Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How Doing Something "Good" Can Keep You From Obeying

"Samuel said, "Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams." I Samuel 15:22


  • I woke up at 6am to write this blog post...and spent 45 minutes reading and answering emails.
  • I have been convicted that I need to shed one of my volunteer activities so as to be able to focus my time and energy on God's current calling on my life...but I keep putting it off.
  • A friend shared recently that her boys were so busy doing the dishes that when she said, "We need to leave for the grocery store, now"...they used the "good" of doing dishes as a reason to not obey.

I'm sure you can think of plenty of examples in your own life. We're all guilty of doing "good" things in the name of serving God, while at the same time neglecting to obey his Word.

Recently, I have been chastised by some Christian friends for speaking about home education in a way that is "offensive" to those who have chosen to send their children to public schools. After all, they say,  the education children are receiving in public schools is just as good as what you are providing at home, you can't keep your kids sheltered from the world forever, and any decision you make prayerfully about educating your children can be the right one for your family.

I used to believe this. I really did. I even said it a few times.

I was wrong.

I have been reading the writings of Dr. Voddie Baucham, Jr. and listening to some of his sermons (I love high speed internet!). He has convinced me that the Scriptures have a very clear teaching on what education for Christian families should be--and government schools are not in that picture.

Let me clarify my statements by saying that I don't condemn those of you who have chosen to send your children to public schools in the past or in the present. Government run education has become so ubiquitous--so normal--and home education so different--so counter-cultural--that it can be truly difficult to take what the Bible says about education at face value. That being said, I would encourage you to search the Scriptures on this issue. 

I would also encourage you to read the following blog posts by Dr. Baucham:



Additionally, I would like to point out that a quality Christian school can also provide the kind of education deemed appropriate by Scripture. Private schools can be expensive, though, and each private school ought be carefully evaluated on its own merits. We chose home education because it is easier and less expensive for me to give our children a Christian education than it would be if we sent our children to the local Christian school.

So what kind of education is commanded in Scripture?

A Christian Education. Voddie Baucham summarizes it well:
"I am commanded to bring my children up in the nurture and instruction of the Lord (Eph. 6:4), and to do so by teaching them God’s statutes when I sit in my house, when I lie down, when I rise up, and when I walk along the way (Deut. 6:7).  I am also admonished not to place myself, or by extension my children, under false teaching (Col. 2:8), or to expose them to teaching that undermines God’s Law (Matt. 5:17-20).  Instead, I must teach them to “take every thought captive” (2 Cor. 10:5), to refuse to be “conformed to the pattern of this world” (Rom. 12:2), and meditate on God’s Law day and night (Ps. 1:2)."
I am amazed by how many Christians see government schools as the "default" when it comes to providing education for their children. Even more alarming is how many will use their faith as a justification for it. 



  • "Our children need to be 'lights' in a fallen world." I'm sorry, but my five year old, as much as he loves God, is not a light--he is a sponge. Give him 15 minutes with a "questionable" television program--No, 30 seconds with a beer ad during a football game!--and he will have absorbed it. Public schools can be a great mission field for a spiritually mature adult, but they are no place for a young, impressionable child. Luke 6:40 states, "A pupil is not above his teacher, but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher." Who do I want my children to be like when they grow up? What do I want them to become? If I want them to be like Christ, then I must provide them a Christian education. Then, they will they be prepared to be lights in a fallen world! A couple hours on Sunday morning is not doing it for our kids. An alarming 75-90% of the church's teenagers are "graduating from God" when they graduate from high school. They are walking away from their faith. Some 85-90% of Christian parents send their kids to government schools. Coincidence?
  • "But, our schools are different!" The Beach Boys sang, "Be true to your school, just like you would to your girl." Public service campaigns have been pretty successful in getting people to believe that their schools are great and their teachers are all top-notch. Sure, maybe other schools are failing, but ours are wonderful. Even if they are academically stellar, your public school is not providing a Christ-centered education. Many Christians will also point out that there are Christian teachers at their child's school. This may be true, and I am happy that there are godly men and women stepping into this mission field every day. I am friends with several Christians who are also public school teachers, and their job is not an easy one. Nonetheless, no matter how godly and mature these believers are, they will not have a job for long if they start teaching from a Christian perspective. The foundational truths of the Bible--that God created us and loves us, that we are sinners in need of salvation--are necessarily absent from a government education. It is the responsibility of the public school system to provide a secular humanist education. When I remember that my primary responsibility in educating my children is to train them up in the knowledge of God, the decision about where and how to "school" them becomes more obvious.
  • "We don't want non-Christians to believe that we think we are better than they are." It's pretty easy to get involved in a whose kids are better-smarter-more advanced kind of argument in an effort to justify our own choices. Arguments like this tend to miss the point, though. People can think all sorts of things. It is my responsibility to teach my children in a manner in accordance with the Scriptures.
  • "But, what about socialization???" I've heard this argument for public schools over and over again, and it's a red herring. School is not supposed to be about socialization--it is supposed to be about education. For every story you can site about "socially awkward" kids who were homeschooled, I can site three stories of children whose ability to learn and develop to their full potential was negatively impacted by peer pressure, bullying, rude and uncaring teachers, and the like. The biblical model for socialization has always been the family and the faith community/church. The only example of the peer socialization model in the Bible is in the book of Daniel. In this case, the finest of the young Hebrew men were removed from their homes and families and were trained in the literature and customs of the Babylonians. (See Daniel 1:3-5) This was a blatant attempt by the government to rid the youth of their Hebrew customs and faith in YHWH. While we can admire and be inspired by the four young men who clung to the LORD and refused to conform to the Babylonian ways, we must remember that there were many, many more young Hebrew men who were part of this group. Of all of them, only four retained their faith and trust in God--Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Still think that peer socialization in a secular school is the best choice for your kids?


So, what does all this have to do with obedience?

I think many American Christians--the vast majority of us--have allowed ourselves to be deceived about government-run education for a long time. We've looked at the perceived "good" of our schools--whether it be academic, social, or evangelistic in nature--and ignored what the Scriptures have to say about education. There's a good chance that you will read this, be angry at me, or think that I am crazy. I'm okay with that. However, maybe, some of you, for the first time are being challenged to think differently about school and what it means for your kids and your family. If so, then I've done my job.




