Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Foundations by Melissa Keen

Miss Melissa Keen has graciously given me permission to publish her notes from a speech she gave at a homeschool group meeting I attended in Alabama.
My parents have often told us that they entered marriage and parenthood completely unprepared. Neither of them knew the ins and outs of running a household or being responsible for the lives of others, not to mention themselves.

No time was spent thinking towards the future and the impact that their present actions would have on generations to come. Their preparation years were wasted in being molded, discipled and influenced by the unbiblical thinking of the world and their peers. In raising us, they have constantly reaffirmed that they do not want us to waste our preparation years as they did.

When my parents married, they both disliked children and didn’t want any of their own, probably because they had never had any interaction with children. However, after 7 years of marriage, they realized something was lacking.

With the birth of their first child God did an amazing work in their hearts and brought them into an understanding of what had been missing. They were astonished to realize that, until they had children and a growing family, they had simply been selfish individuals living life to please themselves. They knew then that they wanted something better for their children.

My parents began homeschooling me in 1986, the year my sister was born. Twenty years ago, there were very few homeschoolers to be found. The parents who did homeschool didn’t have support groups or the encouragement of others in the church community. Equipped only with God’s Word and the conviction that He had given them, my parents set out to chart a different path for our life preparation.

Preparing for a different future means preparing today. It means making hard choices everyday that will affect the days, weeks, months and years ahead. This is how our parents trained us to think and act.

Our parents have taught us to think generationally. The choices I make today will impact future generations. When you have a mindset of preparing for your future family, you feel a weight of responsibility knowing that your decisions today will affect the lives of others for generations to come. Not a moment can be wasted. There is not time for foolishness. There is not time for making selfish choices. There is not time to take the easy route. As Christians, we must be about bigger things.

So how does this affect homeschooling?

Education is about discipleship. It is NOT just about learning reading, writing and ‘rithmetic. These subjects are simply tools. They are not the end of education.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 states "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

If these are the times parents are to disciple their children, then when are they not to disciple their children? What times are left?

Government schools, church schools, tutors and colleges cannot ever know your children better than you. They are absolutely incapable of ever seeing the future that you see for your children. That requires individual attention and effort.

Instead, these educational institutions focus on making all students alike – bringing them all to the same level and giving them all the same education; molding them into the same person. The end result is that they are who they have been programmed to be – creatures of their education. They have no vision. They have no individual goals or aspirations. You end up with a society of cookie-cutter citizens. There is no future in that.

Home-education has given our family the freedom to make a different choice. Each person is different. Each family is different. All situations are different. But for my family, we see that it is vital for us to tailor our activities and education to fit the vision God has given our family. Where do we desire to see our families generations down the road? It is our holy responsibility before the Lord to consider this question.

I’m 24 years old. I have a sister who is 20, another sister who is 14, and a brother who is nearly 12. We have all been home-educated our entire lives. For my next sister and I, that included the college years. Our parents have instilled in us the knowledge that we must focus on life preparation above all else.

Rather than attending a college where we would spend thousands of dollars for four years to maybe learn one year’s worth of what we wanted to learn and a lifetime of what we didn’t want to learn, we chose to stay home, under our parents’ direction, for further teaching. In making this choice, we’ve both been able to choose interest-directed studies, encouraged by our parents’ direction.

We haven’t had to study false philosophies. We haven’t had to study to meet bizarre government requirements. We haven’t had to waste our time being who a college thinks we should be rather than who God has called us to be or who our parents have raised us to be.

My sister, Lindsay, is a gifted photographer. Being homeschooled has allowed her to take time and focus her energies into perfecting this skill. She started out her education by asking questions of and tagging along with a friend who is an excellent photographer. Once she realized this was a sincere interest, she took an intense, week-long course in Dallas, Texas.

She is currently enrolled in the New York Institute of Photography as a correspondence student. Best of all, she has had the freedom to learn by practical experience. She has already done 3 weddings, several family portrait sittings, a historical tour in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas, a film festival in San Antonio, two father/daughter retreats at Callaway Gardens, and countless other events.

At only 20 years old, she is called on by ministries and organizations across the country. Her work can be seen on half a dozen websites, and this number is growing.

