A few years ago Michael Pearl wrote a series of articles entitled “Jumping Ship.” I was so impressed and challenged by the message within, I printed every single word of it off their website, No Greater Joy.
I carried that article around and shared it with every homeschooler I knew. Needless to say, I was thrilled when they decided to compile the articles into a book by the same name. However, I just hadn’t taken the initiative to buy myself a copy yet.
At the convention there was a brand new distributor in our area who had a booth. Her price was unbeatable and I picked up a copy. While I was standing there a friend from church came up and I talked her into buying a copy as well!
What’s so great about this book? Well, it probably sings a different song to each person who reads it, but I’ll let you in on the song it sang to me…
The site gives this description of the book:
There is a troubling trend showing up among some of the “homeschool crowd.” Their children are discontent and rebellious, jumping ship as soon as they think they can survive without the family€”some as young as sixteen years old. Michael Pearl addressed this issue in a series of NGJ magazine articles in 2006. These have now been compiled into this book, along with new material and an additional two chapters covering further issues.
I had seen a few homeschooled children rebel in their teen years and wondered if my children were next. Was it possible there was a reason for their rebellion? Was it possible there was a remedy for their rebellion? Michael Pearl says YES! How he says it is POWERFUL!
Imagine your family as a ship. What sorts of things would give your children cause to jump overboard? How about a ship that stays docked all the time? What about a ship that isn’t going anywhere in particular? Or what about a ship that is heading somewhere but the children on board aren’t part of the crew in any way, shape, or form?
Everyone wants to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Everyone wants to be going somewhere and have input as to where that somewhere is. Everyone wants to be told they are an integral part of making something work and work well.
My children deserve to be on board a ship that is going somewhere. They should be considered important shipmates instead of slaves kept below decks. They should be standing alonside my husband and I, learning the ropes and rigging, starting to practice plotting courses and learning how to someday navigate their own ship. They should know that this family ship would cease to be efficient and well-run if they ceased to be on board. They should believe that where we are going is of utmost importance and is not some random coordinate we pulled out of thin air.
Jumping Ship is a homeschooling must-read. You cannot naively believe that bringing your children home to school them is somehow a guarantee that you will win and keep your child’s heart. It isn’t. You also cannot plan to always be the authority in your child’s life and expect obedience where there is no good reason for it. Someday they will see through it all and will lose total respect for you and your, “because-I-said-so’s”. You will lose them to the world, to another ship that is going somewhere and invites their opinions and input on a regular basis. They will feel they finally “belong” and you will become a speck in the distance.
It is because of the Jumping Ship articles that I am much more aware of including the children in family decisions and am continually reassessing our navigational plan. I want the children to feel a sense of belonging. I want them to know the Lord loves them and we do too. I want to sail this ship along until we dock and the children take the helm of their own ships.