March 12, 2010
After reading several homeschooling books, including A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver DeMille, The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer, and A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola, I began to pray about the decision.
During General Conference weekend of April 2008, I received my answer. I felt like every talk was directed to me and my prayers. Obviously, I don't think that homeschool is right for all Church members, but the Lord helped me see his path for my family through the words of the leaders of the Church and the feelings of the Spirit.
I have listed four quotes from that Conference session that I can honestly say changed my life.
Elder Kenneth Johnson of the Seventy said, "It is, therefore, our responsibility to safeguard the home as a center of learning..."
Elder Russell M. Nelson said, "Individual progression is fostered in the family, which is “central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.” The home is to be God’s laboratory of love and service...In our day the Lord has added, “Bring up your children in light and truth.”...You are God’s agents in the care of children He has entrusted to you. Let His divine influence remain in your hearts as you teach and persuade."
President Henry B. Eyring said, "The greatest joys in this life center in families, as they will in the worlds to come. I am so grateful for the assurance I have that if we are faithful, the same sociality which we enjoy here in this life will be forever with us in the world to come, in eternal glory."
Elder M. Russell Ballard said, "I am impressed by countless mothers who have learned how important it is to focus on the things that can only be done in a particular season of life. If a child lives with parents for 18 or 19 years, that span is only one-fourth of a parent’s life. And the most formative time of all, the early years in a child’s life, represents less than one-tenth of a parent’s normal life. It is crucial to focus on our children for the short time we have them with us and to seek, with the help of the Lord, to teach them all we can before they leave our homes. This eternally important work falls to mothers and fathers as equal partners. I am grateful that today many fathers are more involved in the lives of their children. But I believe that the instincts and the intense nurturing involvement of mothers with their children will always be a major key to their well-being...
Don’t overschedule yourselves or your children. We live in a world that is filled with options. If we are not careful, we will find every minute jammed with social events, classes, exercise time, book clubs, scrapbooking, Church callings, music, sports, the Internet, and our favorite TV shows. One mother told me of a time that her children had 29 scheduled commitments every week: music lessons, Scouts, dance, Little League, day camps, soccer, art, and so forth. She felt like a taxi driver. Finally, she called a family meeting and announced, “Something has to go; we have no time to ourselves and no time for each other.” Families need unstructured time when relationships can deepen and real parenting can take place. Take time to listen, to laugh, and to play together."
After General Conference weekend, my prayers changed. I started to pray that I would have the full support of my husband in this life-changing decision. It didn't happen immediately, but I waited patiently. In the period of a couple months, he came around.
I am so thankful for the power of prayer. It is an essential part of my decision-making process.
You can visit Emily at her blog Homespun Light where she has hundreds of reviews of good, clean books and likes to blab about homeschool, family, and life in general.