64 comments:

Kim W said...

Excellent!

Melissa said...

Thank you for this post. It was a great reminder as to why we have decided to home educate our three boys, who are blessings from God. Thanks again!
Melissa

Godsfamilyman said...

Well said!! This has been on my heart for a long time too.

As the homeschooling mother of 4, it's not an easy task. But I do believe it's a divine calling for Christian parents according to Deut 6. Reading R.C. Sproul Jr.'s book WHEN YOU RISE UP: A COVENANTAL APPROACH TO HOMESCHOOLING so encouraged me in this (even though I don't agree w/ everything he said in it). The only concern I have is Voddie Baucham's tone is really legalistic and abrasive, which I think defeats his argument for many listeners.

Anonymous said...

For the bible tells me so....little ones to HIM belong.....being reminded from time to time as to the purpose of homeschooling is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Amen Sister! I agree with everything you just said!

fourlorfanos said...

You should be proud of yourself for having the guts to write this. Many of us wouldn't expose ourselves to ridicule, criticism and yes, even hatred. In a way, I should be gratefeul that Pres Obama was elected - for the first time, I'm clearly paying attention and will be heeding God's call to homeschool my children.

wendy johnson said...

I have also become politically incorrect. I am not going to lie. Public school is NOT just as good as homeschool. They don't like it, TOUGH.
Oh and I'm not anonymous, just couldn't figure out how else to post my comment. My name is Wendy Johnson and public school is evil.

Teresa Smith said...

You have written very well. The most important thing we are to remember as God fearing parents is that our commission from our Creator is to raise Children to know HIM. We can only do this if we are with them when they rise, when they go down to sleep, when we go out and when they come in. This scripture form Deuteronomy is our command to educate our children ourselves, as their parents. I know I will take some heat for this but way to many Christians do not accept the tenets and precepts in the old testament as applicable to their lives today. Jesus does not say anything specifically about home education so it must not be important. Jesus never mentioned wood houses over brick houses or even steel frame construction....so we should live in caves?? A great majority of Jesus' words are his quoting the old testament. I would challenge everyone who reads this to re think their understanding of the old testament and how it is to be useful for teaching, for correction, for training in righteousness. Remember these are our Creators instructions on how we are to live our lives as His Bride. As His Children. As His People.

Cinnamon C. said...

Well said! I too am a Christian homeschooling mother who believes that the public fool (that's not a typo) system is a joke--and not a good one. I take the Biblical admonishment very seriously that we (parents) are responsible for our child(rens) education...whether it is done in the home or elsewhere.

Homeschooling is a sacrifice--there's no two ways around it. However, I feel that if I am obedient to the Scriptures and the Lord's command, then ultimately, He will bless me...which He's already done.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I didn't even need to read all your quotes, reasons and facts you used to back your position up.

We cannot serve God and mammon! Two Masters!

If a man has two masters, which one will he faithfully serve? When we allow our children to be indoctrinated by the World, we defeat all the good we do in teaching and raising them up with the WORD!

I'm not popular in my church either. We are not to be OF the world, we are IN it, and everything I do, is educate my children regarding what the WORLD thinks, does, and justifies. But right and wrong are not so blurred as the schools and popular media make things out to be.

The MOST important thing that our children need to learn, is how to LOVE God. We love Him through how we Love others and ourselves and especially our family. The next MOST important thing children need to learn, is how to respect their parents. Public schools teach there is no God and they disdain parental authority.

Socialization is really not taught in school, but rather negative-socialization, bullying, conformity, apathy, and how to be non-thinkers occurs in the indoctrination camps of public school.

So where is our Allegiance? Is it to God or to Man?

If you look at the history of the early Christian Era those first years after Christ. The Jews as well as the first Christians never put their children in the Roman - State run schools! Why do we? I pray daily that the God Loving parents will wake up and pull their children OUT.

Amen Sister!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post! I don't know how any person could be upset by this. I agree with you whole-heartedly. I would give this to my parents if they had not already come around to the idea of my home schooling. They are now backing me in my choice. My boys are 12 and 13. My parents now see the rewards of home schooling. Both of the boys are a delight to be around and are not absorbing all the public school rhetoric. In fact, my 13 year old is almost finished with "Arguing with Idiots" as his pleasure book.

For Their Future said...

Visiting from Asamom. Glad find your blog! Great article. Keep speaking the truth. The school system is filled with people using our children, filling their heads with thier indoctrination. It is mostly the 1960's and '70's radicals who are teaching in schools now. And they are going for the Churches too! We must be very watchful and guard children from satan, for he is leerking in soo many places! I may sound off my rocker, but as Beck said the other day everyone needs to be homeschooling right now! As long as this country is being run by radicals anyway!
Speak without fear!
God bless!
~Hannah

Here is a network for Conservative Christian Homeschoolers! Hope you will join!
http://conservativehomeschooler.ning.com/

Molly said...

I agree that home school is better than public school and that the times we are going through right now are making it more so. I also know there are many different situations in many different families and it may be difficult for some families to do home schooling.
I also believe that along with reading the scriptures to figure out what is right each parent has the responsibility to personally pray and ask the Lord for his guidance in what is best for your family. When the answer comes then you need to follow his guidance. The answer for me was home school.

cam said...

I agree with you, but I think you left off an important argument that's often used by people who send their kids to PS. "I went to PS, and I turned out fine." That one drives me crazy, and I want to say: First, did you really turn out fine? How much did you learn about American History? The Constitution? How to protect it? And second, even if you got a truly good education, it's likely your kids aren't going to the same schools you did, nor will they have the same teachers.
And third, regardless, most likely you went to school AT LEAST a decade ago, and if you're as old as I am, you went TWO decades ago. Are you really so naive as to think that schools, their curriculum, their atmosphere, and their social propaganda haven't changed——DRASTICALLY——over the past decade or two? The schools of today aren't anything like even the same school, a decade ago, much less two decades ago. So that argument is not only useless, but naive and dangerous.

Thank you for your post.

Anonymous said...

I can tell where your heart is. You will be swimming up stream. The call is difficult never forget what you wrote. Great encouragement for many.

Anonymous said...

