Monday, June 13, 2011

My Reasons for Home Schooling Were All Wrong

My reasons for home schooling have changed quite a bit over the years. The way we "do" homeschool, our methodology, has changed quite a bit as well...and I don't believe God is finished with that part yet. As I grow as a Christian, God reveals different things to me and to us as a family as to how we are to go about homeschooling.  

About a year and a half ago, God revealed to me that my reasons for homeschooling were all wrong. 

Having been a public school teacher, my #1 reason to home school my children was academics. I knew I could 'do it better'.  Any public school teacher will tell you that the smaller the student to teacher ratio you have, the more likely your student will be to succeed academically. A homeschooler will get more one on one time with the teacher, have less distractions, and get a personally tailored approach to their specific learning needs.

My other reasons to homeschool were for my children to avoid peer dependency and bad company, perhaps not so much in the early elementary years, but the thoughts of what went on in middle and high schools terrified me. Think about drop your child off at school every day, 5 days a week, 180 days every year, for 12 years (13 if you count Kinder). Over all those years, the majority of children (yes, even those raised in solid Christian homes) will learn to accept and, in many cases, do whatever is necessary in order to gain approval by their peer groups. This means they learn how to talk, to dress, to act, what shows and movies to watch, what music to listen to, and so on, from their peer groups. Let me say it again...I have seen the peer groups...and the thought of this terrified me! David D'Escoto posted an article in the Old School house Magazine in 2009. In that article he said something that really made me stop and think..."While it would be nice to think that the "good kids" are being salt and light, in most cases, good morals are grossly compromised."  I know this all too well, I was one of those "good kids" and I desperately wish I could have a 'do-over'...mainly my early college years, but a wishful 'do-over' none the less.   

Voddie Bauchum said it best, "Sending young people out into the world without a Biblical worldview is like sending an athlete onto the field without a playbook". Which brings me to, what used to be, one of my lesser reasons for homeschooling...biblical reasons. Sure, I was sprinkling in God here and there, we said a prayer each day, memorized some Scripture, but academics, not God, was my main reason for homeschooling my children. Boy has that changed! 

I love how Deuteronomy 6:5-7 paints the picture of saturating and infusing God in all that you do. For us, and for what God has called our family to do, it paints a beautiful picture of home school.  "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength. These commandments that I give to you are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them upon your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up".  

My #1 reason for homeschooling now is to give my children an accurate Biblical worldview. I don't want God just sprinkled in here and there, I want God and the Bible to saturate everything that we do. One advantage of homeschooling is that I can literally teach my children Godly principles throughout every minute of the day, infuse God into every subject, every activity, etc...  With God's help and guidance, I want to give my children a firm biblical foundation so they will have the tools necessary to truly be meaningful and effective 'salt and light' in the world in whatever God calls them to do whenever he calls them to do it.

I am passionate about homeschooling and the path that God has put our family on and I love to talk about it. Please do not interpret anything I have said to mean that I am in any way judging what you may choose to do as a family.  God has a plan for each of our lives and His plans are not always the same for each person.

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