Wordless Relationships

 

 

On Sunday, the sermon notes were about prayer. I saw up on the screen that we tend to view prayer as asking when God actually designed it as relationship. It’s better to get to the point quickly than to fill the space with lots of words. So I went to the Bible references. 1 Kings 19 is the part where God speaks to Elijah in a still small voice. Gotcha. Then there’s Matthew 6 which boils down to “don’t babble on- a few simple words will do.” Then it hit me. That’s how I talk to my special needs son. If I try to lecture my WigglyAngel, he will become self-abusive. However, if I get to the point in as few simple words as possible, WigglyAngel will get it. He is much happier. WigglyAngel taught me that it is possible to have a meaningful relationship without words. He showed me that communication can come in many different forms. I never realized that God also wants me to talk to him that way too and it’s funny how God used my son to teach me how to better pray. I went searching in my Bible for more references and I found:

 

 

 

Psalm 66:17 I cried to him with my mouth,
    and he was exalted with my tongue.

 

 

 

Psalm 95:2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
    let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

 

 

 

1 Corinthians 14:15  What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also.

 

 

 

Interesting. I am to cry to God with my mouth and my hands (ASL) and God is exalted when I cry to him. This is prayer? I vent to God, but I never correlated those intense moments with being in prayer. When I am in an emotional mindset, I vent in my language, my hands fly everywhere, my heart wrenches open, and I can feel God responding, even though there aren’t words involved. He is my still small voice, only… it isn’t a voice. It’s a presence in my heart. As a deaf person, I can sense people behind me by the way the air feels. It’s kind of like that with me and God, only from within. I can sense ripples within my soul. This is similar to how I communicate with WigglyAngel. When I place him in a restraining bear hug to prevent him from further self-abusive behavior, I sense subtle changes in his body, his temperature, his pattern of chest rising and falling, even the way the rumbly vibrating of his gut tell me how he needs me to hold him to help him regain control of his body. I like to think that God is doing the exact same thing with me and that’s why we are so attuned. It’s a relationship without words. I know my son and he knows his momma only wants to help. All this, without words.

 

 

 

I am to come into God’s presence with thanksgiving, making noise with songs of praise. That seems to balance the other how to verse on crying out to God. Although I can vent to God, I’m also supposed to thank him for the very things I am venting about with songs of praise. But what if I don’t want to use words. That’s okay too… I can pray with my spirit and my mind. My son is nonverbal, but that doesn’t mean he cannot pray. He can pray with his spirit and mind. This evening, I took my son out for a walk. I was focused on just getting around the block, but my son forced me to dawdle. To grab all the dandelions he could find in the neighboring yards. To make me blow them while he stimmed with the seeds. That’s when the sermon outline hit me. This is prayer. WigglyAngel is worshiping God’s creation by his autistic stimming taking apart the tiny seeds of the dandelions. God knows the number of hairs on his head and he also knows the numbers of seed heads that my son just sent scattering into the wind.

 

 

 

Now, I do not believe that God caused WigglyAngel to have Angelman Syndrome. That’s due to the fall of Adam and Eve that imperfection came into this world, but God is still glorified in imperfectness. God used my WigglyAngel to bring me closer to God by teaching me a better way to fellowship with Him, therefore, enabling me to witness to my son and bring him to our God. I cannot make my son believe, but I can bring him to the Living Water and let him taste it.

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Now, my Snicklebritches, she’s entirely another story for a different post. It’s fascinating how both my children have autism, yet be polar opposites of each other. 

How can you teach your kids?

