One of the more appealing things about homeschooling is that I will have the ability to help shape and define my children's values, more so than an influential teacher, more than a group of peers, more than the culture we live in.
Our faith will be defined as more than just attending church on Sunday. Our compassion can be learned with hands on service. Our patriotism will be redefined as a love of values, and love of man, rather than a simple love of country.
Patriotism is one of the things that I struggle the most with. I love that I was born in the United States, I am grateful for it, and grateful for the freedom it has allowed me. But, I think there are better ways of doing things. I see problems with the values that our country is focusing on. I see challenges to overcome with our social systems, education, and government. To be truthful, I see more that needs to be improved on than I see should be modeled and reproduced.
To me, being a Christian is loving the world. Loving people regardless of their culture, their country, their skin color. Not thinking we are better than others, not thinking that America is a place that should be safeguarded from the influences of other cultures. And this is the patriotism that I want to pass on to my children. Loving your country doesn't mean blindly following it on a path that you don't agree with. It doesn't mean thinking we are better than others just because we were born in a country that prides itself on its pride.
I think loving your country means loving it enough to try to change it. To try to use whatever influence you have to make it better. The biggest influence I have is in my own home, with our next generation. And I plan on using it to make our country just a little bit better.
After all, as someone far more influential than me once said, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world," Nelson Mandela.