Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Lessons from a Sponge I admit, I have let my children watch the dreaded of all cartoons...Spongebob Squarepants. But recently, I learned a lesson from our little yellow friend.

My husband and I determined over the summer that we would begin homeschooling our three children this Fall (ages 8, 5 and 2). However, with my husband attending Bible college full-time and working 3/4 time and me still working outside the home full time, we decided to send Logan (8) and Emma (5) to the local elementary school instead. We came up with a variety of excellent "reasons"...but looking back, they were really excuses. Needless to say, we are spending this year preparing to home school next year.

One of the many things I dislike about public education, perhaps the biggest one, is the drive to put children in a "normal" box. Standardized tests, large class sizes, and unbending teaching techniques encourage sameness, often referred to as "equality" (it sounds less intimidating that way). And if my child doesn't fit into that box? Well, we can label him or her with a disorder and medicate them until the do fit!

Don't misunderstand...I am not saying all teachers try to "equalize" their students. In fact, I think there are many teachers that encourage individuality and uniqueness in their students. However, those teachers are not supported by the administration of the education system in our public schools. I also don't think that ADHD and ADD are "fake" disorders, but I think they are over-diagnosed and medication is over-prescribed to make children more compliant and less active in the classroom.

So back to my lesson from Spongebob...on a recent episode he had a desire to become "normal" to fit in with his friend Squidward. So he changed his appearance, his living arrangements, his clothing, his job, his voice, virtually everything about him that made him an individual. The end result was that he was to "normal" for even Squidward!

So the lesson learned is..."normal" is not always better. In fact, God calls us to be outside the mainstream, to be "abnormal". We are sanctified by God, set apart as His children. I don't want to relate to a worldly culture, I don't want my children to fit inside a nice, normal box. I want people to look at me and my family and say..."what is different about them?". I want that difference to be GOD!

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