I was asked how do I teach the kids. Well, first, let me ask you. How did the parents in Biblical times teach their kids? There were not public schools. They did not send their kids to the house of the book until their kids were 12/13. Reading, writing, arithmetic were the parents’ responsibility and the rabbis expected the kids to already know these by the time they came to the house of the book. They would stay at the house of book from daybreak to noon then go have lunch and then go on to their respective apprenticeships (learning a trade). This kept up as late as the New Testament (Timothy was taught at home first before coming to be taught at the house of the book. So how did these parents teach their small children how to read, write, and do arithmetic? I can only assume it was through the natural ways of the Scripture, by using the Bible as a tool from morning to bedtime, like in Deuteronomy. Fathers were commanded to train their children by answering their questions. My daughter’s starting to ask questions and when we answer them, she’s learning. The teaching method that’s modeled in the bible is rote learning. Memorize genealogies, memorize the plagues, memorize the Biblical wars, kings, etc. Then as they get older, they’ll start asking questions about these facts. They went to the house of book already familiar with these facts. They were able to start asking their rabbi the hard questions right away, they didn’t have to waste time learning about the facts first. I don’t withhold the hard facts from my kids. For instance, today, I took my special needs son along with me to my women’s bible study. We dig deep into the historic roots of the Scriptures, we discuss wars, the horror stories, the atrocities committed. She was narrating the facts while showing us a map. My son shocked me by staring intently at the map she was holding up and then at home, he got my Bible out, flipped to the back where the maps are, there’s several, and I nearly fell out of my chair when I realized he had flipped to the map closest to the one that Carol had been using in Bible study. Who knows… perhaps my son understood every single word and it was a heavy dark topic. I do not shelter my kids from the brutality in the Bible, but I try to wait until they are able to dialogue with me about it. As I research how children learned in those times, I realized they listened to their father read the Scriptures out aloud, even the gory parts. After all, education boils down to the way of the Lord. (I found this information in the Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, which is available on Bible study tools and here http://www.blackwellreference.com/public/tocnode?id=g9781405127202_chunk_g978140512720214 )

 

So, HOW do I teach my kids from scratch? I suppose it’s just by living. I get in the dirt with my daughter and I scribble in the mud with a stick showing her how to form her letters. I curl up with my son and read the Bible and other classic books aloud to him as he dozes off to sleep. I let my daughter peel potatoes for supper. I guide my son through the signs when worshipping God. I teach my children from scratch through Christ. If I was doing it all by myself, I am sure it would be an impossible task, with me being deaf, them hearing and autistic. But like the above source pointed out, education is the way of the Lord. How can I not teach my kids from scratch? It’s simply living for Christ.  

Personal Bible Study: Scripture confirming our decision to homeschool.

This is mostly so it’s up here for me to reflect back on when doubt creeps up on me about whether or not I can do this. You also can do this. If I, a deaf mother of special needs hearing children can do it, so can you. Onward to the Bible verses that jumped out at me. If I see more Bible verses that confirm God’s Will, I will add them to this same post so it’s in one place. 

Matthew 12:30- If you are not for Jesus, you are against Him. With God banished from public schools, I don’t want my children to be exposed to an education devoid of God. It should be a Holy-Spiritually enriched learning on their path to wisdom. I pray that my children should be 100% for Jesus. There’s no such thing as neutrality. Either you are for Jesus or against Jesus. Education, after all, is for a purpose. However, if the end purpose isn’t centered on God, then it ends up being a godless education producing godless results. It shouldn’t be about the state, but about serving God. If I don’t fill their thirst for knowledge with God, they will satisfy her thirst elsewhere and these will turn out to be her idols. I want to raise my children to be a hundred percent unflinchingly for Jesus, our Savior. Public schools in my area would not foster that goal because they do not offer a biblical-centered education and go as far to discourage teachers from presenting the Christian worldview of many topics that will form their opinions as grown adults.

 

Romans 12:2- If my children are not supposed to copy the customs/behaviors of the world, then I shouldn’t make it even harder to resist peer pressure by having them in public schools, away from our watchful eyes. They will face a lot of pressure to conform to the world’s standards, it’s just a fact. However, I CAN shelter them from the world until they are able to understand what it is that they want to stand firm on. They are to allow God to transform their minds and a public school is not conductive to this environment. They need to learn how to test which is good and pleasing. It becomes each of my child’s own decision. Not mine. And not other people around them. My son’s and my daughter’s decision alone.

