*DISCLAIMER* As you probably know by now, our family has chosen to homeschool. We really do believe that God calls SOME, not all, to this type of mission field. It’s a very personal decision that needs to be made between, your spouse, you and God. I am not seeking with this post to “convince” you to homeschool, but rather to answer some of the common questions we get asked about homeschooling, in hopes to encourage someone. If that someone is you, or if you’d like to ask any other questions, please feel free to comment! But let’s be nice, and respectful – no throwing stones :0).
Lately, there have been a number of people asking questions about homeschooling. And since they seem to be the same questions coming up, I wanted to address them in a post. I don’t claim to have the answers to everything, but these are from my heart.
1. Homeschooling is NOT for everyone.
I don’t care what anyone else says. Not every mom (or dad for that matter) is cut out for homeschooling. It is a calling given by God to SOME. Don’t let others pressure you into feeling guilty if you don’t homeschool (unless that guilt is really a sign that you’re not listening to God’s call!).
Also, not every student is cut out to be homeschooled. You may homeschool none, all, or only some of your kids. Not every child responds the same way to instruction (as I’m sure you’ve already seen in your own home :D).
2. Homeschooling is NOT do or die.
If God has called you to homeschool, that doesn’t mean you’re supposed to do it the whole 12 grades. Many families (ourselves included) take it one year at a time (some with higher or special needs children may even take it one month or term at a time). Cover it all with prayer, ask for the LORD to lead, and he will!
Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust in him and HE WILL DO THIS.
You may decide at some point that it would be better for you or your children’s sake and future to put them into school. That decision is between you and the Lord.
3. You already are your child’s best teacher!
God has equipped us with every tool necessary to be our children’s best examples and teachers. That may or may not extend to include school lessons also, but if it does, have no fear! You will not ruin or spoil your child if God has called you to this journey of homeschooling.
He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:24)
You WILL however need to work hard (as you would at any other job, as a parent or employee) to know how to best impart knowledge to your children. Study them, get to know their needs, what makes them tick, how they respond and learn best. Don’t cater to them, but do your best to understand them and help them to learn in a way that is going to encourage and still stretch them.
4. You’re not sheltering them. Really.
Unfortunately you DO hear stories about families that are over-sheltering their kids. Though it is not our place to judge what God has called each family to do, so we have to be careful on this.
I can say this however. Protecting your children from things they should not be exposed to at a young age is NOT sheltering them. In Canada the sex-ed curriculum in public schools has been attempted to push for kindergarten, but keeps getting thrown out the window. It’s only a matter of time. In the US, many states are adopting preschool/JK introduction.
But even a 2nd grader being exposed to this is dangerous. Why? Because it is in an uncontrolled environment and coming from people our children really should not trust with tender issues such as these.
Discussions on sex, our bodies, evolution, etc. SHOULD be raised FIRST in the home, on OUR TERMS, when WE feel our children are ready for it. Not when the school board or the teacher says so.
Again, these are things you NEED to constantly cover in prayer and really know your child to know when is appropriate.
5. Your kids will be socialized. For real :0)
Though you may have to work at providing the opportunities a bit more than if they were in school, you CAN give your children a well-rounded social life :0) Find a homeschool or co-op group to be a part of. If there isn’t one near you, start one! It may take some leg work and finding people, but in the end it is so worthwhile.
I grew up with a homeschool group that met every other week for an educational outing, and I am still friends with many of the girls my age! Our family is blessed to be a part of a co-op program that meets weekly through the school year for academics/arts/gym classes. We also overlap with a number of these same kids on Sundays and at Awana. Plus there are sports programs during the summer, music lessons….need I go on?
But if socialization is really a big concern, let me ask you this. WHY? Is it more important for your children to be well-rounded in their exposure to peers or for you to be the main influencer in their spiritual lives?
You have the greatest responsibility as a parent to plant seeds of God’s truth and love into your children’s hearts. Whether you decide to homeschool or not, THIS is still your calling. Don’t miss this main mission, this most important job you have been given. Nurture those blessed little (and big!) ones that you have been given and take every opportunity to point them to God.