Homeschoolers young and old, in and around Mumbai, who are homeschooling because they believe it is what God has called them to do, met at Shanthi and Kumar’s residence on the 22nd of September 2012.
It was a great time of bonding, sharing our journeys, encouraging one another, praising God for His very evident manner of leading each family in their walk with Him and for Him.
A million thanks to Shanthi for opening her spacious home for all of us.
We started at 4 pm. As each family entered, they met friends new and old, and immediately the conversations started in myriad different ways, each one unique yet with the common denominator of what the Lord has done through them.
The informal talks lasted for about 45 minutes till all the families had arrived. We were served pani-puri and soft drinks in the meantime, and given our personal name tags too.
We then started with a prayer asking the Lord to guide us as we met, and that He may show us His will for us today. After this we had a short time of introductions, as many were meeting for the first time, being relatively new entrants to homeschooling. Each family gave a brief summary of who they are, what they do and where they stay.
Then the children were divided into two groups, with the smaller ones playing around us in the hall, and the older ones going to the park nearby for outdoor games.
After this we got into the grown-ups discussing, sharing and remembering their own journeys. We started with Rajesh and Alice Lele, then Stanley and Charis, Saju and Jane, followed by Yogesh and Shruti, Craig and Teresa, Mathew and Vinita, Shanthi, Rohini and Suresh, and Ann Manning.
Each family had unique experiences, and every testimony was an incredible record of God’s faithfulness sometimes inspite of our human weaknesses and our tendency to depend on our own wisdom rather than depend on Him.
Here is what Anne Manning has to say:
It was such a privilege to meet with other Home Schoolers on the 22nd! Thanks Shanthi and Mathew/Vinita for making this possible! Encore!! 🙂 🙂
It was a particular joy to see parents of young children praying and seeking God for this faith inspired, adventurous, sometimes acrobatic and tight rope walk of Home Schooling their children! 🙂 🙂
It was also nice to hear parents who have gone a ways in their journey, help answer questions from those who are considering or just venturing out.
I want to leave the three tenets of Home Schooling with all those who read this…namely
1. When you start out, ensure you have your own Rhema Word from Father God. This is important, because every faith endeavor will always face a time or season when all one has as an anchor will be the Rhema that the Lord gave before the journey began. We owe ourselves this!
For Ashlyn and me it was Acts 4:13.
2. Ensure that both husband and wife are in agreement with the decision before you begin. This is important because two are better than one and a three fold cord is not easily broken. A more down to earth reason is that there will be times when one or both of you can become so stressed and find it so hard, that you want someone to blame for starting this ‘crazy thing’ in the first place! 🙂 If and when that happens, no one can blame anyone, because you both decided to plunge in together, taking responsibility as equal partners, at least at the basic decision making level! We owe each other this!
3. Be disciplined to ensure the year is planned as a whole and then each month and week, so that the children sail consistently through each grade, with no lag or lack because of parental indiscipline or lack of commitment to the cause. At least one parent should be willing to make Home Schooling their top priority of each day, and stick to it. Our children depend on us for Home Schooling, so we owe them this.
It was great to hear how each person planned for their children, prayed about, selected and acquired curriculum, handled how each parent would play a significant, need based role in Home Schooling, coped with challenges and also what each one would do differently if they had an opportunity to turn back the clock and begin all over again.
I, for one, conclude that Home Schooling is a faith walk, one step at a time, choosing to walk the line, sometimes precariously, but always assured of the Father’s eye watching, hand helping and heart loving what we do, endorsing it with His provision and wisdom, enabling us by the power of His Holy Spirit, and taking us on in our journey initiated by Him, taken on by us and which will ultimately bring glory to Him, as our children make choices that will let their light so shine before men that when they see their good works they will give glory to our Father in heaven.
All said and done, Home Schooling is honoring God in being faithful stewards of the children He has given us, putting our shoulder to the wheel because we love Him and them, and then knowing that is is not easy, but worth it in the end! Love …Anne
Rajesh and Alice have this to say:
It was a joy for us to meet for the very first time most of you who have been co-travelers with us on this very exciting journey of Homeschooling.
We look forward to greater interactions and working together to further the spread of Biblical Parenting and Homeschooling so that the world around us will know the right way – God’s way of bringing up our children.
Just a word of caution that I mentioned to a few parents that day, but would like to sound to the rest on this forum too.
It is good to draw strength and encouragement from the knowledge that there have been few that have trodden the path before you and that there is a path that is slowly emerging. But because our God is creative, please understand that He will have a very unique path charted for you and your children. SO I want to encourage you all to seek the Lord and keep your eyes on Him as He will be the one that will direct your ways and shed light on your path.
Those of us who have gone ahead of you are like the cheerleaders standing on the side and cheering you on…Our paths may be similar in parts but will definitely not be the same…so don’t even for a moment base your confidence in any of us (who are ahead of you on this path) or on our experiences, but learn from what we did right and also from where we messed up… Hopefully we will be candid enough to share that with you as well 🙂
A special thanks to you Shanthi, for opening up your huuuuuuuuuuuggeeeee home 🙂 to us and also for the excellent hospitality… The food was really good too!! 🙂 Thanks Mathew and Vinita for the initiative that you take to organise and keep everyone clued in on all that is happening!!
Apologies if I have missed anyone else who worked hard to put this evening tog….
God bless you all…
Rajesh & Alice
By the end of our sharing time the kids also had come back, and we prayed and thanked God for the food set before us.
During dinner time again there was a lot of catching up to do, amidst the chaos made by children running and playing all over the place.
After dinner we had a special treat, three varieties of delicious cake by the talented Nithya, daughter of Kumar and Shanthi.
Mouthwatering, irresistible, fabulous, fantastic…were just some of the compliments from those fortunate enough to have tasted the cake!
We also planned to fix a date for the next meet most probably in January 2012, third Saturday.
Here are our group photos! Cheers…
Hope this encourages you too as you read. Questions and comments welcome.