 

Colossians 1:9b- We ask God to give you a complete understanding of what he wants to do in your lives and we ask him to make you wise with spiritual wisdom….. as the verse points out that it is God that will nudge and give us each the full understanding of what to do with our lives… in school, they try to fit you into ready to go molds so that they can push you through the cookie-cutter education. How can I give my children a well-rounded sense of purposeful living if they each don’t get time to simply be? It’s during these idle times that God will whisper to their spirits. The first part of this verse is something I can actively do. Pray ceaselessly for my children to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will. The second part, I have to just let it happen in God’s time.

 

Proverbs 1:7- Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. With the fact that God isn’t allowed in public schools, how can I expect my children to blossom into their faith and beliefs if they don’t grow up with constant awareness of God?

 

Proverbs 9:10 pushes it further by stating :Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy Spirit results in understanding.” Why would I want to put them right into the middle of an educational environment that stifles their right to draw on the Holy Spirit?

 

Psalm 119:97-105 reinforces the fact that God’s Word is crucial to raising godly children. Some families have family bible study every night. Michael just isn’t that kind of father, so it has to come from somewhere else; and that’s homeschool in the Biblical method.

 

2 Timothy 3:15… You have been taught the Holy Scripture from childhood. It’s right there in the Bible. God wants us to have our children grow up learning about God’s Word. I can’t afford the Christian schools around here, so that leaves homeschooling. Scriptures must be the foundation of all studies and the guide to all decisions. Public schools do not use the Holy Scriptures as the foundation for their curriculum.

 

Deuter 11:19- again, it’s right there in the Scriptures- “Teach them to your children. Talk while at home, when away on trips, and when you are laying down and when getting up again.” It IS the Biblical model to keep children with us as much as possible so they can learn by example and by talking to us about their thoughts. (Deu. 4:9 is similar commandment)

 

1 Peter 1:15… but now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God, who chose you to be his children, is holy. Everything includes everything. Even what I do with my children’s education. My ultimate goal will be to be separated to God and give our lives to serving God. If we want to serve God, we MUST be set apart and be holy in all we do. Biblical education will give our children the solid foundation upon which they will be able to distinguish good from evil, truth from falsehood, right from wrong, and holy from filthy.

 

Luke 20:25 Jesus says give to the government what’s theirs and give to God what’s His. The children are HIS! Therefore, who am I to “give” my children to the government instead of to God?

 

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:4 I will be able to ensure they are walking in the truth by homeschooling them using a prayerfully chosen curriculum that God led me to.

 

We proclaim Christ, admonishing and teaching our children with all wisdom, so that we may present all our children whole and complete in Christ. To this end we labor as parents, struggling with all the energy Christ provides us through his Spirit, which so powerfully works in us as fathers and mothers. (adapted from Colossians 1:28-29)

 

Bring your children up with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord…Ephesians 6:4 What instruction has been approved by the Lord? His own Word is sufficient for instructing and disciplining our children.

 

As for me and my family, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15 How will we have time as a public school family to truly sacrificially serve the Lord?

 

We will not hide these truths from our children, but will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord. Psalm 78:4 Even Christian teachers are not allowed to share the truths with their students. More and more of our next generation has not heard the truth because it has been so effectively hidden from them.

 

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do and he will direct your paths. This encourages me to take the difficult path. My Lord has put it on my heart to keep my children close. When I obey and seek his will, my God will direct all my paths. It will all work out, even when I don’t see how it possibly can. My own understanding is not sufficient to be a good home educator. It’s a fellowship with Jesus.

