Saturday, May 14, 2011

Homeschool Group

Thu I went to a Mom's Night (dinner) at the homeschool group I was newly aquianted with. It gave me A LOT of thoughts. I had to say, we had been praying for a long time for a group. It seems that it's mighty hard here in Queens, NYC. And when I found this group, it felt like God answered my prayers.

Last time I went (for the first time), they were doing a Passover Seder, which was wonderful for me (cos I've never seen one done, and the Messianic Rabbi was amazing) but it was not exactly what I thought a group does (I was more thinking of "support" groups). But something happened that night that made me think about God's "leading". I wrote that experience in my personal blog and here it is:
* * * * * *
Last week I got to know a homeschool group by chance. And they happened to meet near our place (20 mins drive) and they were going to meet the day I found them! ha. We were looking for a group for a while, though we have not really known what we're needing the group for. It seems that the home is enough (Clarkson) for our kids.

anyhows I went and the meeting that night was a Messianic Jewish Rabbi who was teaching on Passover, and giving the entire Passover Seder. It was very interesting in my view and I learnt a lot and this Rabbi was very genuinely passionate about Christ! His attitude inspired me.

I had a little adventure finding that place and the neighborhood didn't feel too safe to me (maybe it's just me). And on the way I prayed that God will arrange the conversations for me in this group for I had no idea what to expect.

The lady sitting beside me turned to me and asked "Do you homeschool long?"
Me: No, I just started. My oldest is 5.
Lady: How many do you have?
Me: I have 3. 1,3 and 5.
Lady: Do you homeschool all of them?
Me (puzzled): er...the other 2 are still small
Lady: Why do you homeschool?
Oh my. I was taken aback. I thought I was at a homeschool support group. I didn't expect to answer such a que...

Anyhows, later I found that she homeschools one of her two kids, the nine-year-old because she's "slow" and no school can take her. With a super sad and resigned face, she said "What can I do? I have no choice but to stay home and teach her"OH MY. This REALLY hit me HARD. SO, this was the divine conversation I was to have. THANK YOU GOD that You gave me joy and a purpose to homeschool! I cannot imagine homeschooling with such a heart, it must have been so burdensome.

On my way back, I prayed for the lady. She needs much.
* * * * * *

This time, I was happy for a chance to meet up with other moms and actually talk.

 The 1st mom I met have 5 kids (how lovely) her youngest the age of my oldest. She is teaching in public school (huh?) Then I realized her older three schools at home (via an internet curriculum) and her younger two attends the school she teaches. I don't know how she does it and why she had to (there must be a reason cos she kept saying "I really didn't think the environment is good") But all the time she said "it's tough"

The 2nd mom I met (a Chinese mom) has a 14 year old piano protege. He studies in Julliard, goes around everywhere for performances and competitions. Because of that the private school he was in was not able to accommodate his many "leaves" and she pulls him out, quit her job of a Math teacher and homeschools him (on the road). She was very envious of the 1st mom. Her eldest go to Stonybrook and she said with much much regret, "Yale is too expensive"

The 3rd mom has 3 kids, the 2nd has autism. She doesn't cook at all. Her eldest go travelling around the world with grandma when she can.

The conversations around the table at night revolves around what colleges to go to (plus a couple of stories of the genius' mom stating the importance of not "letting talent go to waste") because one of the mom's daughter is going this Fall, the importance of not having the kids being vaccinated too early, and other stuff. None being homeschool stuff.

The only time redeemed was when the 3rd mom turned to me and asks if I like homeschooling. "Yes!" I smiled brightly. And she asked me why. And then she said "The kids are so precious, I cannot imagine why I wouldn't spend my time with them raising them and let others do that." I was encouraged.

Anyhows, I felt...really confused at the end of the night. I felt like...maybe I overidealized homeschoolers. I was looking for homeschool moms who are energized, joyful and purposed. Who raise kids to love God more than academics, to love learning more than books and to live life more than the world. I know I'm silly. Of course, we're going to be discouraged at times, but how about overall? I didn't expect to hear moms who "HAVE TO" homeschool, or focus on generating the next generations of Havard-ers, Yale-rs or ...

Hmm...a lot for me to think about.

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