Just want to keep encouraging all of you 'younger' moms. We have 2 years left of homeschooling our youngest, now age 16. Our oldest dragged us into homeschooling, which I thought would never be for me, ha ha. She was listening to the Voice of God, thankfully, and her little 4th grade pure heart knew that what was happening at school was not good. More about her, now age 23. She and her awesome husband had a most beautiful wedding this last May, staying chaste until marriage (no one ever taught me that in high school...though I attended a Christian school), are now expecting their first child this next May. Yeay! They are hoping to homeschool this little blessing.

I want to also encourage those who may be in a situation where you cannot homeschool, but wish you could or whatever...
I also teach church school to 8th and 9th graders (we live in a smaller town in N. Arkansas). I am tackling moral theology with them. It is what my own have studied at this age, and a friend who used the book the previous year,for the 1st time, suggested it, when I realized the book I was given only had 8 short chapters. I thought, these kids, all of them in public school, are not going to get this. So, we have been slogging through it for 6 or 7 weeks. I have been feeling like I am banging my head against the wall. This is a class of pretty good kids, to clarify, but have all had a public school education. So this week I gave them the 3 parts of a Moral Act, and said if any one part is bad, then the act is bad. I think it shocked them a bit. The 'trouble-maker' kid (he just loves to talk all through class), said, "Do you realize that no one teaches us this? That this is not what other people think." He said it not in an argumentative way, but in a way that was positive. Natural Law, the law in his heart, in all of our hearts,written by our Creator, told him that this was truth. It was a moment I wanted to cry for joy. So, if you have kids in public school, you do still own your kids, and God has the truth written on their hearts. All law is based on God's Law, Natural Law. There are all kinds of ways to keep His Law front and center, so that they are discerning about what they are learning. Parents can read/skim textbooks, go to teacher meetings, ask lots of questions about what is in the textbook. Yes, you will probably end up butting heads. Don't be afraid of that. Take courage! I remember the school sent a note home about some 'sex ed' program they were going to be doing, starting in kindergarten. They invited parents to come into the office and take a look at it. So I did, and myself and one other mom were the only ones who did this. We both signed exemptions for our kids, and they were taken out of class and not indoctrinated, at least this one time.
Please don't loosen the grip because you think you don't have the right to do so. I know how much it feels like you have given up your parental rights when that little K'er gets on the bus, or walks away from you and into the classroom. You are still the parent. It is what you say that goes first into their brain. They respect you more than you think.

Okay, sorry that went on and on. LOL.

Anonymous said...

We started homeschooling this year after 4 years of an award winning Catholic school, truly one of the best in the country. The school has to borrow public school texts to keep costs down, and the teachers don't necessarily have the best faith formation. We couldn't be happier with our choice. Thanks for the encouragement.

Tereza Crump aka MyTreasuredCreations said...

I think a lot of Christians are Christians only when they go to church on Sunday. The rest of the time they make their everyday decisions out of their own mind instead of consulting the Lord and using a Christian worldview. I believe one of the reasons we have the President, congress and senate we got right now is because the so called "Christians" did not make a Christian decision when they voted. They went with what looked good and not with what the Bible tells us to do. It happens in every area of our lives, take having children for example. There are so many excuses for NOT having them that what God has said about fructify and multiply has been completely forgot. It's hard to speak the truth but that's what God has called us to do: to speak and LIVE the truth. Your post was great!!! :)

Tammy said...

You've just said what many of us would LIKE to say (and I do sometimes say). You're preaching to the choir here but I know how tough this message is to get out to others. Homeschooling is an ENORMOUS lifestyle commitment. In an age where women are highly indoctrinated that just STAYING AT HOME is a humiliation akin to slavery, the idea of homeschooling is just beyond the imagination of most people.

I made the decision to homeschool before I was even married. I will unapologetically say that I do it because I am ANTI-government school. I think we have to use discretion and love when talking to people who have not yet allowed the Holy Spirit to convince them (we cannot convince anyone of anything ourselves), but I have wearied of soft-pedaling this issue with people that I know are spiritual enough to know better. I have heard all of the arguments you list above and given, almost verbatim, the answers you gave to them. After 13 years of homeschooling, I just don't have the patience to listen to people's nonsense and self-delusion anymore. It's time (as you have well demonstrated)to get to the root of the issue. There are only two Biblical purposes of the education of a Christian child- to produce an adult who knows Christ as Savior and Lord and to teach them God's Word sufficiently for them to live by it, defend it and evangelize it. Of course, we'd all love to produce intelligent, well read and well rounded scholars in other topics as well (and I think, as a group, we do that), but NO ARGUMENT should prevail over the fact that the ONLY information that is of eternal and life defining importance is NOT TAUGHT in public school. Even if the academics are the best on the planet and their faith is not specifically attacked (which I don't believe)they are still not learning THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. Let's face it, there will be totally illiterate people in heaven, probably a huge number of them. There will be NO ONE in heaven who has not embraced Christ as Savior. We are watching a mass exodus of young people from the church because an hour or two on Sunday morning CANNOT counter 8 hours a day of subtle but relentless indoctrination. As a Christian, I cannot imagine why anyone would need any further information in order to make the right decision. Even the "there's no possible way I could do that" argument does not hold. I always answer, "You are right. There's no possible way I can do it either, but God has called me to it and it's the right thing to do so I do it anyway."

Robin said...

Amen! I have been wondering how Christians can continue to keep their children in public school with all the indoctrination already there and especially with the NEW indoctrination that is coming. Though I will temper my words to produce thought, I hope, with the Lord's help, to become more bold in my "encouragement" for my Christian friends to re-think the Biblical commands for the education of their children. This is a battle and we have to see it that way!

JENNIFER said...

Well done. The world has slowly crept up on us all and into the church. Not only in matters regarding home school, but in birth control and discipleship matters as well. Can you imagine what the world would be like now if every christian family had let God decide the size of their family, then these large God fearing families home schooled?

Anonymous said...

Your are 100% correct!!! I think many home educating parents have reached their limit with the opinions of strangers. I know I'm personally tired of censoring what I say and have decided I no longer will. PS are a joke and I will no longer will pretend as if it's an equivalent choice.

Kevin Miller - FreeAgentUnderground said...

Beautiful post Tiana. Aside from the great point, you are also just a good writer. You have some quotable lines in here (the line about your kid being a sponge...right on).

You are called to speak what you feel is truth. Keep doing it. With compassion, but without apology.

