Why we homeschool

Our family has made the choice to home education our children, rather than put them in the school system. Below is an outline of the ‘why’ behind our decision. This is certainly not an exhaustive list of our reasons for choosing to homeschool our kids. It is also not intended in any way to make others feel guilty for sending their kids to school. It’s simply an overview of some of the most important and outstanding reasons we believe that – for us – homeschooling is the option we must (and desire to) choose.

Spiritual Training.  Just as a solider training for war should go where he can be BEST trained, so we – training our kids for the spiritual war they will engage in as they grow – want to train them in the BEST possible place. In our opinion, this is not a school setting.  Why?  Because:

  1. We want to create an atmosphere where prayer, Bible study and unconditional love are a central part of their learning process, as we believe this creates a solid foundation for a life of love. (Deut 6:6-8)
  2. We want to be able to frequently and consistently show them how the Biblical principals of love, kindness and responsibility should influence thoughts and behaviour, and train them to make this a personal habit for life.  (Proverbs 22:6)
  3. We want them to be totally immersed in an atmosphere of love, acceptance, affirmation of who they are, and be the ones to provide consistent and loving discipline. At school we perceive that they will be too exposed to anger, bullying, discouragement and lack of discipline which can negatively impact character development.
  4. We want them to regularly observe adults and children who model love, integrity and diligence – characteristics we feel they should be aspiring too. Kids imitate what (and who) they see the most.
  5. We want them to be comparatively free from the long and daily peer pressure to conform to worldy standards. We want to control such exposure so they learn to love those they disagree with, rather than imitate them.

Academic excellence.  With ratio at almost always close to 1:1, we believe that education at home is far more likely to be of good quality than education at school. Even without formal teacher training we believe this is achievable. How?  Because:

  1. We can work hard at developing and maintaining a love for learning in our children. This (which is so easily and quickly lost in school settings) will help them to be life-long learners, and people who are diligent to search out whatever they need to know in the future.
  2. We are able to be very in tune with what subjects and topics each child enjoys, finds easy, or struggles with in some way. We can tailor their education to these strengths and weaknesses, moving ahead quickly when they excel, and taking the time needed when they would otherwise have struggled.
  3. We can focus on true understanding rather than test scores. Learning can be put into context and become meaningful, rather than abstract.  Long term learning is the goal.
  4. With the responsibility on our shoulders of educating our children, we tend to learn alongside them. This means that we are able to weave threads of learning easily through-out life as whole.  Learning becomes a natural part of life, not a 9am-3pm chore.  It also becomes a shared process of enjoyment and mutual encouragement.

Personal development.  There is no need to fear a lack of socialisation in homeschooled children – in fact the opposite may be true. Homeschooled kids are constantly around a variety of ages, and learn how to interact in everyday life, rather than the artificial situation which a class, year or grade makes up at school. With homeschool co-ops, clubs, music, art, swimming, church, camps, etc, there are no shortages of opportunities to socialise. But apart from this, there are other personal developmental benefits to homeschoolng:

  1. Self-discipline.  Opportunities to learn by one’s own initiative come up frequently in home education, and this promotes self-discipline, a huge benefit for life in the adult world.
  2. Problem solving.  While this can certainly be learnt at school, it may not be taught as specifically as we would like. We want to be around to teach loving and peaceful ways to solve both interpersonal and situational problems.
  3. Acceptance of others. Unlike the cliques which develop so easily in school settings, we can encourage children to play with, help and engage with people of all ages and abilities.
  4. Personal conviction.  Children should be free to question and challenge ideas and beliefs in an atmosphere of open-mindedness and honesty. We will not teach them just one view as right, to be taken as fact without question, but rather encourage them to examine and search out the evidence for themselves.  We will explain what we believe and why, and actively help our children to make their own decisions based on accurate interpretation of the available evidence.

Ultimately, we feel that God has given us (not teachers, day-care providers, babysitters or anyone else) the responsibility to bring our children up “in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Eph 6:4), and feel that we will best carry out that responsibility by educating our kids at home.  We believe that education at home can be first-class, and that the personal skills instilled will best prepare them to go into the world as loving, useful members of society.

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6 Comments

  1. Ellie said,

    April 17, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Lovely post and totally answered all my questions about the decision to home school – a very persuasive argument! Particularly love the part about God giving parents the responsibility to bring up their children, and definitely something I will consider. Cannot wait to read more!

    • DeneM said,

      April 18, 2012 at 7:36 am

      Thanks again, Ellie! So glad it was helpful to you. Keep me posted on your decision. I will pray for you as you consider what is right 🙂

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