 

 

Matthew 6:33-34 He will give you all you need day to day if you live for him and make the Kin-dom of God your primary concern. (If I automatically send all my children to school, am I living for God or for society? How do I make the kin-dom of God my primary concern and my children’s primary concern? Christian education, be it Christian school, home education, or a mixture.) I’ve mulled over this. I sent my children to early special education due to my doubts about being able to educate special needs children. That situation worked out at first, then became a bad situation. I made the school my primary concern and God distanced himself from us. When we pulled my daughter out with plans to pull our son when he’s developmentally 6-7 years old, the stress and problems went away with our children. They both still are autistic, they both still have special needs, but I chose to make God my primary concern. He’ll make it work out.

 

Romans 8:5-8 (my paraphase) Those whom are primarily around others dominated by the sinful nature and falsehoods will think about sinful things; but those who carefully control their environment by surrounding themselves with things filled with the Holy Spirit will think about things that please the Lord. (What do they think about in public schools? Ungodly things, such as evolution, sexuality, literature that promotes ungodly values such as homosexuality, etc . This isn’t the fruit I want to see growing in my children.) I allow my children to attend Sunday school, away from me. I might change my mind later when they’re older. I carefully choose the environments my children are in.

 

 

Romans 12:1-2 Our bodies belong to God. Our bodies are living and holy sacrifices. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of others, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is. At home, my children will be able to blossom into the people that they already are. I am excited to witness this transformation.

 

 

1 Corinthians 2:14 But people whom aren’t Christians cannot understand these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them because only those who have the Spirit can understand what the Spirit means. (Of course I’ve got a lot of people that do not understand my convictions about putting my children into public schools- I just have to expect a lot of resistance when I walk the path that is narrow and straight; God’s way.) Even this very note I’m writing will rub these people the wrong way. God prompted me to write this, mostly so that I have a reminder of Bible verses confirming this decision on the future hard days that will come. 

More why

As I pointed out from part one of my Why post, our motto is “Seasoning our children’s souls through Christ.” We are ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20) therefore we shall train our children so that when they are older they are set in their ways for life. (Proverbs 22:6) rather than sending them out into the secular world (public school system) before they have been trained to be set in their ways for life.

 

Therefore this is why the whole salt argument does not feel right with me. I am not saying I’m right, you’re wrong. Not at all. I simply am stating it does not make sense to me personally that a Christian family would send their children into the secular public school arguing that their children will be salt and light to the other children. How? Matthew 5:13 points out that salt is worthless if it has lost its flavor, it savor; its ability to preserve perishables. I believe that it’s impossible. How is a child to become resilient with their faith at such a young impressionable age? I believe my children do not come pre-seasoned. My God-given ministry of being a mother has burdened and blessed me with the task of filling my children with salt. Education is a big part of this process, but the important part is simply being with family.

 

If I send my children to school before they are set in their ways, they will naturally want to become accepted into peer groups. If their faith isn’t accepted in that environment, most children will ditch it like a hot potato in order to become a part of the crowd. You know that proverb about training up a child? That refers to an adult, not a child. A child should depart from the family when he is ready to be on his own, not before.

 

I plan to raise my son and my daughter to be deeply rooted in Biblical values. If they, as grown adults, decide to reject Jesus and their parents’ faith, that is their choice. I pray for them to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and as the only way to live. For now, I am the parent. I chose to believe that Jesus is the only way to avoid perishing. Therefore, I feel a burden to show my children the proper way to life, hence an education rooted in biblical values. But I do not plan to show my daughter what to think.

 

I plan to raise my children how to think for themselves. If they are only around other children their ages, they will begin to act exactly like them. 1 Corinthians 15:33 clearly states that bad company corrupts good character. I prefer my daughter have her own mind, not what her friends are doing. I must raise my daughter to be a feminine self-assured young lady after God’s heart and how will she be able to see that’s distinctly different from being sexy, a hottie, etc. if I do not model this for her? It’s my husband’s responsibility to model the kind of man she should seek when she’s older and it is my responsibility to model modesty to my daughter. As for my son, I plan to show him how men ought treat women and my husband is modeling how to control one’s temper when frustrated.

