Why Homeschool?

I had a date this morning with my 12 year old. He is my thoughtful, analytical, meditative. We were listening to a local Christian radio station. The DJ was talking about hos kids being homeschooled. Cody asks:

Why do so many Christians think they have to homeschool their kids?

So before I tell you the rest of the conversation…and particularly my answer, I would really like to know your thoughts.

Why DO so many Christian parents think they have to homeschool?

Can’t wait to see what you have to say!

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13 thoughts on “Why Homeschool?

  1. Oh WOW! What a brave woman you are for even posting a question like this :O) Here’s my thoughts, I believe every child and every family is different and that you really have to seek Him to find out what He wants for each of your kids. We adopted a 16 year old out of foster care and we were currently homeschooling our 5 year old. But we knew God wanted Danya’ in public school. Whereas we home schooled MaKayla because we were trying to sell our house and didn’t want her to switch schools in the middle of the year. I feel all schools have something to offer. I personally feel that if you are present in your kids life each day then putting them in public or private is ok. But you have to know WHAT your kid is being taught each day so you can be on top of the unBiblical things they get taught. We were blessed to have many of Danya’s teachers be Christians that had relationships with Jesus so it was quite a blessing to us to put her in public school where she thrived. Because she got the Word at home and was part of a great church family, she’d come home and tell us when something didn’t line up with the Word and question it herself. If the time comes and God tells us to put MaKayla in school, we will do it. But I also know I will be the Mom that the school sees quite frequently. The Mom that will occasionally show up for lunch. The Mom that is very much a part of her kids schooling no matter where the Lord leads that place to be. I also think you have to pray about it year to year. What God has for your kid one year or for a few years may not be what He has for them the whole 12 years. Our family therapist told us that the best time to homeschool your kid (from a therapist standpoint) would be middle school. Because that’s when the turning point is for so many kids. I thought it was very though provoking and although that was 4 years ago I still think about that statement every now and again. Can’t wait to see what other people’s views on this subject is.

    1. Thanks Crystal. I don’t know why Homeschooling has becoming so controversial. I like to see the motivation in why people do what they do–especially when it comes to parenting. I like that you made your decision based on each individual child’s need. That’s awesome!! Look for my thoughts next week!

  2. Yeah, I agree! It is not a “have to” thing, but something you undertake with the Lord’s leading and direction. For us, we had our first in preschool but realized as kindergarten was looming that she would be in school for a full-day. Since her Dad was a pastor and weekends were busy with ministry and church – which we enjoyed and wanted her to grow up a part of – we realized she would be in school for our family day, which at that time was Monday. It became a lifestyle decision. We saw that there was a ton of wonderful curriculums out there and learned that it was becoming more widespread and that colleges were becoming more open to homeschoolers. Since Mom’s career was with kids, why not stay home and educate my own? From there, we just found we loved it – we were free to enjoy learning with our kids and they could go as fast or as slow as they needed – and they did learn. We liked the flexibility – we could be super involved in ministry and school around that or let them get extra rest when needed. As they grew, and wanted to try sports and activities, we found that homeschooling let us do that without life getting too crazy. We like that they have been able to learn without too much of the drama of other educational situations, though they are not totally sheltered from the world and know how to walk their faith and stand strong. It has worked for us – and that’s what needs to be true for each family! Our kids have always had public-schooled friends, private schooled friends, and homeschooled friends – they know it is just what works for each family – but they have liked being homeschooled.

  3. There are so many reasons to homeschool! Many parents homeschool because of problems in their state’s schools. We live in CA, and the curriculum here does not support Christian beliefs. Others homeschool for academic reasons: their schools are sub-standard, or perhaps don’t meet the needs of their children (their children are too academically advanced, or too developmentally behind.) Homeschooling allows you to individualize the methods and the curriculum to fit each child’s abilities and interests. In a study conducted by the National Home Education Research Institute (www.nheri.org), it was found that compared to the general population, homeschool graduates were:

    •More likely to attend college

    •More likely to vote

    •More likely to be civically involved and do volunteer work, and more likely to believe that their involvement could make a difference in the world

    •More likely to say they are very happy

    •More likely to keep the faith: 94% of homeschoolers keep their faith, and 93% continue to go to church after high school. In contrast, 75%-89% of Christian children sent to public schools drop out of church, and do not hold a Christian worldview after high school.

