Thursday, April 5, 2012

Why We Decided To Homeschool

If someone had asked me ten years ago if I planned on homeschooling our future kids I probably would’ve said no. The first reason was that I was unaware of the option to home-school. Second, because I went to public school and so had all my family and friends. My husband and I didn’t discuss how we would educate our future children. The decision is easy right? Just make the same decision as our parents and the majority of Americans, public education. I am ashamed to say that we, like so many Christian parents, didn’t initially go to God’s word for guidance nor did we pray about how we would educate our kids. Our oldest son attended majority of his Kindergarten year in a public school and the experience we had during that time was enough to make us want to home-school him. 

Home-school didn’t come as an easy choice. During the time my oldest son was in Kindergarten I was working full-time outside the home. Towards the end of the school year I was lovingly exposed to God’s plan for me as a wife and mother in Titus Chapter 2. Though I DID NOT like what I read in Titus 2 initially, my heart was convicted and I realized I needed to submit every part of my life to the Father’s plan. My desire was to be a wife and a mother that honored God. I knew that I was not keeping our home in a way that was pleasing to God, we weren’t fulfilling the requirements of Deuteronomy 6, our son wasn’t being taught a biblical worldview at school, and to put it plainly I was NOT being a help mate to my husband. So I knew what I had to do. With my husband's love and support, I quit my job working for the government and a few weeks later I took our oldest son out of public school (our youngest out of daycare) and began homeschooling them. My husband was deployed after I put in my two week notice so you can imagine how terrified I was of starting this new journey without him there with me. During the weeks after I quit my job I took the time to pray and study in the scriptures about what God requires of us as Christian parents. What I found convicted my heart and my husband’s heart as well. 

Now I know that it is our responsibility as Christian parents to educate our kids not the governments'. The public education system isn’t going to teach our kids the fear of the Lord; which is the beginning of knowledge as the bible says in Proverbs 1:7. Education for our children MUST begin from a biblical worldview. Biblical worldview is simply how they see and interpret the world around them. We are to give our children a biblical understanding of who God is (of His attributes), a biblical view of man (of our depravity), of the deceitfulness of our hearts, a biblical view of what God requires of man, and we are to teach these things diligently to our children (Deut. 6). If we don’t have a biblical worldview then we can’t give our kids a biblical worldview. It comes of no surprise that if our kids aren’t getting a biblical worldview at school then they are most certainly getting a secular worldview based on secular humanism (take some time and research this if you don’t know what it is). The statistics are alarming! A few years ago (2008) The George Barna Research group conducted a study revealing that “70-88% percent of high school students stop attending church after they graduate.” Basically, fill a room with 100 professing Christian students and 70-88 of them wouldn’t be professing Christians after high school. 

I could write a few pages on the decline of education in America and how that also played a part in our decision to home-school but I’ll save that for another post. If you are into watching documentaries I would recommend “Children of Caesar” by Voddie Baucham, “Waiting For Superman”, “Indoctrination: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity In America ” and “Agenda: Grinding Down America”. All of these documentaries are sobering to say the least. If you’ve ever wanted to understand the history behind public education; how it began, who its founders were, and their purpose for instituting government education, then you’ll enjoy all of these documentaries. Last, I’ll mention why I love homeschooling. I often get asked by other mothers if I enjoy homeschooling and I am always excited to answer that question.  I really do enjoy homeschooling our children! When we first took Emmanuel out of public school he had already began to lose his love for learning. Since I’ve been homeschooling him, his love for learning has increased dramatically. We are able to tailor his education around his style(s) of learning and we can incorporate things that he enjoys into his learning process. As a parent I get to choose his curriculum so that makes it easier for me to ensure that he is getting a biblical worldview.  I love that as teacher I get to set the tone of our learning environment. Every morning we start school with family worship where we learn about God through scripture, then we sing hymns together, and we close in prayer (we also end our day with family worship before bed). Of course, some school days are harder than others but even those times are sweet because we can stop and pray together and ask God for grace and strength to persevere. I love that I have the time to stop and encourage, correct, train, nurture, praise, and discipline our children during school. We really get to really know our kids, learn their strengths and weaknesses, and help nurture the gifts and talents that God has given them. For my family, we can best bring our children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord through homeschooling. 

I am very thankful that homeschooling is much easier today than it was in the past. Hats off to all the parents who home-schooled in generations past because they had to create their own curriculum. Today there are so many resources available to home-school parents. You can buy home-school curriculum from Kindergarten through the 12th grade and there are even resources available to prepare home-school kids for college If you’d like more info on homeschooling curriculum or if you have any questions about how we home-school feel free to ask!

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