I’ve been a homeschooling mom for 20+ years. I’ve homeschooled three children all the way through high school, and my youngest child is 5-years-old, so I still have a long way to go.
Why do I homeschool? Not because I want to hide my children away from the world. Not because I don’t have any dreams or goals of my own. Just the opposite. I sacrifice a lot to spend this time and effort on my kids. As a successful author, with a flourishing career, I could spend a lot more time writing more books if it wasn’t for homeschooling. I’d have more quiet and more peace. I’d have a cleaner house! Yet since I first started in 1994 the reasons why I homeschool has grown as my kids have. I homeschool for many reasons, and here are the first 14 that came to mind:
The truth is that sitting in one room with 30 people your own age all day is not reflective of the “real world.” I want my kids to connect and interact with ethnically diverse people, of all ages, as they will throughout life. Through homeschooling, they interact with siblings, neighbors, kids on community sports teams, and friends of all ages in our ethnically-diverse church. They also spend hours each day with my 86-year-old grandmother who lives in our home. This is true socialization.
I want my thoughts, opinions and values to matter more to my children than those of other kids, their teachers and society. Teachers are wonderful. I love teachers, but many times their thoughts, values and opinions aren’t those of our family. I want my children to learn godly principles while they are young so they can build a strong foundation for the rest of their lives. The greatest way to teach my children Biblical principles is to model godly living for them, and I’m best able to do this when we spend time together throughout the day, instead of limited hours at night or on weekends.
3. Family Bonding:
I want time with my children: learning, playing, laughing, disagreeing and forgiving. Friends will come and go through life, but our children will have their family forever, and I want these relationships to matter most. My kids need their parents more than they need their peers. They need their siblings more, too.
I want to follow my children’s unique learning paths, not ones set up by a state office somewhere by someone (as well meaning as he or she is) who doesn’t know my children, their interests, or their talents. I want to choose resources that will provide a well-rounded education with learning methods that will excite my kids!
God gave me these children during a limited amount of time on earth. Someday I will stand before God and be accountable for my choices for them. I take this seriously. I want to be able to tell God that I gave my children (and Him!) everything I could when I had the chance.
We all know that bullying is a huge problem, and I don’t want my children to be exposed to hurtful or negative words and actions displayed by hurting and negative kids. I want my children to be confident in the people who God created them to be without other kids criticizing them or putting them down. I want their confidence to come from their skills, character and talents and not because they dress or behave in a way deemed cool or popular according to the trends of the moment.
I want my children to develop a love and excitement for learning—not just get items completed and marked off a list. I want my child to learn for the joy of learning and not for a standardized test. I want this joy of learning to carry through life!
I want the material we use to be interesting and engaging, but even more important Christ-honoring and Christ-centered. I want to trust the beliefs and standards behind those who write the material my kids will use.
Homeschooling is about so much more than just books. It’s about household management, cooking, nature, being creative, exercising our bodies and serving others. Every day we learn at home, and interact in life together in healthy ways, my children are learning how to prepare for life.
10. Real life experiences:
We don’t homeschool in a bubble. Our family serves teen moms in the inner city. We visit city parks, museums, libraries and our city pool on a weekly basis. We meet friends for events and play dates. My children aren’t confined to one room all day, they experience the real life in the real world around them.
We can sleep in when we need to or take vacation days when everyone else is in school. We can spend time with dad during his lunch hour (both my husband and I work at home), and who him our school projects as we complete them.
I’m not foolish to think that I can provide everything my child needs. I also strive to surround my children with other godly adults (our friends, fellow church members, and follow volunteers) so my children can see how others serve Christ, too.
My children spend hours outside each day running and playing. They enjoy healthy meals—all of which are eaten with other family members around the dining room table. They eat far more home-cooked items than fast food or processed food. My children also get plenty of sleep, and my younger kids nap during the day, because sleep is important to development and growth.
I believe in my children’s future, and I have faith that God is going to do great things with their lives. This faith causes me to put my needs and desires on the back burner for what I feel is God’s greater good for my kids. My faith keeps me going even on days that are hard or exhausting. It’s trusting in the good future for my kids that I can’t see. And trusting in a God who knew and designed their lives before even one of my children came to be.
How about you? Do you homeschool? I’d love to hear WHY!
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