My wife struggles with our staunch positions in life and the 'right and wrong' message we sometiems convey. So we've altered it into "Healty or unhealthy" when discussing topics like this with school. Right or wrong aside, what do we see as healthier?

And nobody 'chooses' public school any more than they choose to have credit cards or multiple cars or a microwave. We just have a society where it is what's offered. We don't know any better.

Most can't accept homeschooling because it would require more of them than they are willing to give. I know...cause my wife doesn't enjoy it. I don't enjoy her doing it. But so what, we believe it's best. I don't sleeping much either, but know it's...healthiest.

mommypoppins said...

I've have always been taught that "my" children are the Lord's.... entrusted to me for their safe keeping. I would hardly have the heart to pawn them off on somebody else for their education, for where would be the obedience in that? This is the reason that I homeschool.

thank you so much for this post and sharing your gift of writing.
God Bless

Anonymous said...

Amen!! I too have read Voddie Baucham's Family Driven Faith and have heard him speak. I want everyone I know to read it! He is one of few speaking out on this issue. So many Christians I know send their kids to public schools and think nothing of it. As their brothers and sisters in Christ, we need to tell them in love that state schools are not God's plan for them and to show them the scriptures to back it up.

I loved how he said that education = discipleship. If you're going to send your kids to Caesar to be educated, don't be surprised when they come out as Romans!

Luke 6:40 says, "A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher."

I don't want my children to be anything like the NEA, or the secular humanist teachers that belong to it.

Another person speaking boldly on this subject is Kevin Swanson, pastor and h.s.ing father of five. Check out his website and radio broadcast at generationswithvision.com. I am encouraged and reaffirmed in my decision to h.s. every time I listen to it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tiana. You're saying what i've wanted to say out loud to every mom i know!! I'm a homeschooling mom of 4 (#5 on the way), all still young (6 & under), and i see so many Christians who don't think there can be any difference no matter what you do with your kids. "They're all gonna go through those 'teen' years," they say like you can't raise children to love and respect those around them and each other, to honor their parents, and to make godly choices. If they only understood what public schools take from their children! Good for you. Thanks for saying it out loud! I'm not anonymous, just don't know what else to put in. I'm Jodi Tuten of Phx, AZ.

Anonymous said...

For 13 years I was a Christian teacher in a public school. Once about ten years ago, in my second grade class, a student of mine did show-n-tell. She sang Jesus Loves Me in two languages. Later, my principal called me in to ask about whether or not I had taught the song to my class and had them all singing it. I told her no, that it was just a student's show-n-tell. She was satisfied, but it's a good example of how careful teachers must be, particularly Christian teachers.

I have been a homeschooling mom for nine years now. I'm grateful for the freedom and opportunity to do this. Not all families around the world have that. I spent nearly 25 years of my life in the public school system, either as a student or an educator. Many would say I turned out alright, but I have no doubt I could have turned out much better! Anyway, it's the last place I want my own children to spend their precious growing-up years. Aside from the opposition to God that is so prevalent, the environment there can be very discouraging and even frightening to many children. One second-grader in my class lost control of his emotions and stomped to the chalkboard where he wrote a profane word; then he called the whole class a vulgar name. I had to evacuate my students until help arrived. Another third-grader with serious problems left the room in anger, kicking over a chair and yelling a rude comment to me. Sadly, my class was accustomed to his outbursts and didn't even react. I often heard similar stories from my colleagues, and these types of issues only scratch the surface of what public school is all about.

I do believe in equipping my children to be salt and light in the world, but I also firmly believe that the best way to accomplish that is by educating them at home. They must be immersed in God's Word and instructed in godly principles daily in order to be fully prepared to face the world and the future, whatever it may bring. I simply cannot feed my little lambs to the wolves. My kids are 9, 7, 5, and 5 months. I can already see the fruit in my older three. The "eyes" they look through are different. Even at young ages, they see things from a Biblical, Christ-centered viewpoint. I wouldn't trade that for anything!

Chandra in AZ

Anonymous said...

wonderful! i agree with everything you said! i have been homeschooling my now eleven year old son since kindergarten and i have watched him grow in CHRIST!

Gina said...

Tiana,
Amen! Awesome post; powerful, passionate and eloquently stated. May God continue to give you strength for the journey.

Stefanie Steele said...

Wonderfully expressed!
I am very glad you wrote this piece and posted it.
I am a mother of five (12,8,7,5,and 16 months). We have hs for 6 years. It is the best choice we made.
When my oldest was in Kindergarden in a public school the kids were allowed to bring a book in to class when they were the star child of the week. My daughter chose to bring in a bible story book about Noah's Ark. My daughter came home very heart broken because the teacher would not read her book. When we asked the teacher about this, we were told she (the teacher) could not read that to the class because it was a bible story. So we asked if our daughter could read it to the class instead. Fortunately the teacher said "yes". But our daughter was not reading yet so we had her memorize the book and take it and "read" it to her class. After that we began educating our selves on homeschooling.
We listened to RC Sprouls Jr. audio series on homeschooling. It made a huge impact on us and others that we shared it with.

We all need to open up and share more.
I believe we are the majority! We need to stop being the silent majority!

Anonymous said...

This is wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Dear sister in Christ,I am so pleased to hear another person share the truth about public vs homeschool. I am not as strong as you when it comes to sharing in detail the commands in the bible. I am the only one in my family who holds these views. My one sister holds to the idea of "light in the dark" and the other sends her child to private christian school. I still believe that if done well a child should be taught at home. I am also the mom who believes that all mothers should stay home with their children. I do not think upon having a child, they should be handed off to a daycare setting. I will stop now,or risk getting on a soapbox. Keep loving the Lord and speaking any chance you get. I also will be bolder in expressing my opinions when God opens the door. Peace and Prayers,B.

Anonymous said...

