*Am I Doing Enough?* – by Lennie Harrison.
This agonising question tends to fill our minds with either a quivering
questionmark, a grey cloud of confusion or a mental look the other way,
because we can’t find the answer. I will present a workshop (entry by
donation) on this topic on Tuesday 3rd February at Bishopdale Reformed
Church. For more details, see the end of this article.
In order to try and dispel needless anxiety, we should first define the
question a bit more, so we can tackle it bit by bit. By asking “Am I
doing enough?”, mostly we mean to ask: “Am I doing enough to satisfy the
ERO (and through them the MoE)?”. Sometimes we mean: “I’m not sure what
my child’s needs are – what are they and am I answering them?; Half the
time I have this feeling that I don’t know what I’m doing; Everyone else
(or school) seems to be doing so much more than what I do; Am I doing my
child a disservice?”, and other thoughts of this kind. Occasionally we
mean to ask: “What does God think about my
So starting with the ERO – what will they think of what I’m doing? Will
they be satisfied? We know that they will check whether our children are
taught as regularly and as well as in a registered school, but what does
that really mean? We’ve so often heard that the quality of our teaching
is superior to that of schools, but surely it’s not enough just to say
that to an ERO officer. How can we be sure we’ll pass scrutiny?
Regularity applies to the amount of hours that a child receives
teaching, as well as to the amount of hours that each subject is being
taught, as well as the frequency of teaching received. Of course this
kind of measuring is meant for public schools and doesn’t so easily fit
the picture of home-education lifestyle, at least at first glance. But
expressions like ‘amount of hours’, ‘teaching’, ‘subject’, etc. can all
be freely and widely translated to let our home-education lifestyle
emerge very favourably. More about this, as well as a closer look at
‘teaching quality’, which relates to the “as well” part of the law, at
The next aspect – whether you do enough to recognise and satisfy the
learning needs of your child – can get overlooked in the midst of the
search for clear answers. And of course, as soon as you’ve read the
previous sentence, you know the importance of it.
This point doesn’t need a lot of belabouring, but still it may be
helpful to look at what your child’s needs are and where they transform
into wants and where the needs and wants are actually your own (or even
other people’s and other outside pressures) rather than the child’s.
“The child’s needs” is quite a vague expression, and in today’s
predominantly materialistic society “needs”, even educational needs, can
easily escalate and the top of the ladder is difficult to find. But we
do have the freedom to cut them down to size if we have a mind to. More
about this at the workshop.
In my mind the most important aspect by far is whether God is happy with
what you’re doing. I hope that most of us will feel at least fairly
secure about this, but some may suffer the grey cloud of confusion and
some may not have any answer whatever to this part of the question.
It doesn’t matter where you’re at, though. For every one of us I think
it’s probably a good idea to look at God’s Word to see what He has to
say on the matter. Contrary to what you might think, God is certainly
not silent on the subject, and a closer look may give some beneficial
clarification. I’m looking forward to sharing some of my favourite
scripture verses, and their implications, at the workshop.
*Details: *Am I Doing Enough?*
*Where: Bishopdale Reformed Church, Highsted Road, Bishopdale, Chch.*
*When: Tuesday 3rd February 2009.*
*Time: 7.00 p.m.*
*Entry: By Donation.*
*Booking: Please book with Lennie at email@example.com or ph 03-3143720.*