If she had chosen the route of college, she would still have 2 years of ‘education’ before she was stamped and approved as ‘qualified’. Why waste the time? and why waste the money? Worse yet, why waste all the years our parents have been laboring to mold her into their daughter rather than just another average 20-year-old girl puffed up by a diploma that qualifies her for nothing?

My interests are different from my sister’s. I enjoy photography, but it is more of a nominal interest for me. Instead, my interests have been interior decorating and design, fashion design - particularly historical costumes, floral arranging, cooking, hospitality and music. How many majors would that be if I had attended college? Too many! In attending college, I would have had to severely limit my interests and education.

Just this past weekend, I had the privilege of helping out during an event for Justice Parker’s campaign for Chief Justice of Alabama. About 55 college students had also come down from Liberty University of Lynchburg, Virginia, to help out for the weekend. In the course of my conversations with many of these students, I realized that I never heard a single student say they were happy about being at college.

The conservative students were complaining that life at school wasn’t all it was cracked up to be because they didn’t get to focus on what they came there to learn and were, at the same time, surrounded by a bunch of dissolute peers. The liberal students were complaining that at college they were so restricted that they didn’t get to live the lives of dissipation they had thought they would be free to live. Seeing the lives some of these students were capable of living under these ‘restrained’ circumstances and knowing this wasn’t enough for them was disturbing in the extreme.

When they asked where I attended college, I replied that I had chosen not to go to college for some of the same reasons they were unhappy with their college experience. Instead, I had used that time of my life to study according to my interest and skills.

Under the direction of my parents, I took the many things I was interested in and narrowed the list down to things that were actually practical for present and future use. What were some things that I needed to learn? What were some things that I wanted to learn? Together, my parents and I worked through this list to find the answers.

For instance, I took an intense week-long course on Interior Design that shocked the representative of a four-year Art School who recently contacted me about enrolling in her program. When she asked about my previous experience, I gave her a brief run-down of what I had been taught during this course in Dallas. She couldn’t believe what she heard. From what I understood from her, it would have taken about 3 years in her program to learn what I had learned in a week elsewhere.

I have also been able to take an accelerated course in English grammar and composition to polish my writing and communication skills, as well as a course in floral arranging, each through correspondence.

One other thing that my father desired to have me learn was sewing. This was a bit more of a challenge. I tried taking several classes to no avail. The information just wouldn’t stick. ☺

Finally, I stumbled across Jennie Chancey’s website shortly before she started offering online sewing classes. I immediately signed up and was hooked. One of my greatest joys is historical costuming, but sewing for everyday use is a wonderfully practical skill, too. With this skill, I have been able to custom-tailor clothing for myself and my family, meeting unique fitting needs. I’m now teaching my mother and sisters how to sew. We hope to soon start a home-based Internet business providing attractive, modest, feminine clothing for mothers and daughters.

Each of these skills that I have named are skills that I can use in all phases of life. They are not careers as that is not my calling as a woman. They are not time-fillers or ways of fulfilling myself that I’ll have to then turn around and give up when I marry. They are simply tools to best suit and care for my household. Today, that household is my father’s. Someday it will be my husband’s. In the mean time, I am using all opportunities and every focused minute to further the goal of preparing for the future.

My father’s family lives a life of hospitality which provides ample opportunity for me to practice what I’ve learned at home. Cooking, decorating, communicating, arranging flowers, sewing – all of these things can come into play with hospitality. Not only can these things be used now in my father’s home, but each of them will also be valuable gifts someday in my husband’s home.

The home is the kingdom of the man - whether that be father or husband, we as women are responsible to see that his kingdom is an immaculate representation of him as a man. In this do we bring glory to God’s created order for the home.

Such is my desire in preparing myself for the future. My parents have trained me to have a heart for home. They have instilled in me a desire for being a godly wife and mother someday. Practice makes perfect, we’ve all heard. What better time to practice than now? What better place to practice than home?

What better way to learn how to prepare for the real-life future than through home-education?

I am grateful for the difficult stands my parents have taken over the years. I am grateful for the sacrifices they have made for me and for my brother and sisters. But most of all, I am grateful that God gave my parents a long-term vision for victory and the courage to follow a different path for our family.

I want to close with a short quote from Patrick Henry. Addressing the Virginia Convention he stated, “The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave."

