There is nothing like those awkward moments in conversation to remind you of the importance of knowing why you do what you do and believe what you believe. Why we homeschool our children has to be one of the top items on the list! Most people mean well, but the awkward questions and comments can sometimes be trying. Then you have those obnoxious folks that are flatout rude.
Nonetheless, Sarah and I have what we believe to be some very solid reasons for home educating our children. But before I share them, let me make a qualifying statement: We do not believe that homeschooling is for everyone, and neither do we look down on others because they choose to have other people educate their children. With that said, here are the primary reasons that we home edcuate:
1) We believe that God has directed us to homeschool. It is not for everyone, but it is for us because God has called us to it.
2) We believe that we can provide a great education for our children through one-on-one instruction and more specialized curriculum that fits the individual child, increasing the likelihood of personal excellence. We like that our children are able to study at their own skill level rather than that of the average child in a classroom.
3) We believe that we can provide a more physcially and spiritually safe environment for our children, specifically in these crucial years.
4) We believe that we are responsible for reducing negative peer pressure and creating healthy opportunities for appropriate socialization through the Church, homeschool co-ops, enrichment classes, etc. The debate over “socialization” continues to be the most misunderstood aspect of homeschooling. What many seem to forget is that homeschooling done right is far more socializing than your average school system. Being confined to one building, a few classrooms, and one group of children year after year is not nearly as sociable as meets the eye. This is not even to mention what kind of socializing is taking place (early exposure to vulgarity, sexuality, drugs, disrespect for authority, etc.). Our children, however, have greater freedom to explore the real world through more frequent field trips, grocery shopping, nature walks, hospital visits, and other such experiences.
5) We believe it is a more efficient use of time and money.
6) As a family in the ministry, the frequency of moving can be greater.
7) We love the flexible schedule!
8) We love being with our children!
While we believe that God expects followers of Jesus Christ to be “salt and light” in a distasteful and dark world, we also believe that God expects Christian parents to “train up a child in the way that he should go” and gradually release them into the frying pan of the world rather than dropping them in before they are ready.
Now that these are in official print, hopefully I will have a better answer for those who wonder, “Why do you homeschool?”
Soli Deo Gloria,