**Please note, this was originally posted to my Steemit blog. It’s a community that pays you in a crytpocurrency called steem to write posts. You can learn more about it over here. If you become a Steemit user (a Steemian) you can also vote and take part of contests that I host there. My user’s name over there is @homesteaders life**
My Kids Go to (GASP) Public School!
Back when we lived in Ohio we started off the kids by homeschooling them. Our youngest couple of kids never went to public school while we lived there. Once God called us to NW PA to plant a church in the area known as “The Wilds”, we checked out the local school and prayed a lot about sending the kids. We didn’t know anyone here… at all. We moved without any connections to anyone. We believed it was important for us to just BE part of the community. How could we love it if we kept it at an arm’s length? I believe that God puts us at intersections in our life with himself where we can choose to honor him and grow or we can choose to do what we want even if it’s contrary to His will. We believe that God wanted our kids in the Public School. Believe it or not that is controversial to some homesteaders. But I’m thankful for the choice and God’s provision. One of the things that I’m very happy about is music program and opportunity that the kids have had.
Friends, Cody (r) and Noah (l), my son after finishing a concert.
Learning a Musical Instrument Is a Requirement in Our House.
We’ve got 4 kids and all the kids were required (by us) to take an instrument. We actually hyped it up as part of their fourth grade years. That’s the first year in school when they could pick an instrument. We’ve been blessed to have a great music instructor (Mr. N!) and a great music teacher/choral leader (Mrs. P). I’d love to go on about what an impact they made, but I’ll just say that I’ve found both to be God and Parent honoring teachers.
Ethan (r) my son, and his friend Caleb (l). Not only did he break his arm while ‘pal’ing around with Caleb, but they make great music together!
Show Your Kids Broad Horizons… But Still Have Expectations
I think it’s important to teach our kids to do a lot of different things. To try a lot of different things. My wife and I aren’t particularly musical. I’ve taken guitar lessons and have a couple around the house, but I forget more than I know. So I’m thankful for this public school music department. They have learned something in their public school life that has honored God and blessed our Church. We teach them so many things, like how to build things, work on cars, make fire without matches, grow food and animals, how to design things, sew things, make, produce, read, appreciate art (family vacations to art museums), and theater every year. We want to show them broad horizons, but we still have expectations for them to accomplish and not just be attention drifting, pleasure-seeking fools.
There is a false narrative, I believe, out there that in “freedom of will” we just let our children “be”. That we shouldn’t have expectations. I’m not telling you that you have to do anything. I’m simply sharing my belief. I’m interested in your thoughts too. Do you think we’ve went too far from not wanting to produce mindless drones to just helping to produce shiftless self-centered kids who expect to only do what causes them enjoyment or pleasure?
Teach Them To Think
They’ve filled the homestead with music and their curiosity has allowed them to continue to grow. I know even though people complain about the public schools that it’s our job as parents to raise them to question what is taught, to think for themselves and to grow in knowledge and grace of Jesus.
Say Thanks To Their Teachers
So this post is just a shout out to those who are still in our schools, serving Jesus and kids (Mrs. P!) and teaching them music and so much more. Public, Private or Homeschooled with group teachers helping… say thank you.
Teach Them To Serve
When I see my kids serving God on Sunday morning with the Church Worship Team, I understand John when he says he has no greater Joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. What great Joy. When I see them serving at school and doing the food drive, when I see them raking leaves or carrying wood for the elderly in our community, all of these things bring joy to my heart.
Our Worship Team serving God and bringing glory in our Church Thanksgiving Worship. All four of my children are there.
A few of my kids with my friend and fellow co-laborer in Christ Isaiah and his wife as they perform at our Public Thanksgiving Worship Service in the local coffee shop.
My Encouragement to You
I like things in 3’s. So here’s the three things I’d like to encourage you with:
- Whether public school, private or home school. It helps with their brain development. It helps with their school success. In fact the American Psychological Association believe that music lessons help boost their GPA and IQ.
- Do the hard work as a parent to have your kids learn to play an instrument. It’s hard work because you have to be consistent. I ALWAYS hear adults say “I wish my parents didn’t let me quit”.
- Teach them to use their knowledge, skills and abilities to serve the Lord and their fellow man. Don’t make them think everything is about them. If there is one thing I think that playing in a band does it makes you understand how your part can make beautiful music if you perform it right and in time, or how you can ruin it by being out of harmony or off beat.
My questions to you:
Is there anything that you require your kids to learn? What is it?
Do your kids play any instruments? If not, what is the thing they learning that will serve them their whole lives?
Do you teach them to serve?