Protect Your Children Emotionally and Spiritually (Part 2)
by Drenda Keesee
When we started home education, we were just going to do it for a few years and then enroll them in school. I had learned that home education could make a great impact on your child if you did it for the first three years of school. So when Amy was in third grade, I took her back to the Christian academy. They tested her for placement, and then the principal met with me. He said, “She’s scoring on an eighth-grade level! She seems very happy. You seem to be doing well. What is your reason to put her in here?”
I was shocked. I said, “I thought I was supposed to.”
He leaned over to me and whispered…
…“Between you and me, what you’re doing is really working. I would keep doing it if I were you!” I will always be grateful for his honesty and willingness to put my child’s heart and education over a school’s need to fill quotas. We kept putting off any other options year after year until we decided to homeschool until all of our children entered college.
Amy went to Christian college at sixteen years of age, and it was my first time adjusting to taking my child to school and dropping her off for an entire year. I was concerned about Amy adjusting okay, but the university’s Dean of Students said to me, “Don’t worry about her, she’ll do fantastic. The home-educated kids do excellent. No worries.” He was right. She landed the lead role in the college musical and aced her classes. The school tried to recruit her further to become an instructor, but she had other desires.
But home education only works if the model is right. You have probably seen varying results in different home-educated children. An occasional kid may be socially awkward, but most are hardworking and outgoing. There are a few stereotypically negative images of homeschoolers (and many negative of the public school crowd, too), and on the other hand, many businesses personally seek out homeschoolers for employees. Why is there such a dramatic difference?
My son Tim said it best. “Mom, I think home education is awesome, and I am so thankful you and Dad committed your time to home educating us. One thing I’ve learned, though, is that home education is the quickest way to replicate exactly who you are in your kids.” It’s true! I want to say that disciplining your children starts with disciplining yourself. I committed to grow as a person while I helped my children grow and learn, too. We both received an education in character, academics, and faith. We are replicating what we do in our children. Lest this frighten you, remember, the same holds true for the teachers and curriculums in the school system, and God knows what they’re replicating!
So we need to be the right example. If you scream and yell and lose your temper all of the time, your children will copy that. If you make excuses for wrong behavior, your children will copy that. If you manipulate, your children will copy that. If you betray, your children will learn betrayal. If you’re lazy, they will likely be, too. And no matter if your children are in the public school system or learning at home, they are going to learn something from your example.
Home education doesn’t promise a foolproof method that your child will not make some mistakes or that you won’t. People single out home-educated kids when one goes astray, but there are far more casualties and atrocities from the public education coffers. Homeschooling does, however, give you a firsthand opportunity to see that your children have the best chance at successful living. Innocence is a delicate flower, and it’s our job as parents to protect it in the home.
Excerpt from “The New Vintage Family” by Drenda Keesee
Drenda Keesee’s contagious zeal and humorous personal experiences help make her ministry of spiritual, emotional and relational wholeness one that will bless your life and spark a new fire in your spirit.
A wife of over 30 years and a mother of five children, Drenda has ministered at churches, seminars, and conferences, and through the mediums of television and radio, for more than 20 years.
Her books, The New Vintage Family, Better Than You Think, and She Gets It are available wherever books are sold. In these heartfelt books, Drenda shares her personal journey and the life lessons that have brought her to where she is today, as well as practical answers that all people need to live a joyful life.
Drenda and her husband Gary founded Faith Life Now, a ministry designed to spread the message of freedom in the areas of finances, faith, marriage and family. Faith Life Now hosts conferences worldwide, and sponsors both Fixing the Money Thing, which Drenda co-hosts with her husband Gary, and Drenda.
Through their own life experiences, the Keesees have found the principles from God’s Word to be powerful and effective. At one point, Drenda was a young, suicidal feminist with no hope of ever being “good enough” for her own standards of perfection. She never wanted the “inconvenience” of a husband or children, and she was on her own path to success. But the stress of trying to achieve perfection and perform for love left her broken and used. She had success, but it was nothing compared to the pain and loneliness it had also brought.
That’s when God got a hold of her heart. It was there—at her lowest point—that she found the One who accepted and loved her, faults and all. Since that transformation, Drenda has had a passion to reach women who find themselves where she once was.
She married Gary after attending college, and there she found herself in a personal boot camp of sorts. She says, “I cried and told God, ‘I can do anything but be a wife and mother.’” She committed to learning how to do it God’s way. Through the many years of raising their children and struggling to make ends meet, Drenda learned from their mistakes. “I didn’t know how to be a wife and mother, but God saved our marriage, taught us how to parent our children for success, showed us how to have financial success, and then irony of all ironies, He called us to ministry.” It’s truly because of these life experiences that Drenda can now share so many insightful principles for people who are now going through the same struggles.