When I first began homeschooling, I really didn't have too many reasons to back up our choice. I literally felt a calling to do it after much prayer and decided to take a leap of faith.
My husband and I went in with the idea that if things didn't work out, we could always try public school at any time. It wasn't a done deal.
Over the years, however, my eyes were opened to all that education could be. I had to challenge old paradigms and rethink everything I knew as a former public school educator of 13 years.
I studied the history of public school education. I studied the current movements. I looked at the standards and the agendas and the censorship. I looked at different educational philosophies.
Through it all, I have become more convinced than ever that homeschooling is the best way for us to disciple and nurture the connections we have with our children.
I have fallen in love with it all. We have created something so beautiful and rich because of the time and opportunities we have been given through homeschooling. We are closer as a family and more united than ever before.
No, it hasn't always easy. We have had some very tough seasons and days in there. But even in the midst of the hardship, I know with everything I've got that this is where we need to be.
It's hard, but it is so worth it. Here's why.
Jesus is our center.
I grew up in the public school system and didn't realize how much more meaningful and rich learning could be when God is placed in the rightful center of it all. As we study the birds and dinosaurs and clouds and water cycles, we are ultimately learning more about Him and who He is. We are seeing the order and beauty that He has brought into His creation, and we are understanding our purpose in the midst of it all.
Each morning, we get to sing praises to our King as part of our Morning Time. We learn and sing hymns together; we read our Bibles and devotionals. We pray together, and we grow in our faith as we work through the struggles and challenges of our days.
God is not someone we tuck away during certain hours. He is our center, and I couldn't imagine having it any other way.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on 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. -Deuteronomy 6: 5-7
We can set our goals.
When I first began homeschooling, I had never heard about creationism or the significance of history as "His Story." My eyes were opened to books and resources that provided the scientific evidence for creationism and shared a historical perspective that allowed me to better appreciate the vision of our forefathers for our country. I felt like I was learning everything for the first time, and I found myself getting upset that no one had ever shared any of this with me before.
As a homeschool mom, I don't have to enforce someone else's vision for education. I do not have to indoctrinate my children with the lies and meaninglessness of evolution. I do not have to teach certain things in a certain order by a certain time.
I can choose our standards and embrace the unique God-given gifts of each of our children. We can learn about snakes or birds or robots and the culinary arts. We can learn sewing or painting, or critical thinking, food storage, and financial literacy. We can learn for the sake of pursuing wisdom, for the pursuit of wisdom and the pursuit of God cannot be separated. The world is our classroom, and it is my privilege to be able to walk alongside my children as my husband and I prepare them for it all.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. -Proverbs 9:10
We can choose curriculum and resources.
Every child is so very different, and even in our home, I have found that what works for one doesn't necessarily work for the others. Homeschooling allows us to pick and choose what works best for each and every child. It allows us to select the resources that fit best during certain seasons of our lives.
When we first began our journey, I didn't know how very important this was. I remember a lady at a homeschool convention telling me, "You have chosen the education of kings and queens. You have chosen the education of royalty."
As we have journeyed through special needs and special giftings, I've seen how valuable it is to cater an education based on the needs of each individual child. God has created our children for such a unique purpose, for such a time as this. I love that I can faithfully prepare them for all that He has called them to be.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. -Psalm 127:4
We have time for exploration and creativity.
In homeschooling, we are able to create rhythms and routines that work best for our family. We are also able to finish our studies much more quickly than in the public schools. This allows for the children to spend a large portion of their days exploring and creating.
They love climbing trees and watching the birds. They love finding snakes or roly polies and building habitats and "campgrounds." As a former educator, I also know how important it is for children to move and develop their gross motor skills, which often have a direct impact on their academic skills. I love that we can enjoy school outside or finish quickly enough to allow the children to play outdoors for hours on end.