I am new to homeschooling, and have always considered myself Christian. It hasn't been until recently that I have been awakened to realize that I needed to be a lot closer to the Lord than what I am. I knew in my heart that the Lord sends us His children as gifts(temporary)and if He has done that, then the ones teaching them about the Lord and everything should be us parents. I didn't have scripture to back me up though, because I haven't taken the time to truly read and understand scriptures. Only what I was getting out of church on Sunday's. So thank you so much for this post. On top of other issues, this takes front seat for the reasons for homeschooling our 3 young children. And I might add, now more than ever. The push for the "green" movement is coming on stronger and stronger. It was in the Girl Scouts, it was in our daughter's 1st grade Catholic religion class, it's in my MOPS organization this year. It's being blended into everything, and I feel I need to keep my children closer than ever because they are puposely and evily taking the Lord out of EVERYTHING. It is SSSOOO important for us to teach our children the truth. Our daughter does not attend the Catholic class anymore, nor do we attend the Catholic church anymore. She does not attend Girl Scouts anymore either. The Girl Scouts used to be more about the Lord. Not anymore. So, so sad.

My daughter who is now 7 started the public school (and a great school by man's standards). We pulled her out halfway through the year. Our last and final straw was when our kindergartner asked me "mommy, what is sex"? My jaw dropped along with my heart. I always knew that by being in school, our children would have learned about such topics earlier than what I had hoped...but kindergarten!! C'mon. I asked her where she heard that word and she told me a little girl in her class told her that her and another little boy in their class have sex when he comes over. So So sad.

We are so glad we made the decision to homeschool. Our families focus on life is the Lord. Oh praise Jesus!!

Thank you for the post. Well done. ~Deanna

Anonymous said...

Okay. I haven't read all of the comments but I must say you have hit the nail on the head. The public school system has been teaching kids for a very long time that they have to obey the laws of the land and if it goes against their parents so what. To the public schools the law of the land and what most people want is rule it doesn't matter if God says not to do it. Well I have taught my kids at home some and now me and my daughter are teaching her kids at home. We find ways to put God in everything we do. The bible is left out on a table ready for us to find scriptures that say why we keep the house clean, pray, why we don't sew old cloth to new or the other way around. By showing these things to the kids it helps them see that the Bble is more then just a book but that God loved us so much that he gave us this great book to keep us health in mind and body. I have seen that when kids see just how much the Bible can help them in every day life that they want to read it and do as it says. So I think you did a great job with this work of art and writing.

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, yes! It is wonderful to read your blog and see the Holy Spirit working in your hearts and minds and those of your wee ones whom God has entrusted to you and Christopher. Stay firm and strong in your beliefs and endeavors, Tiana. I enjoyed all of the comments, and you young Christian women of God thrill my heart, filling it with unspeakable JOY. Yes, it is work, but that is what God, our Heavenly Father, wants from us, work out of love for Him. I know that He will bless you many times over. Just seeing your little ones KNOW Jesus, having such a strong faith, is reward enough. I am praying for each one of you women....Have a good and Godly day!! Pris Covey from Nevada, MO

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! This is just the encouragement I needed for my third year of homeschooling my two daughters. Wonderful blog! Thank you as well to all of the people who posted comments. It reminds me why it is so important!
It bothered me every day when my oldest started Kindergarten. All of the other parents so easily and blindly handed over their precious five year olds to the system, five days a week, eight hours a day. How could it not bother the other parents? I couldn't stand it! My daughter cried and begged me every day to homeschool her. We stuck it out until the end of the year, and we started homeschooling her the next year for first grade. I thank the Lord that I'm able to keep my kids home with me. We are all happier and more at peace!

Chris said...

OOOHHH!!! You've gone and made me cry!! We have been thinking of sending our 13 YO daughter to an early college program offered by our county. She wants to go to school......
She's also gifted beyond my abilities in math.....
I don't want to send her, but thought I was being selfish to deprive her of an opportunity to graduate HS with a 2 yr degree.
OOOHHH....ye of little faith!!
Your article has reminded me how faithful God's been throughout her whole life to provide for us in our homeschooling endevours.
Please pray for God's wisdom for us as we move foward on this path we're on, that we not be drawn away by the lures of this world. God's success is very often not the same as man's!!

Marisha Sears said...

I loved this! I am a 22yo single mom of two children. I had gotten out of school just 5 yrs ago. I honestly tell everybody how bad School was and that was before I gave my life to God. I was worried about not being able to manage homeschooling, but this blog just reinforced my determination.
THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

Paula said...

Thank you for sharing this.

teri said...

Wow. This is the most compelling, convicting, thought-provoking article on home schooling I've ever read. I'll be sending this link on to all my fellow home schooling moms!!!

Tiana, THIS is your voice!!! Again - just, wow.

You have fearlessly and yet tenderly spoken truth, and brought glory to God. Amen!

Project: Homeschool said...

Hey I couldn't figure out how to reply in the homeschool lounnge so I came here instead (and I'm glad i did cuz I love your blog! Your way of life is what I aspire to be!!)
To answer your question: go to linkwithin.com
it's just a widget you get there. It's VERY easy and self explanitory. Let me know if you need additional help :)

Anonymous said...

Tiana,
I, too, am a Christian homeschooling mother. I have been listening to and reading Voddie (books and blog) for some time. Another book in that vein that influenced me is Sproul's "When You Rise Up."

That said, at a later point in time, I realized I had become very proud and self-righteous in my heart about our choice to homeschool. As another poster said, I take the Biblical admonishment very seriously that we (parents) are responsible for our child(rens) education...whether it is done in the home or elsewhere. "Responsible" is the key word here. It does not mean that it *must* be done in the home. Remember that even the Hebrews sent their young sons to synagogue to be taught by the scribes and priests. YET it is clear that we will be held accountable for how we parent the children God has blessed us with.

That said, I do not believe that all choices are equal. For our family, public school is not an acceptable choice, and likewise not a lot of the private schools either.

But I also believe we must not be legalistic about it towards our brothers and sisters in Christ. There are those newer in the faith that perhaps God has not quickened their hearts in this way yet. As Scripture also tells us, we must not only admonish the idle, but encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, and foremost be *patient* with them all.

There are extenuating circumstances under which homeschooling is not possible (laws of the country, single-parent situations, lost job, etc.) and we must find it in our hearts to extend grace to others while being faithful INDIVIDUALLY to what God has called US to.

There by the grace of God go I!

Blessings,
Kim

Anonymous said...

Beautifully stated case. I have chosen homeschooling for a vastly different reason, but your reasoning is well thought out and not at all offensive to me! Well done.

Laura H

rebel4liberty said...

