I cannot count the times we have been asked this question. I say “we” because people do not just ask me. They approach my children with questions like, “How do you like being homeschooled?” Or, “If you had a choice would you choose to go to public school or to be homeschooled?” Or, “What do you do for fun?” Or, “Do you have any friends?”And there are many more questions that demonstrate a general lack of knowledge about homeschooling, and the ultimate question…”Why homeschool?”
The simple answer is this, as a parent, I believe that I am fully responsible before God for the choices I make regarding my children. This includes their education. I am convinced that the most important part of education is discipleship. God’s design for relationship, for covenant, is the family. Within the family, parents are charged with bringing up their children in the way they should go. Parents are to be teaching their children at all times. Deuteronomy
Before I go on, I feel as though I should address the fact that many of my friends choose to educate their children in the public system. My friends love their children deeply, and I am certain that they have many reasons for their educational choices for their children. In writing this I am focusing on what my convictions are, and why my husband and I choose to homeschool. As you read this I hope you hear my heart. I realize that parenting issues can be very sensitive. By no means am I writing this to cause any hard feelings. I am simply responding to from my convictions about this important question that I am often faced with.
I am convinced that God is the Creator. I believe that He is the only true God. I believe that Jesus Christ was sent to pay a debt for all mankind. Knowing what I believe about God, about Jesus as my Savior and the calling on my life as a parent, I made the choice to school my children from home. Knowing that God granted them to me, and that I want their education to be Christ centered this became my focus. Two of my eldest children were in public and private school settings prior to us bringing them home full-time. We found that although their teachers were conscientious and caring, the general curricula left no room for God. In fact children were discouraged in their beliefs about the Lord in the public setting. Many other ideas were presented. Most times the educational material they were presented with ignored the existence of God or opposed the gospel outright. In general the school system was hostile towards Christianity. This opposition was sometimes subtle, and even then we felt it undermined the moral fiber of the Christian faith.
When I worked outside of our home, and had my children in school, I realized day after day, that my children were away from our influence as parents. They were involved in after school sports, social activities and church, and they probably slept about 10 hours per night. By the time we had dinner cleaned up and did homework, we had very little quality time to enter into the type of relationships that we wanted to cultivate with our children. Discipleship, through modeling and teaching and living was left to just “happen” on the weekends, and this too was not nearly enough time. With grocery shopping meal planning, weekend chores, laundry, social events, sports, church, and entertainment – we did not have the time together we needed as a family. Even when our children were in Christian school or participating in Christian events, we still needed time as a family to develop our relationships. Discipleship cannot just happen. This kind of parenting requires thoughtful, deliberate action, day after day. We have seen amazing blessings in our lives and with our family that are a direct correlation with our choice to homeschool.