Everyone decides to homeschool for different reasons, but I want to share with you our top three reasons to homeschool.
Our homeschooling story began in 1991 way back in Southern California. We have continued to homeschool across the country, with numerous children (most of whom have now graduated) for the following reasons:
(Still unsure about homeschooling? Check out Should I Homeschool?)
Reason #1 – Education
Our kids are getting a solid education. Is it perfect? No. Are there gaps? Yes. Is that normal? I think so. Do we continue to hone and improve what we do? Yes.
Educating our kids at home has streamlined the academic process for the simple reason that there are fewer people to manage, no classes to change or halls and lockers to navigate, and no worksheets to slow us down. We learn the lesson; we move on. This pace has given our kids plenty of time to do things like scouts, sports, travel, read voraciously, study art, plant gardens, create things, help us re-build an acreage, serve others, write novels, participate in horseback riding, karate, and soccer, and pursue so many other interests.
Reason #2 – Faith
Homeschooling allows your kids to have time to refine, define, and own their faith.
Of course, it doesn’t take homeschooling to allow kids to own their faith, but it does allow them time to own it before the world and peers, and a whole host of other voices, come along to batter and beat it into something almost, but possibly, not quite Christian. Our kids leave our home with a solid understanding of the Bible, including its history, language and culture, the history of the church, the importance and personhood of Jesus, and a glimpse at how imperfect people attempt to live a life of vibrant faith.
Is it perfect? No. Do we fail? Yes. Is that normal? I know so.
Kids grow up and decide and determine what values they’ll follow, what memories they’ll treasure, and which they discard. The voices of the world are loud and noisy, and there is no guarantee that any of our kids will grow up to follow much of anything they’ve been raised with. The whole idea that if we raise our kids a certain way, it will guarantee specific values and lifestyle in our kids is idolatry, pure and simple.
We get to follow God and be faithful to what He has called us to do. Our kids also have that choice- to hear and obey, or not. Twenty-eight years into this stint of homeschooling has taught me some hard lessons, and one of the most challenging has been to realize that everyone works out their own salvation with fear and trembling. We don’t get to take our kids, or our spouses, or anyone else to heaven — just us. But we can sure do our part on behalf of others, including our kids.
That being said, raising our kids with an understanding of the Bible, history, literature, critical thinking skills, and a knowledge of Faith is one of the greatest gifts we can give our kids. What they do with that gift is up to them.
Reason #3 – Family
It’s a busy world. Homeschooling has allowed us to spend hours together, playing, reading, learning, building, re-modeling, cooking, gardening, arguing, and laughing together. The good side of that is that everybody knows each other. The downside of this is that everybody knows each other.
Is it perfect? No. Do we get on each other’s nerves? You betcha’.
But really, how many people do you ever get to know well in life? Precious few. Add in social media and life online, and it’s no wonder that people are, literally, getting lonelier. Homeschooling has given our family time to sit around the fire watching fireflies and the Milky Way, discuss great books, history, literature, and ideas for hours. We can travel, sightsee, and fall in love with God’s world and each other. Quality time almost always demands quantity time. Our family has been blessed with plenty of both, and it has enriched each of our lives.
What are your top 3 reasons for homeschooling? Are they the same as when you first started or have they changed?
(Just now deciding to take the homeschooling plunge? Check out our post on Homeschooling 101.)