Monday, February 18, 2013

Heart of Homeschooling: Looking Into Our Hearts

This February, I'm featuring several homeschooling mamas as they share their "heart of homeschooling." Today, I have Racquel Guevara, mother of a teen and a tween, and homeschooling for more than six years!

To read the rest of the series, click here. Make sure to check back once in a while during the whole month for more. I hope this glimpse of our hearts inspires you to at least look into the beauty of homeschooling.

I think I've written about the reasons why we've chosen to homeschool too many times. Maybe, it's my way of being in constant pursuit for a better way to raise up, parent, and educate our children. Of coping with the challenges of this unheard of lifestyle. Of convincing myself time and again that we did make the right decision. Whether those reasons are personal ones, or some articles I agree with or that have inspired me, you may read some of them (or all!) here.

But what really is the HEART of our homeschooling? Is it really all about academics and education? Despite it going against the norm and surprising us with difficulties we aren't prepared for, why are we still doing it?

It is God's command.

Deuteronomy 6:6-9 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

These two Bible verses are Heart #1. It doesn't specifically say that we should teach Math, Science, History, and all the other academic subjects but what the first verse says is "to talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."

How else are we to do this faithfully unless we are with our daughters from sunrise to sundown? Sounds exaggerated for today's modern times, right? But Mike and I believe that it is our duty and full responsibility, no one else, to teach our children, to train them, to guide them every step of the way. Personally being with them from the time they were born until they're all set and ready to spread their wings and being present in the different moments in their lives is what I personally think to be the best way to follow this command.

More than the academics, what these Bible verses really say is character-building is the heart of our homeschooling. I will never forget two instances when we received an affirmation on this when we were a very new homeschooling family. Both of them happened inside the church when we attended an anticipated Sunday mass. Both were out-of-the-blue. In both instances, we were told by two ladies, total strangers, that our children were kind, behaved, and that Mike and I were raising our daughters very well. Wow! That really caught us by surprise!

We have become closer. We have become stronger.

Six years of this lifestyle and we've become ONE. We eat together. We huddle and pray together as a family at church every Holy Communion time (I've never seen anyone else do this, actually). We laugh together. We sing together in the car. We look forward to and enjoy each other's company in our family vacations. We've cried. We've seen one at his/her weakest moment and we were there to give him/her comfort at the time he/she needed it most. We've said hurtful words, hugged each other, said "I love you's" and "I'm sorry.' We've been there for each other in big accomplishments and small victories.

This is Heart #2 of our homeschooling. We believe in the family as a unit. We believe in the value of the family as a plan of God. We believe in the family as a ministry.

Homeschooling is not something we decided on to be different from the rest. We feel that it was and is a calling which need a response, an action, and a commitment. It is a personal choice and a decision.

As I close this blog, I am reminded again by the note given to me by an office mate of mine many years ago. Back in Feb. 11, 1997, to be exact. Mike and I got married in December 1997.

It was during his quiet prayer time when he felt he received a message from God, which he said was FOR ME. He wrote it down on a piece of paper and I've kept it in my Bible since. His note said:

My daughter, do not look elsewhere. Do not look at anybody else. I have given you Mike and have set him aside for you. When I choose I do not make mistakes. I know my reasons and I do choose for a purpose. Seek for that purpose and pursue it - together. Seek it in prayer; seek it together in prayer. 

I have plans for Mike and you and I want you to carry it. But, this same plan will not be the same plan if you end up with somebody else. 

I look back at this note every now and then, and every time, I hear a little voice telling me that "the plan", "the purpose" is to homeschool our children. I could be wrong. It could be something else. But each time I read this, I get a different feeling in my heart that I myself can only understand.

Racquel Guevara is a SAHHM (yes, that's double H, which stands for Stay-At-Home-Homeschool-Mom), with two daughters, Arielle and Kayla. Arielle's 14 and is in 2nd year high school, and Kayla's 11 and is in 6th Grade. She and her husband, Mike, gave up their corporate life in Manila a few months after Arielle was born, and moved to Batangas City, Racquel's home province. A couple of years later, they found themselves attracted to homeschooling as an option for their children's education and as a family lifestyle. They have been on this "road less traveled" for over 6 years now, and hope to commit to continue doing it year after year through prayer and God's grace. Racquel blogs about our homeschooling life at Guevara Homeschool  Academy

Read the rest of the series:
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