May we all strive to be vigilant, active, and brave. Vigilant in that we remain constantly alert to the dangers of mediocrity. Active in that we work against such in our own lives. And brave in that we dare to take a different path when necessary. Only by taking a different path can we bring glory to a God who has called us apart to be His own people.

37 comments:

Scooby said...

Oh I am so glad I have found your blog!

Absolutely wonderful and I am looking forward to reading more :o)

Father's Grace Ministries said...

I loved your article. I have 2 little girls aged 4 1/2 & 2 1/2.Although at this point we have chosen not to homeschool( we have chosen a tiny Baptist school),I am totally committed to using all the available time I have to bring them up in the ways of the Lord & not in the ways of the world.I recently posted on how we teach them modesty on my blog.I will be so blessed if the grow up with the same convictions you have.
Claire

Claire said...

Very well-written! Thank you for expressing yourself so beautifully.

Blessings,
Claire

Elizabeth Ellen Moore said...

Thank you for posting this article by Melissa Keen. It is an encouragement to read of other young ladies who share my values, and it makes me want to press on and let God work on my heart even more.

Heidi said...

What a beautiful perspective! I thouroughly enjoyed reading this post.

Anna Naomi said...

Thank you so much for posting this, Sarah! It was very encouraging, as I'm thinking and praying about studying more at home instead of going to college... The post was beautiful, with all the lovely pictures you added! It was so fun to read. Thanks again, and may God bless your work!

T. Suzanne Eller said...

Wow.

Suzanne Eller, author
http://realteenfaith.blogspot.com

Erin said...

Sarah, this is a wonderful article. Thanks for publishing it!

Kathleen F. said...

Sarah,

What an excellent article/speech by Melissa. Thank you for posting it. I am encouraged even more to try to teach those same things to Elizabeth.

I also really like the pictures you post on your blog.

God bless,
Mrs. Felmey

Eliza said...

Wow, I just found your blog and it's great! Hope you don't mind if I keep a link to it from mine so I can check back?

In Christ,

Eliza

Micah Noel Sarensen said...

Thank you so much for sharing this article, Sarah. It expresses my sentiments exactly. I also really appreciate the quote about fashion in your May 30 post. I printed it off to put on my wall.

Cristina Irizarry said...

I just found your blog, and I have to say that I`m not sure if going to college is a good thing or not. In todays society education is somtimes needed to be able to support yourself. My family is not wealthy so I think for me college would be the way to go. But I guess I`ll have to pray about it.

Jammy said...

Thank you for the reminder as to what we need to focus on and the way we need to keep thinking! We need not follow the ways we have always followed, or those that the multitude follows. Sometimes it is hard to break out of the shadow of the past, yet the blessings it brings forth are immeasurable.

Jammy said...

Thank you for the reminder as to what we need to focus on and the way we need to keep thinking! We need not follow the ways we have always followed, or those that the multitude follows. Sometimes it is hard to break out of the shadow of the past, yet the blessings it brings forth are immeasurable.

Anonymous said...

You have such a beautiful blog--thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

How sad that you have been completely sheltered from alternative opinions and mindsets. I am thankful, that after instilling in me the values of our family, that my parents set me free to see the world and the lovely people and cultures in it. College went a long way to exposing me to people of different faiths, colors, ethnicities and political orientation. In the end, I found that I was grounded in our family values but I learned to appreciate that others values have merit too. I can understand sheltering young children but at some point, to raise solid and whole individuals, you must release them into the world.

Anonymous said...

Wow, reading this was a blessing.

It makes me wish that I had close family & strong (but godly) character like Melissa's.

Lord willing, this is the way I want to bring my family up.

-Aly

Anonymous said...

You absolute prejudice and attitude towards a higher education is sad. University is the key for many Christian women to become doctors, lawyers, journalists.....MANY professions are made with an university degree. It is narrow minded to think that Christian women cannot contribute to anything but hearth and home. We need to not live IN the world and absorb it's philosophies but to reach out TO the world and Christian women sometimes need university educations to be able to do this in many different professions. How can we reach the world for Christ when we closet ourselves in our homes in fear and prejudice?

Maria said...

Thank you so much for posting this encouraging article! I have not yet decided what my course shall be after high school, and am glad I still have at least 4 more years of homeschooling before me. I will remember and consider her points. God bless you Sarah.

Anonymous said...

WOW. What a great article.

