There have been many people who have questioned our decision to homeschool. Fortunately, none of our family have, and I really appreciate everyone’s support. 🙂
Not everyone has been supportive. I have been asked by quite a few over the past months if I was going to allow my kids to go to public high school, or if I was going to deny them the privilege. While my brain is silently screaming, “Over my dead body!” I graciously smile and reply that we are homeschooling through high school. However, here lately things have been happening that make me ask myself quietly, “And people wonder why we homeschool?”
Yesterday, I was talking with another homeschool mom that has just started homeschooling her young son after pulling him out of a Christian school, actually. She was having a rough day, and I was trying to encourage her. I remember those rough days. Actually, occasionally we still have them – all homeschool families do. We started talking about the reasons we do homeschool, and gained encouragement from our reasons.
So I thought I would put together a list of the reasons we homeschool. That way those of you who wonder would know why, and on days that I feel like I’m failing my children I can look back and be encouraged. 😉
Top 5 Reasons We Homeschool:
1. Spiritual Development – To be honest, my children’s spiritual growth and understanding is way more important to me than whether or not they understand quantum physics or trigonometry. Deuteronomy 6: 4-7 says this: 4 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
I enjoy discussing scriptures and how they relate to our world today with my kids. And I am thankful for the spiritual insight I hear coming from the lips of my children.
This spiritual developement is for me as well. Homeschooling can be a sanctifying process! When you spend all day with children that parrot your words and attitudes, God has a way of showing you areas of your life that need improvement.
2. Character Development – I have the luxury of working on godly character traits such as honesty, patience, grace, forgiveness, unconditional love, keeping commitments, responsibility, and respect. Again, this doesn’t just work for the kids, it works for me as well.
3. Control over the curriculum – This is great on several levels. I am able to choose curriculum that teaches to each of the kids’ learning styles. Actually, my children have quite a bit of say in the curriculum they use. One year, the Language Arts curriculum that we used had been highly suggested by quite a few people, however it usually brought us all to tears. It just didn’t work for us. So, I allowed the kids to choose from several different curriculums that I had gone through. Now they love Language Arts. I can also teach toward their interests and still include the basics in education. And most importantly (to me 🙂 ) I can choose curriculum from a Christian world view. I have taught and worked in public schools, both when my children were younger and earlier this year, and let me tell you that the curriculum is so far removed from a Christian world view it churns my stomach. History has mysteriously changed over the years, and theory is being taught as absolute fact. And don’t get me started on the books that the students are required to read!
I can also move the kids as fast or as slow as needed and in whatever grade level is needed on each subject. For instance, when my son was in 3rd grade, he was reading and comprehending (maybe a little too well?) my college textbooks. And in the 4th grade, my daughter was helping me with my college algebra class. She has also decided that she is going to try to get through 2-3 levels of math this year. You go girl! However, there are other subjects that they might struggle with so I am able to pin point and teach exactly where they are.
4. Flexibility of Schedule – We can take off and go anytime we need to. This is so helpful especially since we travel so much. And we can take vacation anytime we want. This next year we are taking vacation in February. This flexibility allows for more life experiences and possibilities of mission trips during the ‘school year’.
5. Family Time – This is another important factor. And this is where I might get into a little bit of a rant. 😀 (just forewarning). I enjoy the time I get to spend with my children. They are such a gift from God, and I could never imagine not spending time with them. I get miffed when I hear parents say they can’t wait until school starts at the beginning of the new year because their kids are driving them nuts. Usually this is stated in front of the children. Way to make your kids feel loved and wanted! I’m not saying my kids never drive me nuts, but it is very rare. Truth be told I probably drive them more nuts than they drive me, but that’s life and we learn to work through it. However, most of the time we are having fun, enjoying each other, and laughing so hard I should probably invest in Depends. (nope, I’m not exaggerating on that either) I have to be honest that it saddens me that families who send their children to public school (especially jr high and high school age) do not get to spend much time with their children.
For instance, where we live, in the upper grades it is required that students participate in sports. That means that many of them are required to be at school around 7:30 am for practice (depending upon the sport) and many times will not get home until 10:30 of night – usually because of sports. When you factor in the time spent in homework, when do parents have time to teach their children about God, teach them godly character, or spend time with them at all? And I have noticed that during certain times of the year the school has the kids 7 days a week. They are not respecting families and their time together – nor do they respect the church (but that’s a different rant for a different day). My question comes down to why parents put up with this. Last Christmas, students were required to play sports on Christmas break – completely annihilating possibilities of family travel. There was one parent who was complaining of this. I asked her why she didn’t tell the school no. She looked at me like I had grown two heads. I think parents have been conditioned to think that the schools (government) own their children, and they have to do whatever the schools say. That is utter nonsense! Okay, I’ll stop ranting about that… for now. 😀
While I was writing this up, I realized that I have probably written similar posts. So if this is a repeat, just realize I’m getting older and my memory isn’t what it used to be LOL! 😀
All of this being said, I do not think my kids are perfect. Nor do I think I’m the best homeschool teacher in the world. I’m sure there will be things that I will miss teaching them. And that’s okay. I’m good with that. What I do know is that my kids know and love God, and they know they are loved beyond comprehension by Tim and I. I also know they are receiving a great education and have terrific life skills. Seriously, I think my daughter could run the house better than I could (but don’t tell her that or she might get a bit big-headed lol! 😀 ).
I am so very thankful that God has called us to homeschool.