Even if you school year around, each August/September brings the question to mind:
To join a co-op, sports team, etc. or not?
With homeschooling becoming ever more popular, there are many options, especially for those of us in a more urbanized area. And believe it or not, there are even co-ops in rural areas too (my tiny town has a homeschool co-op)!
However, just because there is a co-op (or whatever the extracurricular activity may be) doesn’t mean we have to join it!
Sometimes, and oftentimes, the Lord calls us to come home. We must listen to the Holy Spirit and see what His will is for us. Have you ever felt frazzled? In a hurry to get from one activity to another? Does your laundry pile grow and dinner is an afterthought? Is this a weekly ocurrance? Do you have peace in your soul? Are you staying in the Word, or is the rush of getting from one activity to another robbing you of loving the Lord and your family more and more?
Call me old-fashioned, but I pretend and dream sometimes that I am Laura Ingalls Wilder on the lonesome prairie with just my family. In a busy world with people all around us, social media overload, activities to go to and from, it’s no wonder we feel overloaded! God did not intend this to be our situation!
Perhaps it’s time to stay home and enjoy the real benefits of living life at home! Well, this is where we are at as a family. Last year we joined a co-op, and my son participated only in soccer one day per week. But I also went to ladies Bible study on base, and we attempted another extracurricular activity. This coupled with driving great distances because we live out in the country. My soul was not at peace, and I longed to be at home! Truth be told, so did my son.
Dear parents, God commanded us in Romans 12:2 NOT to conform to the pattern of this world! Now before you get upset with me, hear me out. I’m not trying to judge those who join co-ops and other extra curricular activities, nor am I saying that because you do, that you are worldly. What I am trying to say here is that we must seek His will for our families. If we are harried and our souls are not at peace, and the home-front is a chaotic mess, perhaps we need to come home. Perhaps we need to have a long talk with our Father and seek His perfect way for our family.
Co-ops CAN be a blessing. I am blessed by the people that we met. I wouldn’t take back our year we spent participating with the co-op. However, I knew a few weeks into it that God was speaking to me to stay home. And because I don’t like to break commitments and want to instill in my son following through on commitments, we finished out the year.
Staying home doesn’t mean never, ever going anywhere. Let’s face it, we have to grocery shop. We go to the library. There are doctor’s appointments, field trips, park days, church/ministry outreach….and on and on!!! Staying home means developing a lifestyle that revolves around the routine of life. There is so much to learn at home! And I don’t mean staying home and doing such and such curriculum. There’s much we can teach out children as we do chores, weed the garden, cook dinner, take a meal to a neighbor, and so much more!
In Marilyn Howshall’s book entitled “Develop Vision for Your Family,” she touches on this subject of staying at home in a way that really is encouraging!
Getting to know God should always be our immediate purpose in life and that season to remain as focused and uncluttered as possible until He chooses to branch us outward.
(She goes on to say a few paragraphs later) Any regularly attended group event, program, or peer segregated opportunity will undermine the family unit if the family is not already built on a strong foundation of unity and purpose…So I learned how to enrich our life from within the home and, as much as possible, refrained from looking to outsiders to provide educational opportunities for our family. The more responsibility we were willing to assume, the more our children would learn to do likewise.
As you seek the Holy Spirit in the season of life, I pray you are blessed with an uncluttered, Christ-centered, Holy Spirit-driven homeschool!
Because of Him,