It may be acceptable in Islamic countries, but not so much here, IMO. So it is with women’s attire. Like CJ commented sometime (I think), if it’s considered modest to dress as they did in the upper crust of Jane Austen’s society, with the fancy dresses designed for leisure, think about what the working class might have thought about the humble attitudes of those with means in their near-caste society.

    Modest dress, for me, does not necessarily mean a long dress or skirt. It may mean jeans, t-shirt and no earrings for the day. I have attended my church in jeans and would do it again if I felt like not dressing up. The reason I may put on a skirt/dress/earrings for the congregational gathering is because I homeschool and am running around and don’t get to dress up very often, and we treat Sunday worship as also a celebration of the Lord — like a party once a week. 🙂

  3. CD-Host Says:

    OK terrific. Lets get into these woman and their feelings about Jane Austin. What are their feelings about these particular clothes? Are they attracted to the feel to the style to the reactions of others?

    When they are wearing them do they often seem to be fantasying they are living in that time period? Do they do other things to enhance the effect (like pick up 19th century speech) or 19th century hobbies? In other words if you can try and get into their heads and figure out what is the draw.

    As for your comments about “modest” dress not being seen as modest. That was unquestionably the case. First off the use of buttons rather than hooks, outward buttons were considered immodest. The rich coloring, their impracticality. They weren’t modest at all at the time. Quaker literatur provide a great critique of the dress of that period.

  4. choseninhim Says:

    CD-Host, you said:

    “Lets get into these woman and their feelings about Jane Austin. What are their feelings about these particular clothes? Are they attracted to the feel to the style to the reactions of others?”

    – I really don’t know what their feelings are, but only what they express openly about their preferences.

    I have a teenage friend, “J”, who loves to sew and create *costumes* of the medieval era. She loves Lord of the Rings and she and my daughter and her other friends like to play dress-up as well as put on plays they’ve created from the same time-period. The re-enact in their Literature class some of the things they’ve read. This is what I see with some of the older types of clothing being marketed. They are like costumes and that’s why everybody likes to see the pretty Gwyneth Paltrow in the simple “Emma-wear”. However, some fashions can be simple and cross the passages of time and are incorporated into modern fashions on the most current runway.

    Someday, the world’s top fashion designers may get completely bored or out of ideas and we may see a total reversal of what is considered “cutting edge” fashion. The trends will change toward conservativism, for a time at least, until somebody thinks of some other style to recycle.

    When I was a teenage girl, I was looking through an old costume book from the 1950’s. It displayed sketches throughout the AGES of what people wore throughout history. I was surprised to see how, even in medieval times the low-cut necklines of some of the dresses were pornographic. They may have been a reflection of what the prostitutes wore or something, but I’m not kidding, they were scandalous. The dresses were long, yes, but the necklines actually showed all that could be shown of a woman’s chest. Very revealing and extreme-bust-emphasizing and made me to realize that what King Solomon said was true, while writing the words of God, “There is nothing new under the sun.”

  5. choseninhim Says:

    CD-Host,

    “First off the use of buttons rather than hooks, outward buttons were considered immodest. The rich coloring, their impracticality. They weren’t modest at all at the time.”

    Galatians 5:1 states, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

    That would indicate that someone else dictating to us something that should be a conscience issue could be a form of slavery, bondage. We are free to submit to each other out of love and respect. This is not just a marriage issue, but one of concern for others.

  6. CD-Host Says:

    Well in terms of your daughter and their friend. You might want to recommend Larping. Teenagers, dressing up, self created plays…. they would have a blast. If they are into the middle ages SCA if fun but there are many others. SCA

    Now onto the adults…. Can you pick an adult who dresses like this as part of their regular lives and / or lives the whole lifestyle (home baked bread with milling her own grain, makes her own clothes…). And sort of go back and answer these questions. I guess if you don’t know I’ll stop bugging you.

    There is a certain irony here about a guy nagging a woman to open up and discuss feelings and stop talking about facts and events 🙂

  7. choseninhim Says:

    CD-Host, you said:

    “Can you pick an adult who dresses like this as part of their regular lives and / or lives the whole lifestyle (home baked bread with milling her own grain, makes her own clothes…).”

    – Yes, to some degree. As far as the “wholesome” foods, back-to-nature sort of eating almost to the point of obsessive — I’ve seen that in our congregations. I’ve also seen many long skirts and tennis shoes paired together amongst some of the more conservative homeschooled girls and moms. That’s their liberty and expression of their obedience to what they understand from their convictions. I don’t necessarily agree that it is strictly from Scripture. I could give equal amounts of scriptures that point to the admonition to not worry about food and clothing, as much as to the concern about our spiritual needs.

    I know many moms who bake their own bread, sew their own clothes (not that they look like Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice characters) and dutifully keep their homes. I do not hit that bullseye even 2% of the time. 🙂 But I let them do their thing, and I preach the Gospel — even with a messy house, jeans and my store-bought Wonderbread 🙂 I bake a loaf of whole grain now and then, but I get home-cooked dinner on the table nearly every night of the week. I’m also knitting a shawl to wear — does that count? 🙂

    My “feelings” about such issues aren’t necessarily important. I try to work out my convictions to what God has shown me in His Bible. I actually feel like I could share words of encouragement with anyone if it’s timely and if I’m wearing something that they could relate to on a comfortable level that would put them in less of a defensive mode. Not that I plan my wardrobe that much.

    If I showed up at a company picnic wearing a cocktail dress and spiked heels, I’d be a distraction for the people who just wanted to play softball, not to mention how hard it is to get to 1st base holding a martini glass and wearing heels!