As a wife and soon-to-be mother, and believer in Jesus Christ, I have thought long & hard about the benefits of homeschooling our children. Both my husband and I do not think that college is for everyone, and would love to be able to just help equip our future children for sucess: whatever that means. My husband went to a one year intense college for Film. That is all he studied and did not waste time on subjects that did not apply ti his future career. This has paid of, as he is now a very successful video & film editor.

I hope to instill a love for the home and family in our kids, esp. our daughters. As a woman who knows very little about hommaking, it is a goal of mine to learn through these years as our children grow. I will teach myself to cook and keeo home, and hopefully someday to sew.

Anyway, thank you again for your insightfulness.

Elizabeth said...

What a wonderful article!!!
Melissa Keen did a wonderful job of expressing her feelings with love, enabling others to read it without feeling violated if they hold different opinions in such matters.
The article was so encouraging...Thank-you for sharing it, Sarah!!!

Anonymous said...

You read "So Much More"! That was such an amazing book. All your articles that I have read have rung true with everything I know. It is so refreshing to know there are like-minded girls in the world today. Keep up the good work. ALR

Lina said...

Just an aside. Did you know that "Pride and Prejudice" and "Jane Eyre" are feminist literatures, very obviously containing feminist sentiments?

Anonymous said...

I guess it depends on the person, but I am Christian girl, and I loved my university experience. I totally do not consider those 4 years as wasted, all the information I accumulated especially in biology really made me appreciate God's power and how marvelous and detailed this world He created is

John's wife said...

I am glad to have found your blog and to have read your articles!

I am so encouraged to read that there are women out there who think like I do. I love being a wife and a help-meet for my beloved husband.

I plan on visiting here frequently. Blessings, John's wife.

Wendy WaterBirde said...

What a lovely blog Sarah. I look forward to the nourishing traditions one too : ) Wendy

Anonymous said...

Dear Melissa,
After reading your article I was a little bit annoyed at your bias opinion. I've been home schooled throughout my shooling years and am now am currently enrolled in a community college with a major in nursing. I know you said that you talked with many college students and they voiced there dislike about college but I truly am enjoying going to school. I was a little bit intimidated at first but now truly like my time learning. God has given me opportunities to share my faith and has put me in circumstances that have made me truly think hard about what I believe and why. Because I go to school doesn't make me less of women or make me a person who wastes their time. How will the people going to college know about God if we aren't there to show them? I know according to you going to college is wasting my time and not preparing for the "future",but your "future" is very limited. Yes, it's good to learn how to be a wife and mother and it would make very happy if someday that is what I become but what happens if I never get married? What will I do to support yourself? I'm not saying you shouldn't learn valuable tools for life because I just spent whole year being a nanny a for a little girl. That job taught me so many things that I'll use throughout my lifetime but it's not a job I could ever support myself on. It's awesome that your doing online courses and believe that your preparing for your future but in doing so don't bash those who have chosen another route and what to go to college...

Ju said...

After reading all the comments from others, I couldn't resist adding my little bit ;) I believe that the comments add to contribute different viewpoints on the matter but at the end of the day, our goal is the same: to nurture the child into the best person that he/she has the potential to be, in all senses of the word. For some, this will come through the courageous step of homeschooling (courageous because it is agains the norm). For some, it will come through careful choosing of a school or institution that can take care of the child or teenager. Whatever God has decided for each person, let it be done.

For instance, God did not call Abraham to write the Ten Commandments on a tablet and God did not call Moses to bring his son up the mountain to prepare for a sacrifice. Instead, God calls each according to that person's circumstances, unique personality and potential contributions, and of course, God's sovereign will. The important thing is to be gentle, still in our spirit to God's still small voice, and secure about where God has put us or called us to be. If we choose to homeschool our children, be very sure it is in with God's plan and then be secure, despite what other people , even Christians , may say. If we choose to send our children to school, choose one wisely and prayerfully, committing everything to the Lord, and be secure in it without need to compare with those who have not chosen likewise.

There is no comparison and one is not better than the other, but together, the different ways in which each individual is schooled (whether through homeschooling or different disciplines or in different schools) will ultimately all contribute together to the whole fabric of Christendom and together, there shall be strength in diversity, Amen.. A united spirit of One God so that all of us play different roles but are equally important in Kingdom of God and we neither complain nor envy what others have, but seek to rejoice that others are successful in their own ways , and , ultimately God's Kingdom is blessed.

