Hi Joan, that is fine if you aren't finding Lifestyle of Learning to be what you are looking for. I wonder if you found their curriculum focused web site instead of their main page. What I found appealing is that they encourage each of us to let the Holy Spirit lead us with each homeschool decision in how to teach our children "how to learn" which may or may not involve curriculum. My children use some curriculum but very little and have learned so much more than when I was curriculum driven and comparing myself with other homeschool moms wondering if using the right curriculum would make my children smarter or keep them more on track with their education... or make them more holy if I used a more "Christian" focused curriculum.
What you are talking about is something I have had discussions with Marilyn Howshall about and she is well aware of those circles of people and the teachings they are following. What I have learned from Marilyn and experienced to some level, is that when we think that "doing certain things" will make our kids turn out right, and if we want to look a certain way within the homeschool community, we aren't actually connecting in with the Holy Spirit on what our children need and we are looking for the approval of others (mankind) rather than God. When we are serving man and not God things don't turn our right, and our fruit will eventually tell on us. I was doing that, but not to the level you are describing (having many kids - we stopped at 4 which might feel like a tribe to some Ha! Ha!) and it was crushing my family... all the comparisons all the trying on different school and church activities or things that I thought would make my children turn out right. My kids (ages 13-22) have expressed how grateful they are that I don't do that anymore... they recognize how I was crushing their spirits and who they were by trying to gain man's approval and trying to squeeze them into a religious box. They were very compliant on the outside but on the inside they were very miserable and becoming angry on the inside and were becoming distant with me. I have let go of many "religious" ideas and sought out the Lord to know what He wants me to do and how He wants me to parent my children and the answer is always based in "Christ's kind of love." The Holy Spirit reminds me every time that the answer always comes down to His kind of love and then He gives me practical things to do to help my children and love them through whatever it is that is going on. I am SO in process with this, but grateful for where our relationships are getting to, where the discussions are leading and the love, Christ's kind of love, that is growing within our family. There have been many chains of bondage that have been breaking off our family and I can see there is more to go. The families you are frustrated about need more of Jesus, they are looking for something that doesn't exist the way they are going about things and they need lots of prayer being sent their way. Lots of Christ's kind of love poured out on them. When someone is in that situation it's like they are trapped, their spirit knows something is off, but they can't identify it so, often they press more in with even more wrong standards thinking that will get them closer to God. I know that from experience. Pray for your friends, they need more of Jesus and less of those religious standards, they need to be freed of those wrong standards so they can live in God's healing standard of love. Ask God how much He wants you to be involved, how you can show them His kind of love... those are the only two things that will provide hope for them to be freed of the bondage they are trapped in and serving... prayer and Christ's kind of love.
Thank you for your reply and sharing you concerns. Blessings to you in your journey with the Lord Joan!
Nancy in Everett, WA