Monday, August 6, 2012

Why Homeschool? Why Not?


Homeschoolers are often asked why we've chosen this method of education.  I often think the question should be reversed - why aren't more families homeschooling?  (More and more families are choosing to do so, by the way.)  Why isn't homeschooling the norm, as it used to be?  It is only in relatively recent history that it has become the norm to send children to a state-run institution for their education, and it is questionable whether the overall level of education has improved as a result.  More important are the questions of whether it is healthy for children to be separated from their family for so much of their day, and whether the authority and influence of parents is undermined.

Last fall I wrote about my family's motivation for homeschooling for the Blog Cruise, and since my time is short this morning, I will quote part of that here rather than try to rewrite it.  (You can read that entry in its entirety here:  What's My Motivation Here?)
And the more we thought about it, and the more often we had to defend or explain our choice to family and friends, the more plain it became to me that the reason it didn't seem "natural" to me to put my kids on a schoolbus and have them separated from their family members for most of their waking hours each day ----- is because it's NOT.  God's plan is for children to be raised and discipled by their parents, to be influenced and to be educated in a loving home where God is honoured.   Where the inevitable questions of "why?" can be answered based on the truth of God's Word.  Where character can be shaped and trained by the people who care the most and have the most invested in the child.  We can do what we are charged with in Deuteronomy 6:4-9 - impressing God's Word on our children, talking about it as we go through our daily lives.
Homeschooling just makes sense.  I have come to believe that homeschooling should be the "default" position for families, especially Christian families.  Maybe someday it will be.
And sometimes I need to ask myself the question I asked in the title - what is my motivation?  I am doing this because I love my kids, and because I believe it is the right thing to do.  My highest goal is to disciple my kids and continually point them towards the Lord.  There are plenty of other motivations, and none of them wrong, but as long as the most important motivation is my priority, I can keep my focus when days are difficult, and know how I'm doing in reaching that goal.
Don't misunderstand - I know that there are family situations in which it really doesn't seem possible or practical for a parent to stay home and oversee the children's education.  Ultimately, the decision is for each family to make for themselves.  But it is a decision, and the education of our children has eternal consequences, so I believe Christian parents should pray and consider carefully their options.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is --
his good, pleasing and perfect will.
~Romans 12:2~

Visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog (this link will be live on Tuesday, August 7th) to see what other Crew members have to say.  You can also visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog homepage to see the reviews we are working on, past reviews, and past blog cruise topics.  


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