Excellent blog! I feel the same way when we talk about school at church. What kind of weak god do you serve if you believe He can't help you do what He commanded you to do? It certainly isn't the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! I think the US church as a whole is 'serving' an emasculated god, NOT the God of the Bible, and I think it is very apparent when parents make statements to the effect of, 'well, I (mom) have to work, we need my income.' (And here, I suspect that it might be covetousness that allows parents to put their 'stuff' above their kids) Or, 'I can't homeschool my kids'(Well, no you can't, but God can, through a yielded parent). Our job is to say 'yes' and yield ourselves to His leading, it's His job is to take our sacrifice and transform it into success. I think too, that parents, even homeschool parents have the wrong goals for education in mind as well. We are NOT educating so that our children can get into college and get a great paying job, have an expensive house and car. We are discipling so that they will know the God of the universe, trust in Him as their Saviour, then take His word to the rest of the world; and in that process they must be able to communicate effectively through reading and writing (phonics and grammar), and to be good stewards of their resources (math). And for good measure, be able to detect error in debate (logic), and communicate to other nationalities(foreign language).

Mrs. Carrington said...

God bless you for having the courage to stand up for biblical truth. I will be so bold as to say that no one with a truly biblical worldview and a heart of obedience would dare NOT to homeschool.

Yes, I am one that tried every argument in the book to get out of the command to homeschool that I read in Scripture. What it came down to was "Am I going to obey the Almighty Creator, The Living God, Savior of My Soul or all the Christians who say I am wrong?"

He gives us the grace to obey and all that we need to follow his commands, praise the Lord!

Keep speaking truth and following God...

Allie said...

Yay Tiana! Thanks for this great post.

I've been praying to homeschool my kids and also to be able to be home with them. Currently they're in daycare, but this is just until my hubby gives me the OK to leave my job.

Amen and amen to everything you've said.

I'd like to add that even kids who aren't old enough for Public School are being influenced by it. My darling daughter has brought home some really charming (read: horrible) terms from daycare, including the one we overheard last night: dog-style (doggie-style?!?!??!). I've been called profane names by my daughter, been sassed I can't tell you how many times . . . and she's three.

I can hardly wait to be home with them . . .

Tania @ Larger Family Life said...

Excellent post. I wrote a four parter on the reasons we chose to homeschool too. You can read part one here: http://largerfamilylife.blogspot.com/2009/08/why-we-decided-to-homeschool-part-one.html

Tiffany said...

I hope you do not mind but I want to link to this post on my blog, let me know if you mind and I will take it down. I just think it is important!! You can visit my blog at
http://theballardsblog.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Fabulous! My husband and I have recently decided to homeschool our young kids. I have several teacher friends and pretty much everyone else that hears our desicion all express the same concern, criticism and (basically) disapproval once they realize we're serious about homeschooling. I hear them say "what about socialization?", and "you can't protect them from everything", among many other things, often times in the same conversation as they complain about their child's school or district. I struggle with how to explain our choice to homeschool without making it sound like I'm criticising those who send their kids through the public system. I just try to remember and acknowledge that not every family is in the situation, or could easily get in the situation, to do it. It's unfortunate.
Thank you for your post!

Mary said...

Awesome post! I am going to share it :)

*Mirage* said...

God bless you for your obedience to Him in writing this! People are so scared nowadays of offending anyone but if you think about it, if we are never "offended" then how can we grow?! It must have been so hard to post this and wonder what nasty things people would say or what ways they would come up with to feel guilty. I'm doing a 4 parter on Halloween and I pray to God I have the courage to say what HE tells me to without pride or scorn or fear as you have done here. Again God bless you for your faith.

*Mirage* said...

You're my "Featured Bloggy Friend" this week! Come check it out!

Tara Miller said...

Thank you! Thank You! For so elequently speaking about this matter. Way to go lady. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this! As a mom of 3 (all at home after having been to public school), I love being confirmed that I am making the best choice for my family. It was especially difficult for me to submit on this as my mother has been a public elementary school teacher for nearly 30 years, and my father, rather confrontationally I might add, called me a "Stepford wife" for going along with my husband's request to bring the kids home. Let's just say ours was not the most comfortable of familial relationships for awhile. When I read what you have shared here on your blog, I am so encouraged that I am being obedient to what God has asked of all His children. Again, I say thanks!!

Karen said...

We have made copies of Dr. Baucham's sermons and given them to some young families that we felt would be receptive. God has used them to woderfully transform lives!

MrsMamaHen said...

This is an excellent post! I'm so glad I ran across it.

Phinnie said...

(I have a long response, so I will post several comments.)
Hmmm... I just have to say something. I would like to tell a bit of my story, to give you all something to think about. And thanks to Kim, for your evenhanded openmindedness.

First of all, I homeschooled our children for 5 years. I had lots of support, I joined a CM study group that met monthly (completely crucial), and we participated in field trips/playdates with other hs families. Also, our church is highly supportive of home education. I accepted all of your reasons/rationale for home education and was/am still a vocal advocate for it.

THEN...then when despite my best efforts and attempts at getting help from friends, experts, different curricula, I just couldn't reach one of my children (and during that 5th year it was so obvious to everyone that my other children needed to be on autopilot because all my time and energy were going to this one child) we decided to have her professionally evaluated. I did my usual homework and found a highly-regarded clinical neuropsychologist. Yes, it cost $2500. You get what you pay for: I've learned that it's not just the testing, it's the evaluation of the testing that matters. There's a reason some neuropsychologists have great reputations. No one can afford this, let's face it, but for the sake of a child who is struggling, no one can afford not to.

We learned that she is dyslexic.

Again, I had lots of homework to do, and I immersed myself in learning about language-based learning differences. Wow, there is a vast body of knowledge out there, and it felt intimidating, but like all of us, I'm determined to do what is best for my children--ALL of them. "No child left behind" took on a personal meaning for me, as my other children find academics easy and I was occasionally tempted to just use one of the homeschooling "fixes" that are abundantly hawked at conventions and in catalogs (and they don't work).

Turns out that the best intervention is Academic Therapy, which requires 3-4 one-on-one sessions per week, for 2-5 years. Yeah, and it's $55-$75 per session. Go ahead, add that up.

So after much prayer and discussion, we decided that I would get the training myself, in order to do the therapy with our daughter myself. It is rigorous, like getting a Master's degree, and after 2 years I still have one class, one national exam, and 200 more hours of supervision to go--there are 700 hours required--but I'm close to getting certification.

