Throughout social media channels, I have noticed a recurring question: where are all the homeschooling blogs. Specifically people are asking for theologically solid homeschooling blogs. I don’t plan to completely change the focus of my blog, but I do plan to write more about homeschooling in 2017, because I have noticed it is a topic begging for attention. Today I am going to begin simply with why we homeschool.
We have been homeschooling our son, consistently, for about a year and a half now. By “consistently,” I mean 4-5 days a week. Kindergarten was successfully completed last May, and we started first grade in July. We eased into homeschooling by using the Homegrown Preschooler when he was preschool age, now use Classical Conversations, and we plan to school almost year-round, taking breaks when we sense it is necessary.
Keith and I prayed a lot about what to do in terms of education for our son. I have multiple masters degrees and used to teach at a private Christian PK-8 school; he has a high school education and a CDL. Our experiences are very different. But once our son came home, I looked at Keith and said, “I can’t imagine handing him over to someone else eight hours a day to raise.”
That is the crux of our decision: God gave us our child (and any future children He might be so kind as to bless us with), and according to our studies of Scripture, it is our responsibility to bring him up. Because of that, we want to be the ones who direct his education.
We live in an area where the schools are okay; they aren’t great, they are just okay. But kindergartners are expected to come into kindergarten knowing how to read and write, which means children as young as three or four are expected to attend preschool. I don’t believe children that young are ready for any kind of formal academic education – they learn best from play and doing things alongside their families.
Now in our second year of CC, our son is either at or above grade level in every academic area for children his age. He is thriving academically, and we haven’t seen any repercussions from waiting to start “school” until he was a little older.
We also live in a neighborhood. We know our neighbors and spend time with them. I also taught for seven years, and being in a Christian school does not automatically make the kids there fully developed followers of Christ. I know what kids do, think, and talk about. I am aware of the apps, the social media, the television shows…
Yes, we want to shelter our child, especially while he was is still so young. A seven year old doesn’t need to be hearing about last night’s episode of “The Walking Dead,” or looking at scantily clad women on someone’s unprotected cell phone. Plus, let’s not even discuss the transgender issues that are happening in schools today, yes, even in elementary schools.
Do we discuss “grown up” things at home? Yes, absolutely, but his father and I guide those conversations and discussions, and we can filter things through Scripture. At this point he is still sweet enough to ask us everything. And he isn’t sheltered: there’s co-op, Sunday school, the neighborhood kids (where sadly he hears about TWD anyway…sigh…), cousins, etc. But the majority of his moral education comes from us, which needs to happen.
Keith has a different work schedule. It turns out that homeschooling allows us to spend much more time together as a family than if The Boy had to get on a bus at 7:45am and be gone until 3:30pm every day. (and then there would be homework!)
We can travel on the “off” seasons. We spent a week at the beach in October, and the longest we had to wait for a beachfront table at a restaurant was twenty minutes. It was lovely!
We can help our aging parents, and our son gets to spend a lot of time with his grandparents going to fun events and out to lunch.
There are additional reasons we chose to homeschool as well. There is a sleep disorder, some separation issues, and quite frankly, we LOVE spending time together as a family. There is a joy with being together and not cramming “family time” into the weekend (or whenever Keith is home AND it’s the weekend).
Plus, I would have to go back to work to afford many of the things a public education would require. We aren’t willing to make that sacrifice. We are willing to make all sorts of sacrifices so I can be home all day every day, keeping our home and educating our son. However, we are not willing to sacrifice the things me going back to work full-time would require.
Not a Salvation Issue
How you choose to educate your children is not a salvation issue. But it is an important one. I encourage every Christian parent to thoroughly evaluate their options and their reasoning for whatever choice they make. This is also a divisive issue; trust me, I’ve been on the receiving end of quite a few hate-filled comments from people. You need to do what you and your husband think is best for your family. Pray, ask wiser people than you for guidance, and stay tuned this year as we explore a lot of things about homeschooling!