Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Why We Homeschool...

(Well, you all did it!!!  After my last post, your comments and e-mails brought on a burning desire to share with you our heart on here ya go!)

"Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching." Proverbs 1:8

It doesn't make sense for us to homeschool--it just doesn't.  Primarily because my husband is the administrator at our small Christian School here in our town.  But there are other reasons too--most of our friends send their kids there, the teachers are amazing and very good friends of mine, it's less than a mile from our home, we would get a significant discount...etc.

Yet we choose to homeschool...why?

Well, I plan to *attempt* to answer that in this post...

First of all, let me just say that we did not come by this decision lightly.  We have toiled over this decision...honestly toiled.  At one point this year, we were all set to send our oldest son to CCA (our Christian school) come Fall.  But there was an unsettling feeling we couldn't kick.

We believe there are wrong reasons to homeschool, just as their are wrong reasons to choose private schooling...and we needed to find out where our hearts were...

My husband dedicated an entire day to fasting and prayer in regards to this decision.  The end result was the Lord telling him...

"raise them for my glory"
To which my husband asked, "So what does that mean, CCA or homeschool?"
and the Lord answered "YOU raise them for my glory"

Afterall, it's our job to raise them, right?  It's not the job of paid staff (no matter how wonderful they may be)
...Because I am the Lord's choice for my children.  I am their steward. 

"A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.
Luke 6:40

When it comes down to it, I don't feel a peace about passing my responsibility off to another.  Sure, it's tempting at times...a whole day to myself, not fretting over whether or not they are learning all they "should" learn, knowing they are learning how to be polictically correct in their social skills (oh wait, that's actually something I DO NOT care about!)...but

~the opportunity I have to homeschool is not worth the sacrifice 
of sending their hearts off to another.

I do not feel like I can diligently (as scripture says) carry out some Biblical commands regarding my children without homeschooling them(for example Deuteronomy 6:5-7).

So, in essence, we homeschool because someday my husband and I will be accountable for the lives of our children.  How we trained them, raised them, led them, discipled them, taught them...I don't want to stand before the Lord and say, "we sent them somewhere else for most of that".

Because we know that more happens, in a 7.5 hour school day, than just education by the books.  They are sponges to their environments.  It's our job as parents (and stewards) to decide what is acceptable in that environment...

They are temples, they were bought at a even though they may turn out to be "good kids" no matter what school we choose, we still need to keep a careful watch on what they hear, see, do.  That isn't being "controlling", that is our JOB, our role that the Lord has entrusted us with.

"My education was interrupted only by my schooling"
-Winston Churchill
If we were to send them to school, we would be entrusting 16,000 hours of their young, impressionable life to someone else.  In their youth, they would spend more awake time at school, around acquaintances than with their family.  In that time, they will be shaped and molded by not just teachers, but even-more-so by their peers.  

Sure, if they go to school, I can complain that so-and-so should not sit by my son...or ask that the teacher not talk to my son about this or that, or even throw a fit when another student describes something in detail to my son that will change the course of his life forever...

Or I could just homeschool them and know what they are hearing, seeing, doing.

My husband and I know first hand that a Christian school is not always a safe place for children...even for the littlest, purest of hearts.

I want to be clear though, that we don't homeschool out of fear.  That's not our drive at all.  We homeschool out of conviction and freedom.  Not fear, not legalism (I'll write about that one soon!).

Yes, I know there are other avenues in which they can be exposed to some dreaded things...not to mention bad attitudes and poor examples.  It may just be inevitable, but in the arena of school (the biggest arena for these influences), this is one less (huge) situation I have to throw them into not knowing what they will be exposed to.

Plus, it's simply just my joy and pleasure to teach my kids from our home.  Yes, there are stressful days.  No, I don't always feel capable.  But thankfully, the Lord is my strength and His mercies are new every morning!

What's more, is that I want my kids to know that I love being with them...that we were entrusted by God to be their stewards and we delight in that duty and don't take it lightly.

So there you have it!  That's why WE homeschool.  Maybe it's not right for fact, it might not always be right for us...but right now it's what the Lord wills, so we happily follow the sweet, shepherds voice!

Oh, and did I mention I was homeschooled?!

"If you're so worried about socialization just do the following:
In the morning before school, pull your kids hair and make fun of their socks.

At lunch time, steal their milk money and tell them you don't want to sit by them (you have a friend you like better who you're saving that seat for).

After school, offer them drugs and call them a "momma's boy"...

and voila...your kid has been properly socialized for the day!"

~A quote from a "been there done that" MOMYS
So I haven't covered everything on why we homeschool and our thoughts/feelings on the entire subject (and someday I might add more of my other thoughts) but for now, I'll just add this last thing...

