The topic of how we want to educate our children is an on-going discussion in our household. We are in the unique situation of having few options. And by few, I mean three. One is a definite no, which makes two: a local Catholic school and homeschooling. The reason why we have so few options is based on this premise: We feel led to stay local.

We live a low-economic area, of mixed races and backgrounds. There is a lot of state housing, gangs and normal, hard-working people. If we were on the Titanic, we’d be with Jack below in third class {even with the possible means of buying, at least, a second-class ticket but choosing not to}. Coming from the higher end of the spectrum growing up, living here would not have been my picking – but you know how God is 🙂. Now, after six years, I love it. Yes, I have to fight for contentment and the temptation to keep up with the Jones’ – but all in all, with all the relationships we’ve established in our street and surroundings, this is our call.

So, in terms of schooling, we want to stay local. We don’t want our children having long car trips to school. We don’t want the people we know here to feel isolated if we chose a more private school and think that we think we’re “better”. If we are here, we want to be all here.

But because of the earthquakes, many schools in our area have closed down. There is a merger school happening, but with the government using it as a sort-of guinea pig experiment, as well as issues with the environment, and the push to do MLE {Modern Learning Environment}, it is not an option.

And then, one day, after never particularly liking the idea, homeschooling entered my heart and it has been there ever since. I’ve done a lot of reading and research, and though it’s not set in stone, it would be amazing if we could. The choice whether or not to will come down to Tim and I am so thankful that he is prayerfully and carefully considering it. {In fact, because we don’t know anyone personally who does, we’re having lunch with a family we don’t know – only heard of in family circles – who do, so we can see, watch and learn.}

Tim asked me recently to write down my top three reasons why I want to homeschool. Being an English nerd, I joked, “Can they be essays?!” I thought long and hard, because there are so many reasons other than having few schooling options. And here they are, I thought I would share:

 

  1. It is the kind of lifestyle I would love our family to have.

From all that I have read from books and other homeschooling families, though it is hard work and requires sacrifice, the way of life it creates is more relaxed, more natural, and freer. Families spend their days together and learning about life together in a seasonal way. It provides opportunities for family excursions, trips and spontaneous activities that can enhance our family life and their learning abilities. I may be wrong, but it makes more sense and families lived this way for thousands of years.

  1. It lends itself to a well-rounded, richer and more natural education for the children.

It’s obvious that children learn better in a one-on-one environment where they get the attention, help and support they need. If a child excels in one area, attention can be paid to this; if they struggle, they can learn at their own pace {no need for shame, feeling left behind etc}. I believe education is more than learning facts and figures – it is learning to love learning and living in real life, understanding that all truth is God’s truth. They can take tests if needed, but their academic learning {in the early years} needn’t be depended on what standards they are or are not living up to {according to the government}. The early years is all about rooting down the love of learning and life and discovering all that God has made in the world and the world to be.

  1. We have a more significant influence – spiritually, socially and educationally – in their early years in order to prepare them to being “lights” later.

Though the Bible doesn’t talk about education the way it is today, there are so many passages speaking to parents and telling them to live, train, teach, guide, grow, disciple and discipline their children “in the way they should go” {Proverbs 22:6}. This is why I believe education is more than facts and figures: homeschooling is a modern term for an ancient, biblical way of life. We cannot determine if our children will be Christians when they are older, but we have a duty to God to do our very best to love them and set them on the right path for life. As they get older, we let go of them more; but I believe five is too young {even up to eight} to be dealing with what goes on in schools now, both from their peers and from the teachers/government/curriculum.

***

There you have it. I would have written essays with scripture, quotes from role models, or even statistics. But Tim wanted brief and simple, he didn’t want justifications. And it is good to cement in my mind in a straight-forward way the why of homeschooling because there are so many people who don’t and want to know {even if they are thinking, “Why on earth?!}. Like I said though, we may not. I trust the Lord to guide Tim and the decision he will make. I’ve laid out my heart, my reasons, my hopes. Now I leave it in God’s hands as He guides Tim.

Do you homeschool? Do you send your children to school? What are your reasons?

18 Replies to “The Top 3 Reasons Why I Want to Homeschool.”

  1. We homeschool as well. My husband is self-employed, I’m a stay-at-home mom; it didn’t make sense to send our kids to school. I will additionally confess, I didn’t care for the idea that my children would learn amazing things with someone else; allowing another person to enjoy my children’s childhood instead of me.

    Thus, we homeschool. It’s challenging, yet rewarding. A blessing, and a lesson.

    May the Lord continue to bless your journey and speak His Word into your family.

    1. Thank you! I love hearing how and why others homeschool. It is so rare where we are, and those who know kids who are homeschooled think they are ‘weird’. But I think it seems so natural. And I don’t think it’s being selfish to want to be part of your children’s childhood – we get one chance at this opportunity!

  2. Sarah, your reasons are wonderful… and very similar to ours… I love our homeschooling lifestyle. May God give you and your husband wisdom (James 1:5) as you decide. Thank you for sharing this on the Art of Home-Making Mondays at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth!

  3. Great reasons! I agree with all three. We’ve thought about putting one of our kids in public school and homechooling the rest, but ultimately it would negatively affect your Reason #1. We love any posts promoting homeschool literacy and the Christian side of homeschooling at our weekly linkup called Literacy Musing Mondays. http://www.foreverjoyful.net/?p=731

  4. We love homeschooling! It is definitely not easy, but it is such a blessing in every way. The time I have with the kids is priceless. The thing about making a “school” decision is that nothing is set in stone. You can always switch at any time should The Lord call you in a different direction. Praying you all have peace about a decision soon. 🙂

  5. Wow. We will be sure to keep your family in our prayers as you consider this decision!
    As a homeschool graduate I can honestly say that I am eternally grateful to my parents and the Lord for guiding them to homeschool us. The benefits are numerous. Watching my mom school for over 18 years I’ve seen the sacrifices she’s had to make. But as I said, the benefits are numerous. We’ve grown up to be best friends; I don’t think that would have been achieved had we been public schooled.
    ~Haley

  6. My son’s only 19 months, but lately we’ve been toying with the idea of homeschooling. We live in a very good school district, which is the only thing holding us back, but I really would love to be the one to teach my children everything and to do it in a way and at a pace that is right for us. This is a great post!

  7. We have been homeschooling since 2007, and have never regretted it, even on the more challenging days 🙂 We started due to problems at our son’s school, but our reasons for doing it have widened out to be much broader, including ones similar to your three above. I will pray for your family this week, and please feel free to email me if you want to ask any questions, Sarah.

  8. My husband and I have just decided to homeschool our two youngest, ages 4 and 2. We are still deciding on my 6 th grader, and I have a 10th grader also. I am afraid that it will be hard for the two older ones to switch to a different type of learning, and right now they are in cyber school, so at least they are shielded from most of the negative things their peers are doing/talking about. My reasons are the same as yours. I especially believe it is hard to raise christian children at home then throw them in ”the world” for 9 hours a day. I am very excited to start kindergarten next fall! Once I discovered how much curriculum there is out there it def took a lot of the fear away. I only know one person who has homeschooled in the past, so I do have someone to turn to with questions. Good luck with your meeting this weekend, I will keep you in my prayers 🙂

  9. We are finishing up our homeschool journey. So glad we went this direction! We started in public school, went to private school, and ultimately, my husband allowed me to homeschool for a year on a trial basis. We didn’t get two months in before we knew that it was exactly what we had been looking for. Maybe your husband would be willing to try it on a trial basis. Mine figured I couldn’t do too much damage in one year 😉 I’ll be praying for you!

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