 

So many people forget that children are children. Childhood are becoming a thing of the past and I won’t allow this for my children. Another big reason we chose to homeschool is the freedom to be able to give them a childhood. You know, that slow life where one has huge chunk of free time and the children are left to their own devices to figure out how to fill those hours. They’ve often surprised us with their creativity and I see their peers obsessed with video games, etc. It would be difficult to give children time to just be if they go to public school, then whisk them to a drive through for dinner and rushing to practice and then on to the next activity and there’s still homework. When I was in public school, I did not have to bring homework home until well into junior high school. Nowadays, kindergarteners are required to do homework. Is this truly the wisest way to spend their days? Ephesians 5:15-17 There’s plenty of time for them to get used to the 9 to 4 work hours mentality, but for now… learning should be simply a way of life. Also, there’s the fact no child can serve two masters. (Matthew 6:24)

 

There’s also the glaring fact that I will reap what I sow (Galatians 6:7-9). If I let the public schools and government sow the seeds in my children, I will reap what they sowed. However, if I carefully and prayerfully structure my children’s education to be centered around Christ, there will be fruit to reap. A Christ-centered education would give my children a sold foundation (Matthew 7:24-27). At home, I will be able to shepherd my child’s spirit to long for God, shaping their hearts to live for God, and strengthening their minds to learn for God. In order for that to be possible, I need the children to be home so they’re around for me to shower them with attention, affection, appreciation, and acceptance.

 

Granted, I do have a selfish reason too. As a mainstreamed deaf child, I missed out on a lot of my education, for example, the days my interpreter was out sick. I want to relearn alongside my children. I have forgotten a lot of historical facts, math facts, and such. I remember science things because I loved that subject and I remember grammar because of all the practice I got as an editor of the high school newspaper. It will be fulfilling to learn with her. I am excited for that day when she surpasses me and ends up teaching me something. I thank the Lord for giving me my children so I have an excuse to learn all the things I should have learned. Given the fact that both my husband and I have forgotten historical facts, I believe that the family would be better at making history come alive to the child than in an institution where the children simply memorize facts and dates for the tests then promptly forgetting them in order to memorize for the next test.

 

I also am going to embrace the idea that homeschooling will give my children the freedom to dawdle if they have trouble grasping a concept. I don’t have to worry about the fact if they cannot grasp it by the end of the week, they’ll miss it and have to go on to the next concept like in public school. We will have the time to mull things over and hammer the concepts firmly into their minds so it’s there for them to retrieve later in life. I want them to be excited about learning. This will mean I will have to drop the lesson plans occasionally and follow their interests where they lead us. Since they aren’t in public school, I won’t have to disappoint them with not being able to learn about this subject until a certain grade. We will have the flexibility to just go with the flow of their interests. I figure it’ll eventually meander back to the lesson plan I have.

 

There are yet still many more reasons that we chose homeschool. School shooting. Abortions being sought by preteenagers. Medicine and vaccinations being given without parental permission. But the biggest reasons are what I’ve outlined. It’s a calling God has given us. We are to train them up, percepts upon precepts from rising out of bed to laying down in bed. It boils down to the fact that if we are to obey God; we must homeschool.  

Some pages are up.

I put up the doctrine statement of our school/family, our long term goals for our kids, our mission statement, Shillermath blurb, MFW blurb and the schedule we plan to use with MFWK, about blurb and  my introuction.

Next, I will type out our reasons for homeschooling, then put it up as another link in the dropdown menu from the “Why?” tab. Enjoy.

Hello everybody

We aren’t going to be a blog sharing worksheets (I recommend 1+1+1=1, Homeschool Creations, and No time for flashcards if that’s the type of blog you hoped to find here).

I plan to share my family’s triumphs and struggles in our homeschooling journey as a special needs family. I hope to connect with other deaf homeschoolers of hearing children and other homeschoolers of special needs children. (More info in  my introduction up there in “About”) This will be more of a personal blog that reads like a journal and you are welcome to come share in our homeschooling journey as we stumble through autism.