This intervention has TOTALLY changed learning for our dd. She has completed the program, and now reads and writes well above grade level.

Here's the thing: we decided to place our children in a well-regarded Christian school while I was pursuing this additional training.

Phinnie said...

(part 2)
And it's been the most unsettling, disappointing thing. We have been lied to, had teachers who don't teach, experienced cliques,... I could go on and on. I have come to the unfortunate conclusion that Christian schools are mediocre at best. The teachers are not certified, they get no ongoing education, they don't go to seminars or conventions, they don't know how to reach different learning styles... It was such a mess! Yet this school had hired an expensive marketing firm, and continues to represent itself as "academically serious, spiritually reverent." A sad joke. The building is new and impressive, the marketing is slick...in other words, the shell is lovely. There are mostly wonderful Christian families there, but by 7th grade there were enough students who would "toe the line" when adults were present, but say and do rebellious and outrageous things when left to themselves, that it was scary. Too many dinnertime conversations started with, "Mom, Dad, you're not going to believe this."

I have concluded that Christian schools serve to inoculate our children against the gospel.

One teacher, who had been teaching 33 years at that point, was so awful, so damaging to one of my children (try getting awakened several nights running by a tearful child who wants to know why God made her stupid) that I had to pull her out in February of that year.

I searched, visited many schools (including our local elementary school), interviewed several principals (now that I had learned how sly some could be)...and decided that the public school was the best choice.

I know, I know! I know! I've been in your camp! I agree with your rhetoric! I know!

But it turns out that this child, who had been placed in the lowest of 5 math groups (by That Awful Teacher at the Christian school), is gifted in math and science! And she had wonderful teachers (two in the classroom), her academic confidence was restored, and she made a good friend who is a Christian.

The principal and vice principal at this elementary school are Christians. Several of the teachers are. The professionalism, the openness, the dedication to having each child experience success, are AMAZING.

I enrolled all of my children in public school last summer.

Okay, take a deep breath. I understand. I believed all of the jargon too. After all, I had taught in public and private schools before having children. I was afraid of the corrupting influence of the public schools--which is one of the main reasons I chose to homeschool in the first place.

(tbc)

Phinnie said...

(part 3)
But I took this radical step: I visited the schools, I made appointments to meet with principals, and I asked questions. With that horrible, inexcusable experience with the Christian school in the forefront of my mind, and knowing all of the advantages of homeschooling, I decided to expand my knowledge and to not make decisions based on fear.

I'll cut to the results of this year: one child just finished 8th grade with 5 high school credits and academic awards for being on honor roll every quarter. Her principal also happened to be a Christian, as well as most of her teachers. There is an FCA group on that campus with weekly meetings; my girl joined of her own volition. I have seen her "own" her faith in a way I never saw before. I hear her on the phone with friends and the advice she gives is wise and godly. Next year, in 9th grade, she will take AP US History, Honors Physics, Honors Geometry, French II, ...and I can't remember what else. She is pursuing a career in information technology, so she has two electives in that field. She LOVES school!

My other children finished the year well also, with Christian friends, wonderful memories, amazing writing, math, computer, and science skills that would have been a stretch for me to provide at home. The dyslexic one? She got the President's Award for Academic Excellence. Even though we are SO not fans of this president, I left the awards ceremony, went to Michaels, got a nice frame, and had it all framed by the time she got home. It's like that amazing happy ending that I never thought possible.

And: yes, we are creationists, and our children are articulate about the problems with the theory of evolution because we have taught them about it at home. It has not been a problem in their classrooms. Their voices are welcomed by their teachers.

What about faith? Well, our children are still part of a Christian family that attends church, reads the Bible, prays together, doesn't watch TV, goes camping, treats one another with love and respect, works out our problems together... and I will also say this: Yes, my children were shocked by the language they heard from some of the children on the school bus. (Note: NOT in the school--it's a very calm, orderly, well-run school) But it serves as marvelous opportunities to talk about choices and consequences. How will you choose to talk? How is that perceived by others? Do you want to honor God at all times? Not everyone makes good choices, and how does that work out for them? Etc. It seems to me that being in a public school allows our children to choose to be Christian and to own that choice, and to begin to understand their choice while still living with us. It's great to have dinnertable and bedtime conversations that help shape their lives, as opposed to their being exposed to lifestyles and decisions later on, while they don't live with us.

Our children know of children who go home to an empty apartment, who never or rarely see their dads...and we talk about the adult's choices that led to this terrible situation for the child. Faith becomes very real at these times. Our children see that what they believe informs their choices, and that their choices can have lifelong consequences.

I have talked about modesty with my children from toddlerhood. Their clothing choices have always been informed by our convictions about modesty. I never allowed my toddler girls or 5-yr-olds to wear miniskirts, for instance. Start as you mean to go on. And talk about it! When one of my children describes what some other girl has worn to school, I ask,"What do you think makes her dress like that? What does she hope to accomplish? What do you think she believes about herself?"...and we have great discussions.

(tbc)

Phinnie said...

(part 4)
I have spent several hours each week in one of the classrooms this year. The teachers allowed me to go into the book room and choose a read-aloud, and as soon as I saw The Door In The Wall my eyes lit up. I've read the entire book to the class, and each child made a lapbook. One page contained 8 or 9 minibooks on the plague. Another page contained 6-8 minibooks on knighthood and castles. Another page contained an accordion book with 18 pages for chapter summaries (they had to write really small) and several other minibooks about the story itself. It was wonderful! I was able to point out that God had prompted believers to create monasteries at least 100 years before the worst of the plague hit (in 1349) and that because there were infirmaries and Christians dedicated to caring for the sick, the plague did not wipe out everyone. I hope the children "got" the idea that God provides and cares for us.

From my position, I have clearer eyes about all of these choices we have. I've met single moms who love Jesus and have no choice but to place their dear children in public schools. I see that it's what happens at home that really shapes the child. I will never give up spending time with my children, reading and praying and playing games, working alongside them as they master their home chores, hanging out at the pool, etc. The influence that my husband and I have is still the strongest voice in their heads.