Why don't I think you're wrong for not homeschooling?  Well, first, I'm not going to stand accountable for your decisions, so I just don't go there.  But also, it's not for everyone.  There are families that because of unavoidable circumstances can not homeschool.  For others, they simply don't feel convicted to homeschool and the Lord has led their family in a different direction...thankfully, we're not called to be "cookie cutter Christians"!


Grace Wheeler said...

OH! AND COMING SOON...our curriculum this year and pics of our "school room"!

Gwen Toliver said...

Thanks so much, Grace! I had no idea you were homeschooled yourself? I was public/private schooled but am so very, very glad God led us to homeschool our crew. What a blessing it has been and continues to be for our family.

You've inspired me - I need to do some posts on our homeschooling as well. It seems people are always curious.... :)

Alice said...

I'm so excited to see this post!!! I thought you might take a break from blogging after tantalising us with that list of potential blog posts! Oh I hope you will write about ALL of them! I am so interested to read about all of those things.

I love this post because we're on the same page - you are choosing to homeschool for the exact same reasons that we are. I was not homeschooled though - nor was my husband. In fact, I don't know anyone who was homeschooled. People's heads do actually spin when we tell them that's what we do - it's not really done in the UK! ;) Here, kids start school the year they turn 5, so although Arthur and Trusten are the same age, we are nearing the end of our first year. I think I am changing the school year to match the calender year though. Maybe... It has not been an easy year, but I would not change homeschooling for a thing! It's a joy and a privilege, like you said! :)

I absolutely can't wait to see pics of your school room! We have one room downstairs (and the kitchen) so we have a "school wall"! ;) It works for us! I love seeing what others are choosing for a curriculum, so I'm eager for your post about that too!

SO glad you posted! :)

JillAileenJones said...

Great post! We are homeschooling our eldest daughter this year. It will be a whole new thing for me and I am a little nervous-but I know it is what we are supposed to do for now.
So glad that you got your hymn piece today.

Liz @ Sugarplum Creations said...

Oh Grace, I am so excited to read this. Your reasons ~ all of your reasons ~ are exactly why we chose to homeschool as well. I had the exact same unsettling feeling when thinking about sending our oldest to school, three years ago. I just knew God was calling us to homeschool. Funny enough, we were just going through our school drawers and cupboards this afternoon; trying to clean out and prepare for next school year. I cannot wait to see pics of your school room, and read more about your curriculum. I am staying tuned! :)

Amy Matthews said...

You speak my heart better than I can Grace!

Nicci Lynn said...

Did you jump in my mind for a little bit? LOL! What a beautiful post on HSing, Grace. I feel the exact same on the subject. God has led us (not everyone) to HS and I am humbled to be trusted to be my children's teacher! What a blessing it is for me! Thanks for the great post! P.S. Can I link to this article on my site? :)

Susano said...

Oh Grace! I love reading your blog and hearing your opinions. It brings me so much joy and brings my mind back to joyful Christian living. Thank you for being so grounded so free to express your beliefs, opinions, struggles, and attitude. Keep up the faith and love!

Kasey said...

I no longer homeschool, but the reasons you mentioned pretty much sums up why I chose to in the first place. And though my life at present has made homeschooling impossible at the moment, I am grateful for the years that I was able to do it! Lord willing, I may one day be able to again! Thanks for a beautifully written post!

Diana said...

I totally support you in your homeschooling, Grace! I have to tell you, I tried to homeschool my oldest son when he was in first grade (other son too young at that point)... but only got to do it a few weeks. My ex-in-laws got wind of it (before they were ex's) and pounced on my ex (before our divorce)... and in turn he threatened to divorce me if we didn't get my son back in public school. This was 24-25 years ago when homeschooling was still thought of as "against the law." More to that story of course... but, I admire homeschooling families in taking a stand for the Lord, guiding and teaching their children with the Word of God. I look forward to seeing your schoolroom and learning about your curriculum! Blessings to you and your family, Grace! =)

Addie Walters said...

Grace, I really, really respect your reasons for homeschooling. We have some individuals in our lives that homeschool, but they have the "holier than thou" attitude about it and that has really turned us off since they always seem to want to shove it down our throats. Your reasons are so incredibly biblically based and individual for what works for YOU, and I love that. With Matt being a teacher, we very much believe that there is a reason for Christians to be in the public school systems - he is able to work to reach those who need Christ the most. Some of those kids will break your heart - no love at home, no chance at all to know the love of Christ. Matt has a bible study and prayer group for his baseball team for whoever wants to be there before practice and games, and we've seen quite a few "non-churchy" kids show up over and over again. God is so good!

Anyway, I'm rambling. But I just wanted to let you know that you're post on homeschooling is wonderful. You are an AMAZING mom and you have an AMAZING family!!

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