To paraphrase 1 Corinthians 12-14 and other famous citations from the bible in a different context , "Are all homeschooled? Or should all go to college? No, all are different, but we are One Body Many Parts. Let he is homeschooled be the best there and let he who goes to a different place be the best there. For none should look to the interest of himself, but to the interests of others. And do not compare with one another, but seek to support one another to strive towards love and good deeds."

By the way, the Holy Spirit had somehow implanted in me a sense that as a teacher , I may have the capability to homeschool my future children, at least for the first 12 years of their lives. It is certainly uncommon in this part of the world where I live. And I do not even have a boyfriend, much less a husband yet! However, I am praying in this area and I do believe that the Lord has spoken to me. Perhaps this blog is a confirmation for myself personally. Will need to discern and work towards it if so.. Pray for me. Thank you!

MegLogan said...

Thank you for that post. There is hope that I might raise my daughter to value a life at home, more highly than a college education or a career. I am much like your parents were. Ill equipped to raise a house, having no understanding of maintaining it, or running it, cleaning it, rearing its young occupants. All has been taught by the Lord who is Most Faithful.

I am also grateful for your site reference about sewing. You see I long to sew clothing for my family. I long to wear romantic dresses etc. I have been searching and searching the web for this information, and here it is! Thanks.

Mrs. Meg Logan

Ellie Beagley, a student from London, UK said...

Thank you for this article, it challenged me to think more about how i can make better use of my time preparing to be a godly woman.

However, i really think the thoughts outlined here are unbalanced and unfair at times. My family don't belong to Jesus, and i have been state educated (I live in England, i'm British) all my life. University in particular has given me countless opportunities to grow as a Christian as I’ve participated in campus evangelism and have been trained and mentored by strong Christians. It is an amazing place to meet all different kinds of people from all over the world and varied cultures, as well as working together with Christians of different denominations, (I think the situation is different in the UK, where there tends to be just one main Christian group on campus focusing on equipping for, and doing, evangelism - not lots of separate ones. This means that Christians from all different backgrounds can unite around the truth of the gospel whilst putting secondary issues aside). Sadly, this is an opportunity that is often unique to university.

Yes I have been challenged in my Christian beliefs during my education. But we should not be afraid of this, for God's word is true and stands up to criticism. Christian students have to work hard to develop minds that think Christianly and are able to give a reasoned defence for the faith. I am the only Christian that many of my friends, fellow students and lecturers will ever meet. If all the Christians are taken out of state schools, universities (which happen to be where most people, especially from unbelieving households, are saved) then where will the gospel witness be?

I am also surprised at the strength of this statement:
"The end result is that they are who they have been programmed to be – creatures of their education. They have no vision. They have no individual goals or aspirations."

This is a painfully broad and generalised statement. It is simply not true that Christian students in state education lack vision, goals and aspirations. It is a big claim to make about thousands of people you don't even know. My experience of the people i know are that, although imperfect and still in the process of growing into Christian maturity (something that will be an endless journey), Christians have a real passion to serve God in the situations that they are in and with the gifts God has given them; at university and beyond.

One last consideration is that we cannot presume what God has in store for us. Not all Christian women who long to be wives and mothers will be married in their lifetime, however much they may seek it in prayer and with the help of a godly community. It is dangerous to put demands and conditions on God, when although marriage is God's design for most people, is not promised to everyone. It would therefore be unwise for Christian women not to think about how they can support themselves with a job, which often needs training for. Granted education should be useful and pursuit of a career should never be idolatrous, but let’s not be an unnecessary burden to anyone and try to make best use of the abilities God has given us.

Anonymous said...

Loved the article. Also loved the picture of the lady with the raven-black hair sewing a banner or standard atop a castle wall. I've been looking all over for this since. Can anyone tell me the name of the piece? And where I might possible find it?

Anonymous said...

Beautiful article. I also love the pictures posted with it - especially the one of the woman sewing on top of the wall. Where did you find it? What is it called?

Cecilia Rose said...