I also see that career fields that I could not have prepared my children for are now real possibilities for them. Our county has created consortiums (clusters of schools) where students have the choice at the middle school level of pursuing Information Technology, Aerospace Technology, or Performing Arts. At the high school level, wow, it's like choosing college. Students can graduate with a nursing certificate, or with a background preparing them for law, medicine, international relations, engineering, International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, Leadership Training Institute, environmental engineering, --and that's just a few of the options. It's stunning. Students can finish high school with 21 college credits.

And while you're thinking, "Fine, but how will they serve the Kingdom," I ask you, when the graduates of this fancy Christian school tend to become teachers, what is going on? Did God create all of them to become teachers? Really? Or do they just not have a vision and the skills and support to pursue their God-given talents? Don't we need Christian biologists? Christian doctors? Christian engineers? Christian information technology experts? And can you realistically expect each of your daughters to be married by the time she is 21? What if marriage doesn't happen? What will she do with her talents and skills? Can she be a rocket scientist for a while, or do you think God wouldn't like that? (I know a homeschooling mom who left her medical career--she was a pediatrician--to be a mom and homeschool her children. Another friend is a dentist, but has put that on hold while she homeschools.) Without a vision, without the training and education, your dear daughter might get married out of desperation. Is that what you think God planned for her from the foundation of time?

If we are to "not exasperate/frustrate" our children (Eph. 6:4), doesn't that include not only the respect and patience of correct discipline but also the determination to learn each child's learning style, discover a child's learning differences if necessary, AND support their academic talents and interests?

(tbc)

Phinnie said...

(part 5)
When all the children are young, you might not be thinking about all these things. In fact, people often comment on how wonderful my children are, and I always say it's because we homeschooled for 5 years. It did really foster good relationships, good social skills, good communication, and intense discipleship. We did everything together, really Deuteronomizing the children. I always highly recommend homeschooling to anyone interested, and I've helped many families figure out how to homeschool, and how to choose curriculum, etc.

But if you've got really smart kids, don't be afraid to visit your local public school. Call and set up an appt. with the principal. Explain your concerns, ask about opportunities, and see what's out there. You're not being unfaithful to God by doing so.

Also, if you've got children with learning challenges, public school can provide the testing and the services that they desperately need. No, you don't just turn your children over and then go do your own thing: you have to stay involved.

For many years, I thought everyone should homeschool. Now I know that such concrete thinking is exclusive, and that it's not for everyone.

I think it ought to be recognized that sometimes public school IS the best option for a family, and it's not a choice that is driven by disobedience or lack of faith.

Sometimes the decision to homeschool is driven by lack of faith and by fear. That needs to be acknowledged, too. I know an ACOA (Adult Child of Alcoholic) who has such an enmeshed family that her decision to homeschool is really about control. Her home is a fortress, and her children are isolated and odd. Her 16-yr-old dd's life goal: to be married and stay at home with her children. She has no skills, no career ambition. When pressed, she could only think that she might want to be a horse groomer. The homeschooling there is NOT academic, because the motivation is control. That mom might accomplish her objective of keeping her children close, because they will never feel comfortable outside the home. But at what cost to her children and grandchildren? Do any of you have a dear son who you hope would marry that desperate girl?

Black/white thinking is rarely helpful. One-size-fits-all is not realistic. If you come from a background of confusion or distress, black/white thinking is comforting and can provide confidence. However, especially as a homeschooling community, we shouldn't be afraid to give honest thought to the possibility that we don't have all the answers.

I hope knowing my story will soften your hearts towards others who are also part of the great tapestry of grace.

Lauren said...

Dear Phinnie,

I have many similar experiences; we homeschooled for many years (and loved it), was struggling with one child I couldn't reach academically, had a horrible 1-year experience in a Christian school, etc. After really seeking the Lord in all this, I was lead to stop homeschooling altogether. However - this time - I did my homework; I visited all the schools in my area ... private and public. After dropping off my applications, a tremendous peace came over me. My children completed their first year at a new Christian school and the year was a success academically, our children are still moving forward in their walk with Christ (some quicker than others) in spite of the time they are away from me during the day, and our family as a whole believe that this is where we should be. It is not perfect, but neither was my sweet, little homeschool. God has been so faithful to our family and He has guided and protected us in this experience. My children are no longer in the protective bubble of our beloved homeschool, but the Lord is still with us ~ no more or no less.

When the Lord lead me to stop homeschooling, I questioned that idea. I thought that I would be giving up on what I was suppose to be doing. I thought that I would get a lot of grief from my dear friends who are still successfully homeschooling, but this wasn't the case. The Lord lead us to the right situation and my dear friends have been very supportive.

We are taking one year at a time ... who knows what the Lord has in store for us, but I know that I do all that I can to seek His will for our family as we plug along.

LKS

Lauren said...

I would also like to comment that no one ever made me feel badly about homeschooling. I had so much support and I believe that - for the time that I did homeschool - the Lord wanted me right where I was. It was a wonderful experience and I am honored that the Lord allowed me the opportunity to homeschool. I will caution anyone considering homeschooling that (at least in my case) it is easy to claim the glory. In my case, it was not intentional but I did feel that home was the only Godly answer ... that I was the only answer. After several years, God revealed that He had a different plan for us and that my homeschool was not the only Godly answer.

Love to all you dear homeschoolers,
LKS

Anonymous said...

Wow, what wonderful info. and testimonies both for home-
schooling and also for choosing a public school very carefully and prayerfully. May God help each and every parent to seek Him as to how their children should be educated. He said if we lacked wisdom that we should ask God and He will give wisdom to us. James 1:5.

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I'm a Stay-at-Home, Christian, "crunchy" mama. I have been blessed with the calling to be a godly wife and mother. I am passionate about bringing up my children in the discipline and instruction of the LORD, through home education and discipleship. Helpmeet to my best friend and soulmate, Christopher since 1/29/2000, and mama to four little blessings, including a tiny, precious, newborn baby girl.

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Bible--Child's Story Bible by Catherine Vos, Apologia Biblical World View Book 1, "Who is God and Can I Really Know Him?"
Catechism-- "Training Hearts, Teaching Minds" by Starr Meade
Phonics--Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
(Kindergarten), Year 1 Booklist (1st Grade)
Handwriting--Bible Copywork, made using Educational Fontware
Spelling-- All About Spelling Level 1 (1st grade)
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