    •Additionally, Homeschoolers routinely score 15-30 percentile points above public school students on standardized tests, regardless of the fact that homeschoolers are not “taught the test”, and regardless of the educational level or income level of their parents.

    In a nutshell: Homeschooling WORKS. It also is wonderful for sibling/family bonding. Homeschoolers can be flexible schedule-wise, and take vacations off-season, too. It allows parents to protect their children from negative influences until they are grounded in their faith, and prepared to respond properly to them.
    But most homeschooling families I know homeschool because they feel that they are called to do so…they homeschool for religious reasons. They want to provide their children with a curriculum that includes a Christian worldview.
    Homeschooling really is a lifestyle.
    I recently did a series of posts on my blog about why homeschooling works/making the decision to homeschool. It includes questions parents should ask themselves about education. You can find it at http://susanlemons.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/making-the-decision-to-homeschool-what-is-education-anyway-questions-to-ask-yourself-if-you-are-considering-homeschooling-part-one/ . I also have lots of links on my blog that might help answer your question, including links that tackle the socialization issue (not an issue at all–if we don’t stop socializing so much, we won’t have time to do school, LOL. Most cities nowadays have support groups that offer park days, co-op classes, sports, field trips, clubs and more–like our chess club, creative writing club, veritas/beta societies, drama, class-activities, etc) AND the “salt and light” argument, as well.
    Blessings,
    Susan Lemons

  4. I decides to homeschool Cohen after his Kindergarten year in public school because his learning abilities were not met to my expectations and because they don’t discuss God at school or allow prayer. It’s kinda hard for a 5 year old to initiate a prayer group type thing at a public school, as well. There was a point in the year where a kid was getting picked on and Cohn told me about it so I told him to pray for the kid and the bully. He said he’s not allowed to pray. I told him he can pray anywhere and to do it in his head. As far as his learning is concerned, he is not disabled or deficient at all, but his teacher almost FAILED him because he didn’t meet certain learning criteria. Well, he knew and surpassed that criteria, but couldn’t perform in the classroom setting. I am also disappointed that curriculum is being re-written to sugar coat historical events and change things that we know from our educational and life experiences. Our education system seems to be sub-standard when compared to some other countries’, as well. I will likely incorporate him into public school later on, but, for now, I want to lay a solid foundation educationally and spiritually. That way, when he goes to public school later, or “out into the world”, he can be confident to reach people for God, instead of supressed by a broken system. I miss public school on many days, but I know that this is best for us for now.

  5. I am going to say ditto to Susan. Homeschooling works! I don’t feel like any Christian homeschoolers I know feel like they HAVE to homeschool, they all just feel like it is the best method of educating their children. Honestly, I don’t know any public parents that love their child’s school. The complaints I hear from my public school friends are; too much homework, not enough free play time during the day as a result of school schedule, incompetent teachers, academics are weak or some subjects move to quickly and content is not mastered, foul language from classmates, inappropriate and disrespectful behavior from classmates, anti-Christian worldview, anti-creation teaching, teaching to the test…. the list goes on, but you get the idea. I hear this from friends, moms in the grocery store, and parents at the swimming pool. So, again, while I don’t think Christian homeschoolers believe that they HAVE to homeschool, I think they are relieved it is an option.
    For me, personally spending only 2 to 3 hours per day with my children just isn’t acceptable. I can offer them a fabulous education in a fraction of the time with a Christian Worldview. Everything we study can be through the lens of the Word of the Lord. We play together, learn together. What could be better than that?!

  6. My kids have been in two different pre-schools (one public, one Christian) and three different elementary schools (public and Christian in MI, and now public in FL). I am grateful and blessed to say I have been happy with all of their schools and their teachers have been loving, supportive, and encouraging as well as flexible and responsive to individual needs.
    While each school has its unique pros and cons that I could point to, I know that the education (including art and music) that they have gotten so far with all its variety and creativity is superior to what I could give them myself at home. I’m just not cut out as that kind of mom. But I am the kind of mom that loves to cuddle and tickle and read books and listen and talk and pray – and I do those things with them every day.

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