I have come across a few internet items lately which have put into words the expressions of my heart. John Piper's sermon entitled "Do Not Forsake Your Mother's Teaching", A blog post entitled "Professionalism and Children", and a quote all addressing the issue of parenting and schooling our children. If I wasn't fully convinsed to start the journey of homeschooling before, I am now.
First, the article of professionalism and children reached into what I have inexpressibly felt in such a short, precise way, that I would urge you to read it over this post. The truth is, society at large does feel that childcare is better left to professional caretakers. It is the claim that the children are better off in age-appropriate activities with other children. Well, I have been a "Professional child care provider" and let me just be honest: As happy and excited as I acted to see your child, my love for them did not add up to parental love and concern. Such is the case with your child's wonderful and perfect nanny, day-care provider, or teacher. At the end of the day, your child is just a job to them.
Parents seem to be pegged as "always knowing best." You buy the best stroller, find the best doctor, use the best mothods for childraising...and then drop them off at childcare to be raised for the majority of their waking hours by someone other than yourself who, if you bothered to secretly watch, is undoubtedly doing things very differently than you would. Can it really be possible that this is the best for your child?
If you didn't feel the weight of parenthood by the above article link, perhaps you should read Piper's sermon. I remember listening to this a while ago and weeping at the weight of parenthood. At the end, at the final judgement, it is me who will be responsible for the raising of my children. Yes, it is okay to use outside help, but the blame or commendation will lie on my shoulders.
But aside from the eternal weight of responsibility, I can't even explain the joy that would be missed if I wasn't with my children. Yesterday, for example, I was able to witness my child weighing death in his mind. He croutched, for a long time, over a worm that had wiggled onto the hot pavement and died. Finally, after much consideration, he asked, "Mommy, are worms animals?" I could see the workings of his emotions: "Should this be sad?" So, I sat with him for a little while, with a feeling of blessedness that I can be there for him as he learns to sort through the difficult questions of life. In the end, we burried the worm.