    If I showed up to my daughter’s ballet recital wearing a tiara and a tutu, people would think I was trying to steal the stagelights.

    If I showed up at church wearing a mini-skirt and tube top I wouldn’t be loving others, including men who may be struggling with distracting thoughts anyways. I wouldn’t be loving my sisters-in-Christ and their concerns for their own husbands and sons thoughts about other women. I’d be putting a stumblingblock before them.

    My feelings are based on what God has shown me in His Word, that Christians are urged to put others before their own desires and that could include considering what we wear before gathering together. Some settings will have people who are less tempted than others (such as in your home with your own family members) and modesty will be less of a struggle than perhaps in a setting of mixed company, such as a homeschool conference, school, work, church, grocery shopping, etc.

    I’m a casual person but like to dress up sometimes. That would include some of my daughter’s homemade earrings she’s made for me. Arts and crafts and sewing are just some ways of expressing the God-given creativity that reflects His creativity. Making a mandate or unilateral decision on the expression of clothing (as in some teachings associated w/iblp) is legalism and man’s opinion.

  8. CD-Host Says:

    Kate —

    Sorry I was unclear. I’m not talking about your feelings so much since you don’t seem to have a particularly strong interest in clothes. You make pragmatic and cultural choices (which is the norm).

    I know many moms who bake their own bread, sew their own clothes (not that they look like Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice characters) and dutifully keep their homes.

    Are any of these moms:

    1) Ones you are close to (i.e. you know what goes on in their heads)
    2) Have unusual fashion sense (like the Jane Austin but could be anything else)
    3) Have a stronger feel for the clothes.

    In other words the kinds of woman from your first comment that you had to try and talk about what was bad about living in the 19th century because they loved it. Maybe the obsessive wholesome food people (assuming they also do the fashion). Obsessive is good for this conversation. That’s what I’m looking for. Their behavior should seem a bit “off” to you.

    BTW make or buy is OK. I just figured sew there own was likely to exclude people like yourself who are pragmatic about clothes.

  9. choseninhim Says:

    1) I associate with these moms through homeschool “classes” and church and have talked with them and broken bread (meals at their homes) with them.

    2) One dresses only in dresses that I’ve ever seen her in (a homeschool literature class and church and home) and she has a sort of Mennonite feel to her attire, but not 100%. She wears a kerchief. She’s very sweet and an excellent mother to her children and very devoted to her husband’s small business, as well as her entire family. They work together as a family in their business.

    Another homeschool mom/wife and friend of mine is ATI and attends the ATI seminars with her husband. They have grown children who also are in the IBLP mission field abroad and their younger children take IBLP vocational classes. They’re very conservative, don’t like the modern music as much and are but have more of a “home-spun” feel to their family, playing violin, piano, guitar with more “folk songs”, and also I’ve only seen the mom in long skirts, but I’ve seen her teenage girls at a picnic wear capri pants. They are a sweet family and very tight-knit.

    3) I’ve only picked up on some references, some inferences and have watched how these women have dressed in my congregations to get a feel for their convictions on clothes. I’ve never engaged them in dialogue on “what is appropriate” or not, as it doesn’t seem to have come up in conversation. However, I HAVE read the Basic Life Principles red book and some of the references of clothing (don’t know the exact page or anything) and how one man’s opinion seems to have been guarded as the sacred writ for clothing.

    After reading on another site that discussed the issues with IBLP (that Mike banned me from because of my conflict with someone outside of his ATI/iblp exposure group) 🙂 I came to understand a little more about why the people who are ATI/IBLP attendees wear what they do, why they don’t do/wear what they do and how they have followed more of one man’s “vision”. That’s not to say that they all do that or that they don’t come to their own convictions/conclusions.

    I’m not just pragmatic. I do try to follow convictions, though they could be more of a chore at times (like when I just want to go to church on Sunday with my jogging pants and t-shirt on but my conscience tells me to dress up to meet my King to celebrate!)

    As far as passing by a Jane Austen demure lady holding a parasol and talking with a British accent strolling by on the arm of a Mr. Knightley — no, I haven’t met anyone with that level of goofiness.

    To be fair, all of the people I know, including myself and everyone around me, are a little “off” when it comes to consistency. I’ve got stories to tell that would have your sides splitting from laughter or your hair on end from the creeps, or your kleenex whipped out of your pocket fast for the tears shed. Life’s hard. Let God clean us up.

  10. CD-Host Says:

    Just a disclaimer here I actually don’t know the difference between ATI and IBLP, so I may have to ask some dumb questions. Nor do I even know where Mike’s group is. I know Mike from Jen’s group.

    As far as the pragmatic comment, I didn’t mean that to be offensive. I meant it more as useful clothes in line with Christian conservative.

    Its starting to sound like the you don’t have contacts with woman who are heavily focused on early 19th century clothes, attitudes…. Their glamorizing is more of a casual sort of thing? Is that correct?

    Well either way thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions. That original comment was quite enticing but my theory doesn’t appear to be panning out.

  11. choseninhim Says:

    You weren’t offensive at all. 🙂

    “Their glamorizing is more of a casual sort of thing? Is that correct?”

    Yes. The glamorizing is more of a make-believe thing. It’s not their regular attire.

    Thanks for stopping by, even if I didn’t give any better help for your theory.

  12. Edu-ma-cation Says:

    Edu-ma-cation

    Fantastic post, you really have helped put a different perspective on this complex topic. Andrew

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