Why Do You Homeschool?

When people ask me questions about homeschooling, I tend to be wishy-washy on the subject unless asked specifics, because I am always afraid of offending someone. I do not like confrontations or debates, it’s easier to say “it’s just for us,” or “I don’t know,” but now you ask: Why do you homeschool? Let me count the reasons: 1,2,3,4 My four children. God laid homeschooling on my heart right before it was gaining popularity. People still question the general fact of homeschooling, but not as much as when we began. At the time, I was the only homeschooling mother, in fact, the only stay-at-home mom at our church, but I still knew it was God’s plan for our family. During the early years I struggled tremendously after 2 difficult pregnancies, long stays in the hospital, depression and eventually had our children enrolled in public school. I will say the multi-age classroom and teachers God provided during that time, were absolutely wonderful. Once again, though, God said it was still His plan for our children to be home. I am so thankful for His plan, because, even though the days may be long, the years are most definitely short. There are 3½ years spanning our 4 wonderful children and they are now 16, 15, 15, and 13. I would not take anything for the time I have had at home with them. To see them grow, mature and learn has just been amazing. They are so close, play together so well, have always shared, always took turns, I love it! Yes, they fuss and argue, but who doesn’t being together 24 hours a day, every day? Some home-educate because they believe they are able to give a better education to their child. With the wealth of curricula and overwhelming information available, that may be true to some degree. We do not “teach” to the standardized tests but do take them to make sure we are still “on track” with the national average, and when my children’s scores have PHS grade equivalents, it does reassure me they are doing exceptionally well, even when I think I’m not. Education is great, for we never stop learning, no matter how old, but even education is temporal and will one day pass away. Only our knowledge of Christ is eternal and that is what I want for my children God has entrusted to me. So, education is not my reason for homeschooling, because I know there are many great teachers out there. My reason was for them to be so well-grounded spiritually that when they do go out into this ever challenging and sinful world, they would be rooted in God’s Word and be able to make the right choices. I wanted their character to speak for itself, and truly, I already believe it does. No, there is no guarantee they are not going to mess up, but to know I have instilled those boundaries and commandments God has given us, and wove His Word into our daily lives – All day – Every day – and not only 2-3 times a week, to diligently teach them to my children, to talk about them when we sit at home, when we walk along the road, when we lie down and when we get up (Deut. 6:6-7) – and when His Word has been woven into their curriculum we have chosen, just makes God so real and so close, it’s amazing. I think that, like a tree, their roots have now grown strong and deep in the ground, not shallow along the top, and in whatever comes, they could now solidly be the salt and light in their world and not just shallowly sprinkled around where they would be dissolved by what’s around them. The argument about being salt and light in our government school system is somewhat founded, but really how much salt and light can a 6, 8, or even 10 year old be? They will only learn from another 6, 8, or 10 year old peer. Unless the child is exceptionally leader oriented, within a few years that light they were to be shining will have eventually been hidden, or possibly extinguished from all the sarcasm, sneers and comments of their peers. Our school systems are the only institution where we are grouped together with others of only one age, one community, and learning from peers the same age. That is not real socialization. Real socialization comes from being exposed to many ages, a variety of communities, and many different peers, young and old alike. A friend of mine once said she worked hard on instilling values, morals, character, and discipline in her children but after they had been in public school, it took all afternoon, every afternoon, and all weekend to deprogram the bad habits they had learned while away from her. It was just natural to pick up the bad habits, even though they should be the salt and light, and it was very difficult and heartbreaking to have to spend all their time together reteaching and disciplining. So, although I do believe homeschooling is not for everyone, with an emphatic YES, I know it has been God’s will for our lives and I am so thankful for home education in our family.

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