Hello Sarah!
Thank you for standing up for authentic femininity! I agree with many of the things discussed in this post, but some I find inaccurate. I don't want this to be taken as harsh criticism, but as a life-long homeschooler who has now been in college for almost 2 years, I believe I have a well-rounded view of both sides.
First of all, YAY for homeschooling!!! I think it's awesome and the best way to raise Godly children. It is true that outside schools "cannot ever know your children better than you." However, I disagree with this statement: "Instead, these educational institutions focus on making all students alike - bringing them all to the same level and giving them all the same education; molding them into the same person. The end result is that they are who they have been programmed to be - creatures of their education. They have no vision. They have no individual goals or aspirations. You end up with a society of cookie-cutter citizens."
Perhaps this may be true of public schools, and even some private schools, but definitely not every college. College is where young people begin to experience what it is to be in charge of themselves, to figure out what they are supposed to do with their lives, to figure out who they are as individuals. At my college (a music conservatory), there is no way that we all will be molded into the same person, and we will not be "creatures of our education." I have matured so much since coming to college in ways I couldn't have at home. College just isn't about getting a higher education - it's also about learning from different life experiences. I've had to deal with SO MANY kinds of people: non-Christians, gays, pro-abortionists, drunk people, etc. If I had stayed at home, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to learn how to get along/deal with these kinds of people, not to mention show the love of Christ to them! I've had the wonderful opportunity to stand up for my beliefs every day in a very liberal, atheistic world. For me, this is both a challenge and an honor, because God has placed me in this situation in order to give glory and witness to Him.
Also, this was a bit sad for me to read: "If she had chosen the route of college, she would still have 2 years of ‘education’ before she was stamped and approved as ‘qualified’. Why waste the time? and why waste the money? Worse yet, why waste all the years our parents have been laboring to mold her into their daughter rather than just another average 20-year-old girl puffed up by a diploma that qualifies her for nothing?"
This makes it sound that a girl going to college is a waste of time. I especially frown at the last sentence I am a 20 year old girl striving for a diploma, and my parents labored for 18 years before sending me off to school to mold me into the best daughter they could. They are proud of what I am doing now, and they wanted with all their hearts for me to do this. Also, especially in my field (classical music), getting a college degree really helps in obtaining a good job. Even though my highest goal is to be a wife and homeschooling mother, I definitely do not see college as a waste of my time or money. I don't know when I'll get married and have kids, so I might as well take advantage of the time I have right now to further my education and have a career while I am able.
If a girl feels that the Lord is calling her to stay at home and learn that way, instead of going to college, I am all for that! (My good friend Claire, who commented above, is currently following this path and I totally support her.) However, this article was almost attacking the notion of girls going to college in general, when many really do benefit from a college education. My mom's outlook is: why should education (meaning going to school) stop after the 12th grade? Why not continue to further your knowledge as much as possible?
Also, I feel that in college I've been able to expand my interests. (In the article it says "I would have had to severely limit my interests and education.") Since coming to college, I've realized that I really enjoy working with people, which has changed my specific career goal a bit, and I'm really excited about that!
I do not, in any way, want to attack you or the author of this article. The overall picture of the article is well-grounded...that girls should strive to be womanly and glorify God, and that homeschooling is a wonderful thing. This I agree with. I just think that some of the things discussed here can be over-analyzed into being that girls should not go to college, ever. Girls can greatly benefit from a college education.
God Bless you!
In Christ,
Malori

Cecilia Rose said...