There's also plenty of time for creative endeavors. The children love exploring new hobbies and skills, from painting and drawing to baking and sewing. There's plenty of time in our days for ministry or play dates, nature walks and bike-riding. There's also time for imaginative play, building forts, and running through the sprinkler in the middle of the day. I love that they do not have to "sit still" for hours on end. I love that they get to embrace God's creation and this precious gift of childhood.
How many are your works, LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number— living things both large and small .-Psalm 104:24-25
We can protect their childhood.
Over the years, I have seen such a push toward the demoralization of children. We are truly at war for the hearts and minds of our children. The attacks are coming from the media, peer pressure, and even through the public school system.
Many may be unaware that the public schools across our nation have been pushing sexual perversion and promiscuity, along with transgenderism, and more through their Comprehensive Sexuality Education programs.
Young children are being shown how to sexually please themselves and one another, along with how to get an abortion without parental consent. It is truly disheartening how grotesque and evil this agenda is, and I encourage every parent to research it further. You can read more about it here.
Even as a homeschool family, we need to be vigilant about protecting our communities, for those ideologies will impact our own children, whether we like it or not. The very moral fabric of our nation is being shifted, and it is up to us to stand in the gaps.
As parents, we need to be at the forefront of teaching our children God's design for sex and marriage. We need to guard them from ungodly influences and monitor their access to different media. We need to also prepare them for when they are introduced to ideas that are different than their own. We need to teach them how to respect others, and we need to equip them to stand strong and be bold in their convictions. I love that homeschooling allows us plenty of opportunities to do just that.
...whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. -Matthew 18:6
We can grow together as a family.
So much of our culture has lost the importance of family unity and engagement. It is now common for families to be separated for hours on end, between school and extra-curricular activities, work and screens.
When the lockdowns began a year ago, it was so very telling of the patterns our society had fallen into. There were so many who didn't know what to do all day with their children. There were so many that didn't know how to relate to them, how to engage with them, or how to enjoy spending time with them. The media, our culture, and school system have pushed us away from one another, moving our center outward.
I can relate to some of those same struggles. I, too, had a hard time adjusting in the beginning. I didn't know how to just "be."
But homeschooling has taught me to see the value in this precious time I have with our children. Each day, I embrace all of the opportunities to love them and help them and teach them. We talk about anything and everything, and we are all so very close with one another, along with our extended family.
The adults in our children's lives are their primary influences--not their peers. They spend many afternoons throughout the week with their grandparents learning art, woodworking, gardening, or exploring. They love helping me out with cooking and crafting or with my husband working outside in the yard. I love that we get to be there to teach them about life as we live it alongside them. I love that we can disciple them, day in and day out, in the way that they should go.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
We can share so many special memories.
One day, our children will be grown and ready to take on this great big world that we have been preparing them for. One thing I will be most grateful for, however, is the memories that we have shared all the way through.
I will remember the look on their faces when they read their first words or books, completed their first puzzles, or explored an interesting bug. I will remember all of the field trips, nature walks, and park days. I will remember snuggling on the couch with good books, playing games on the floor, or just laughing at the silliest of things.
I will also remember how we overcame the struggles, how we prayed for one another, and how we walked in faith.
By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. -Proverbs 24:3-4
We've created something so much bigger than education because of the opportunities we've had through homeschooling. Yes, our children are growing academically, but they are also growing socially and emotionally and spiritually. We all are.
We are in this journey together.
The funny thing is that homeschooling is something I never would have chosen for myself. Growing up, I can honestly say that I didn't even know it existed.
But The Lord knew just what we, as a family, would need to know Him better and make Him known.
And I am so forever grateful.
Soli Deo Gloria
“There is no such thing as a neutral education. Every education, every curriculum, has a viewpoint. That viewpoint either considers God in it or it does not.
To teach children about life and the world in which they live without reference to God is to make a statement about God.
It screams a statement.
The message is either that there is no God or that God is irrelevant. Either way the message is the same—there is no God. An irrelevant God is the same as no God at all.
If God is, then He must be relevant—to His entire creation.”—Dr. R.C. Sproul