Hello Sarah!
Thank you for standing up for authentic femininity! I agree with many of the things discussed in this post, but some I find inaccurate. I don't want this to be taken as harsh criticism, but as a life-long homeschooler who has now been in college for almost 2 years, I believe I have a well-rounded view of both sides.
First of all, YAY for homeschooling!!! I think it's awesome and the best way to raise Godly children. It is true that outside schools "cannot ever know your children better than you." However, I disagree with this statement: "Instead, these educational institutions focus on making all students alike - bringing them all to the same level and giving them all the same education; molding them into the same person. The end result is that they are who they have been programmed to be - creatures of their education. They have no vision. They have no individual goals or aspirations. You end up with a society of cookie-cutter citizens."
Perhaps this may be true of public schools, and even some private schools, but definitely not every college. College is where young people begin to experience what it is to be in charge of themselves, to figure out what they are supposed to do with their lives, to figure out who they are as individuals. At my college (a music conservatory), there is no way that we all will be molded into the same person, and we will not be "creatures of our education." I have matured so much since coming to college in ways I couldn't have at home. College just isn't about getting a higher education - it's also about learning from different life experiences. I've had to deal with SO MANY kinds of people: non-Christians, gays, pro-abortionists, drunk people, etc. If I had stayed at home, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to learn how to get along/deal with these kinds of people, not to mention show the love of Christ to them! I've had the wonderful opportunity to stand up for my beliefs every day in a very liberal, atheistic world. For me, this is both a challenge and an honor, because God has placed me in this situation in order to give glory and witness to Him.
Also, this was a bit sad for me to read: "If she had chosen the route of college, she would still have 2 years of ‘education’ before she was stamped and approved as ‘qualified’. Why waste the time? and why waste the money? Worse yet, why waste all the years our parents have been laboring to mold her into their daughter rather than just another average 20-year-old girl puffed up by a diploma that qualifies her for nothing?"
This makes it sound that a girl going to college is a waste of time. I especially frown at the last sentence. I am a 20 year old girl striving for a diploma, and my parents labored for 18 years before to mold me into the best daughter they could before they sent me off to school. They are proud of what I am doing now, and they wanted with all their hearts for me to do this. Also, especially in my field (classical music), getting a college degree really helps in obtaining a good job. Even though my highest goal is to be a wife and homeschooling mother, I definitely do not see college as a waste of my time or money. I don't know when I'll get married and have kids, so I might as well take advantage of the time I have right now to further my education and have a career while I am able.
If a girl feels that the Lord is calling her to stay at home and learn that way, instead of going to college, I am all for that! (My good friend Claire, who commented above, is currently following this path and I totally support her.) However, this article was almost attacking the notion of girls going to college in general, when many really do benefit from a college education. My mom's outlook is: why should education (meaning going to school) stop after the 12th grade? Why not continue to further your knowledge as much as possible?
Also, I feel that in college I've been able to expand my interests. (In the article it says "I would have had to severely limit my interests and education.") Since coming to college, I've realized that I really enjoy working with people, which has changed my specific career goal a bit, and I'm really excited about that!
I do not, in any way, want to attack you or the author of this article. The overall picture of the article is well-grounded...that girls should strive to be womanly and glorify God, and that homeschooling is a wonderful thing. This I agree with. I just think that some of the things discussed here can be over-analyzed into being that girls should not go to college, ever. Girls can greatly benefit from a college education.
God Bless you!
In Christ,
Malori

http://cecilia-rose.blogspot.com

Sarah Harris said...

The painting that you all seem to like so much is call "Stitching the Standard" and it is by Edmund Blair Leighton.

Also, please understand that "Foundations" is a speech that I thought helpful because it showed a different perspective in the area of college for women. I don't believe it is wrong for women to attend college, and I would strongly encourage you to consult your parents and decide with their help whether it is a wise investment in your life. I felt that posting it would be beneficial since it helps remind us that we are not obligated to attend college, as well as to give us an idea of what one family did as an alternative.

claire bear said...

A friend of mine sent me a link to the "rebelution" page and there was a link to your blog. Maybe you're related to Joshua Harris, maybe not. Regardless, your blog caught my eye because it has the same background as mine.

I'm a senior in high school and I'm really struggling with whether or not to attend college. I too enjoy interior design and decorating, fashion design, music and so on. I have a 4.0 and a good standing where credits and community service hours are concerned.I'd be accepted. I just don't know what I want to do.

I love puzzles and I'm great at math and science so I could become an engineer. I love artsy stuff, too and could go into one of the aformentioned paths. My father always wanted me to be a lawyer or an architect. He never pressured me to become them so it's not like it's weighing me down not to enter one of those career paths. I love little children and have thought about becoming a teacher. I love missions and I'm planning to take a year after I graduate and go with my family to Peru. But going to college has always been something important to my family...but maybe not so important to me. I've prayed about it all and I really don't feel any leading.

I suppose the reason I'm telling you this is because, after reading bits and pieces of your blog after the past few minutes, I look up to you. Any advice?

Do you feel any regret at all because of not going to college? Was it important to your parents that you go?

Gaylynn said...

Would you mind if I post a link to this article (and your blog)in my Feminine Ways group and blog? http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Feminine_Ways
It is so good!
Thanks,
Gaylynn